Library responds speedily to student’s report of a bedbug: Expert inspection finds no evidence of bedbugs in the building

May 5, 2022

Update of May 5 news posting

A thorough, building-wide inspection by pest control specialists and their K9 unit found no evidence of bedbugs at James Branch Cabell Library yesterday. The inspections took place May 9 and 10, as soon as they could be scheduled after a student reported a possible bedbug bite to library staff. 

Cabell Library employees received one report of a possible bedbug sighting or biting on Tuesday evening, May 3, at 8:50 p.m. The student had been using a booth on the second floor of the building. Within 30 minutes of receiving the student’s report by telephone, staff had moved the booth matching the description and location into a quarantine area. A visual inspection did not reveal any bedbugs.

Wednesday morning, May 4, at 6:30 a.m., additional booths in that area were blocked off. VCU’s Facilities Management Division contacted Orkin Pest Control to alert them of the situation. Orkin visited Cabell Library the morning of Thursday, May 5, to inspect the area. All potentially affected furniture remained blocked off for use until Orkin could inspect it.

The professional inspection found no evidence of bedbugs in the booth in question but did find an egg cluster in another booth that had been blocked off since the morning of Wednesday, May 5. That booth and two others nearby were immediately moved to the quarantine room. Next week, the furniture will be heat-treated–the only sure way to kill bedbugs–in a box truck.

In addition, on Monday and Tuesday, May 9 and 10, a pest control team using dogs trained to find bugs, inspected the whole building. The pest control team checked all chairs, desk, tables, couches, seating areas, booths, benches, etc. Visual inspections included all sides of furniture pieces: top, back, underneath, arm areas. Cloth chairs and couches were pulled away from walls to inspect back seams. K9 conducted all of the same searches after visuals inspection, with no K9 alerts. Walls and baseboards were checked in study rooms. Cloth cubicle cloth separation boards were also inspected.

VCU Libraries has not received any further reports of bedbugs since the initial report from one student. Cabell Library Both continued offering its planned hours throughout the exam period, including an extended closing time of 3 a.m. at Cabell Library.

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