Bed bug situation at VCU’s Cabell Library was handled “very expeditiously,” spokesperson says

Photo by Julie Tripp.
Photo by Julie Tripp.

About two weeks ago, a student who fell asleep in a single-person booth on the second floor of VCU’s Cabell Library woke up to find what appeared to be bites from a bed bug on her arm.

Dennis Clark, an associate librarian, said the student notified a staff member at Cabell. VCU Facilities Management was subsequently informed. Clark, who oversees various functions at the library, did not provide the exact date the student reported the bites, but said it was the week of Nov. 13.

When a staff member at Facilities Management observed the booth and surrounding areas, he indicated to Clark the incident was likely a minor incident. The booth, along with nine others in the area where the student had reported being bit, was then closed off to students, Clark said.

The Facilities Management staff member contacted Orkin, an exterminator company contracted with VCU.

When someone from Orkin came and investigated the area Nov. 20 — the Monday the week following the student reported being bit — Clark said the investigator found “remnants” that indicated at least one bed bug had been present in four of the 10 booths in the area.

Clark said the furniture in those booths were removed and taken to a location to be heated at 140 degrees for 6 hours as part of a treatment last Friday while the library was closed for Thanksgiving.

VCU students weren’t notified by the university due to fear it would cause “alarm,” Clark said.

“That would be unnecessarily anxiety-provoking,” Clark said.

A spokesperson for VCU Libraries said the situation was handled “very expeditiously.”


Fadel Allassan, Managing Editor at Large

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