Bed bugs in books close London library | Books

Bed bugs in books close London library | Books

A west London library has had to temporarily close after bedbugs were found in returned books.

It was announced on Monday that Northolt library in West Ealing would be closed until the issue is resolved.

“We are sorry to inform you that we are having to temporarily close Northolt library following sightings of a small number of bed bugs,” read a notice posted to the Ealing Libraries X account. “We are contacting professional pest controllers who will advise us on the best way to treat the bugs and we will provide you with regular updates once we have considered their advice.”

According to an Ealing council spokesperson, the bugs were found in books returned to the library on Saturday. “Staff responded promptly and professionally in dealing with this matter,” they added.

The closure comes weeks after Ealing central library was closed when bedbugs were found in the furnishings. A notice put on its door at the time read: “Due to a pest infestation, we have temporarily removed soft furnishings from public use. These seats are currently being treated with pest control chemicals.” The library reopened a week later.

Asked whether there was a common source at the libraries, the council spokesperson said that “bedbugs have been an issue in the UK for many years and are notoriously difficult to prevent in well-used amenities such as public transport and public buildings.

“Regular inspections and vigilance are advised to spot bugs early and treat them, which is exactly what has happened in Northolt library.”

Ealing Libraries advised that the public can use Northolt Leisure Centre library or the community hub at Southall library as alternatives. “We apologise for any inconvenience this situation may cause and thank residents and library staff for your understanding”, it added.

Bedbug outbreaks in Paris were reported in September, and concern over bedbug sightings on the London Underground was raised the following month.

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Bedbugs can hide in a variety of places including clothing, mattresses, furniture, books and magazines. Their bites can cause itchiness, but they do not usually cause other health problems.

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