Hannibal Public Library Reopens After Bedbug Problems

September 17, 2015 | Shavon Anderson

The Hannibal Free Public Library is open again after bedbugs forced it to close for two days.

The Hannibal Free Public Library is open again after bedbugs forced it to close for two days.

It was a situation that even shocked the staff.

"At first, because we didn't really know what was going on, we said that we were closed for repairs," director Hallie Yundt Silver said.

Staff found bedbugs on furniture throughout the building earlier this week, after a visitor sent in a complaint. They moved quickly, shutting down the library on Tuesday, while Reliable Pest Control treated the building.

"We had to throw out seven upholstered task chairs with wheels, which cost about $150 a piece," she said.

On Wednesday, the Marion County Health Department gave the all-clear, and Thursday, the library reopened.

"As patrons come in, if they ask, we are letting them know we do have some literature from the pest control company about what to look for in your home," Yundt Silver said.

So, how did the bugs get there in the first place?

"Bedbugs travel from one place to the next on people, or more importantly, on objects or things that belong to people," Dave Hirner with Reliable Pest Solutions said.

He says if bedbugs were brought into the library by a visitor, it's possible that other visitors could have taken them back into their homes. That's why education is key.

"The first thing that people point out is that they have an itch, or a rash, or a bump that they don't understand," Hirner said.

Experts say that's when to check for spotting.

"Spotting looks like somebody took a fine point sharpie and went around the stitching, or piping, around your mattress," he said.

The only way to treat bedbugs is through chemical or heat applications. Pest experts say heat treatment is the most effective way to get rid of the pests, but they can come back if you're not proactive.