Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Bad News: Bedbugs and Books

Suzzallo Library Reading Room, University of W...

Suzzallo Library Reading Room, University of Washington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bedbugs found in UW library books

This is the headline I came across doing some other Internet research.  Apparently the bedbug brouhaha is far from over.  I had heard the warning about the pesky critters when staying in hotels and even when ordering clothes, yet, never thought they would be interested in books.  The Seattle Times article discusses how bedbugs hitch rides in books and live in the spine and come creeping out at night to feed.  This is especially bad news for those of us that fall asleep with a book in hand in bed.

Here is one suggestion: give the little buggers the cold shoulder by popping the book in a Ziploc bag and popping it into the freezer.  The cold makes them chill out for good.  That comes from Stephanie Lamson, head of preservation services at the University of Washington Libraries.

I have often wiped off covers before allowing books to hop up on my bed at night (I’ve worked in libraries and reading dirty books takes on a whole new meaning after working with them all day long).  I guess I will now be leaving them in the cold before they can warm my heart, which seems much more practical than hiring a bedbug sniffing dog.
English: Bedbug sniffing Dog, New York

English: Bedbug sniffing Dog, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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7 thoughts on “Bad News: Bedbugs and Books

  1. anievan on said:

    Ugg. That’s all we needed. I was actually afraid of this, but someone told me it couldn’t happen, so I felt better. But, you know, fibers, I suppose… I loooove buying used books, and we all visit the library, so thank you SOOO much for the freezer info!

    • Icky, isn’t it? To think of buggies creeping out at night and snacking on us unsuspecting Book Boosters.

      Love your site–anything bookish works for me. Care to add your name to our Book Boosters list? Lots of bibliophiles hanging out there. It’s on my banner, if you want to check it out.

      • anievan on said:

        Thank you for the lovely compliment!

        I’d love to be added to the Book Boosters list. Thanks!

  2. anievan on said:

    Reblogged this on bookbash and commented:
    I was a bit concerned about this, actually. It occurred to me that since books are porous and fibrous – well, paper and cloth – perhaps they could carry bedbugs. How horrible to hear that it could happen. Very, very glad to have the freezer suggestion, but I can’t see getting a bag of books and stuffing them in with the frozen chicken every time I buy…

  3. Ugh! Really? I thought the only thing I had to work about when bringing a book home is whether it was going to be a flop or not. Now we have to worry about bedbugs? That just ain’t right.

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