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The Racine Public Library, 75 7th St., found two bed bugs inside its main building but plans to close the main building and its bookmobile Friday for pest control.

The City of Racine Health Department identified the live bed bugs in the past month. Staff found the bugs in the circulation area and a returned DVD.

Library Contracts With Pest Control Companies

Officials hired Canine Detection & Inspection Services LLC to inspect the building, according to a press release by the library.

“This is the first time we’ve found them, but we’ve been testing for years,” said Jessica MacPhail, director of the library. “So this is precautionary and we’re being proactive. We don’t want bed bugs here so we’ve had staff screening for them monthly.”

If the inspection service finds more evidence of bed bugs, library officials have contracted with Anderson Pest Solutions to treat the area. That’s the reason why the library will need to be closed on Friday. Once completed, MacPhail will send out a press release on Friday to tell the public what was found and what treatment was needed, if any.

Bed Bugs Considered  A Nuisance

Businesses and private residents have had to battle the problem with bed bug infestations for years. The infestations are tied to a traveling population problem, not a homelessness problem.

“It is more likely for a traveler to bring bed bugs back with them than it is for a person experiencing homelessness,” the press release reads.

Bed bugs don’t spread disease and are not considered “a medical or public health hazard.” They are considered a nuisance and are on the rise here. The bugs bite people while they are sleeping on the face, neck, arms, hands and other body parts. Bites can take up to 14 days to develop.

What do I do with my library materials?

Library materials due Friday will now be due on Saturday. All Bookmobile items will be a due a week from Friday. Officials plan to reopen the library at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Editor’s note: the headline was changed to reflect that the bed bugs were only found in the library. Racine County Eye regrets the error.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.