South Orange Library temporarily closed after bedbugs found on furniture

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Bedbugs found on furniture in South Orange Library
A.J. Ross has the latest details.

SOUTH ORANGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Bookworms weren't the only thing recently discovered in the South Orange Public Library in New Jersey.

"I was reading the sign here and I'm surprised it's closed," a library patron said.

A complaint from a regular visitor earlier this week prompted village administrators to inspect the historic building on Scotland Road and what they found will literally make your skin crawl.

"Unfortunately, they did discover and confirm the presence of bedbugs in some of the upholstered furniture," said Barry R. Lewis, Jr., the South Orange Village Administrator.

"Just the thought of it creeped me out. I felt like something was crawling on me already," said Edith Brown, a library patron.

"I'm surprised, it just doesn't seem normal to have bedbugs in a library," said Matt Mattheiss, a library patron.

The library was immediately closed Tuesday as a precaution while pest control specialists performed a thorough sweep.

They say for now, the infestation seems to be contained only to a few pieces of furniture on the main floor and no bedbugs were discovered in any books or the carpet.

They did not identify any in any of the lower levels and importantly not in the kids' area or anything which is on the lower level.

"I guess bedbugs can come in with people so I'm not really surprised," said Blanche Henry, a library patron. "I don't want to take any home!"

Lewis estimates the extermination process will take several days to complete and says the town is also consulting with experts to put together a proactive inspection schedule moving forward.

"I know a lot of people come here for the internet and to get on their social media so it'll be missed while it's closed," Lewis said.

"You'll venture back in there?" Eyewitness News said.

"Yeah, I'll venture back, but I'll be looking around me and hoping I'm not itching," a library patron said.

Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard, as they are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep.

Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching, which can increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.