Since bed bugs spread to new areas by hitching rides on human clothing, it should not be surprising to learn that bed bug infestations are particularly frequent in large American cities that see many tourists. Bed bugs are often found within public buildings and hotel rooms in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, and since Disneyworld is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, bed bug infestations are naturally common in Orlando as well. Travelers from all over the globe also gravitate to Florida’s beaches, and the hot and humid climate has allowed another bed bug species commonly known as the “tropical bed bug” to reemerge in the state after a 70 year absence. Florida was not always considered one of the most bed bug-infested states, but during the past five years, infestation rates have skyrocketed in all major cities in the state. This unfortunate trend is being blamed on Florida’s appeal as a tourist hotspot, but bed bug infestations are not just increasing in hotels and resorts in the state. For example, bed bug infestations have been occurring within Pinellas County Public Libraries during the past several years. These bed bug infestations became so common within libraries that county officials recently changed their bed bug policy in all branch locations in order to better protect the public from the pests.
During February of 2018, a bed bug infestation within the Brandon branch of the Pinellas County Public Library system forced officials to close the location for three days in order to eradicate the bugs. Bed bugs were found within the pages of numerous books that had been returned to the library, causing officials to suspect that the bed bed bug culprits may have infested the library by means of infested books. Before bed bugs were found within the Brandon branch, several bed bug infestations were reported within other Pinellas County library locations, including the St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Pinellas Park branches. In order to better prevent future bed bug infestations in the county’s libraries, library employees are now inspecting returned items more thoroughly and the County has instituted a policy requiring bed bug sniffing dogs to make rounds within all library locations three times per year.
Have you ever found bed bugs within a public building?