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Bedbugs found in library books on college campus

Posted at 1:37 PM, Dec 08, 2012

SEATTLE (KCPQ) -- If you thought bedbugs can only be found in beds, think again.

In fact, the parasitic insects have been discovered between the pages of some books at a library on a Seattle college campus.

Librarians at the University of Washington made the startling discovery when they were checking in some returned books just before classes started in the Fall.

"They noticed some spotting near the spine. And as they looked closer, they realized there were insects in the book," University of Washington Preservation Librarian Stephanie Lamson told KCPQ Friday. 

As a result of the possibility of a massive infestation, officials collected collected 45 million of the library's seven million-volume collection. They froze the books around 18 degrees below zero to kill off the bugs.

"We also brought in a bedbug sniffing dog shortly thereafter to make sure all our facilities had been cleared," Lamson said.

Officials at the university say they have only have two incidents of bedbugs hitching a ride on books.

But experts like Michael Banfield, the president of Springstar Inc., say there are many other ways for these bed bugs to hitch a ride and that they can survive over great distances.

"We talk to professionals throughout North America and throughout the world that are treating bedbugs," Banfield said. "What we see in the U.S., that people that are calling professional pest control companies four times more than last year for bedbug control."

Additionally, Banfield says that if you -- or your children -- develop a skin irritation from bedbugs' parasitic bites, you really do need to call in a professional for an inspection and treatment.