Cabell cleared of bed bugs, library announces

VCU Libraries began investigating reports of bed bugs on Friday. Photo by Jon Mirador

Katie Hollowell, Contributing Writer

Cabell Library announced Wednesday morning that there is “no evidence of bed bugs” in the library after a five-hour search the same day.

This update comes five days after it was first reported and confirmed Friday afternoon that there were bed bugs found in the computer workstation by the first floor entrance.

VCU Libraries closed off locations where bed bugs were reported and enlisted treatment the same day, and reported the issue to VCU Facilities Management. Following treatment, more reports came in on Sunday saying there were bed bugs at the security desk, seating booths at Starbucks and the blue chairs on the second floor overlooking the Compass, according to the library’s news release.

Twitter user @zaynolimit wanted to know why VCU didn’t close down the library to prevent people from spreading the bed bugs outside of Cabell.

Two more inspections were completed early Monday morning and Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. The first inspection was conducted by an Orkin pest exterminator. The second inspection enlisted the help of a canine sniffing dog to detect small traces of the insects. Neither found evidence of bed bugs.

The library news release said the Starbucks seating area was reopened today after a “routine deep cleaning not related to the bed bug inspection.”

VCU student Alyssa Carter tweeted her frustration with the presence of bed bugs. 

In November 2017, there were reports of bed bugs on two separate occasions. VCU Libraries removed the second-floor booths and had them cleaned and exterminated. After the second report almost two weeks later, VCU Libraries had the entire library inspected by the canine scent-sniffing dog, and nothing was found.

University Librarian John Ulmschneider sent out a letter to students after the November 2017 reports, saying bedbugs are common at universities.

“We believe these steps have addressed the problem. Occasional bed bug incidents are common on university campuses,” Ulmschneider said at the time, “and VCU retains an exterminator on contract in part to respond quickly to such incidents.”

Cabell Library closed sections of the library after reports of bed bugs
Sections of the library were closed on Friday, Sept. 13 after reports of bed bugs. Photo by Jon Mirador
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