Thursday, August 2, 2012

Library Notified Health Department In Mid-July About Bedbugs

Russell Library will be closed at least through Thursday night, as a result of the bedbug infestation.

The suspicion of bedbugs in the library goes back to the beginning of the month, and had been reported to the Health Department some time ago. However, it was not until Tuesday (July 31st) that action was taken. Within hours of a report of bedbugs to the Mayor's Office, Mayor Drew decided to close the Library.

The first indication of trouble was around July 1st, when a library user complained of being bitten by an insect in the computer area. A week later, the same person complained of another bite, and claimed that it was a bed bug. The library contacted Brodeur's Pest Management to discuss this, and was told that it was extremely unlikely to be bedbugs because of the time of day (bedbugs are active at night) and the location of the bite. With advice from Brodeur's the library set several traps for fleas, but none were caught.

The existence of bedbugs was confirmed a few days later when a patron of the library returned a DVD and called attention to the bedbugs in the case. Danny Richmond, Head of Facilities and Security, then asked the circulation department to carefully inspect all material going out and coming into the library. He also contacted Lou Carta, the community health educator in the City's Health Department, and advised him of the situation.

Last Friday, 2-3 weeks after the first confirmation of bedbugs, and after another complaint in the Computer Center, Richmond discovered that one of the chairs was infested with bedbugs. He removed all chairs of that style and stored them outside. Brodeur's treated the Computer Center area on Monday night, after the library closed. Bedbugs are killed by temperatures over 113 degrees, so a typical treatment is to wrap potentially infected objects and apply dry steam.

After someone called the Mayor's Office, the Health Department inspected the library and told them to contact UConn Extension for expertise.

Later that afternoon, Mayor Drew called a meeting with the head of the library, Arthur Meyers and a Health Inspector. The mayor made the decision to close the library. Meyers said the City has moved very quickly since the meeting with the Mayor, hiring a company to treat the library tonight and Thursday morning.

Mayor Drew told The Eye that his first priority was eliminating bedbugs from the library. He said he was aware that the Health Department had been notified about the bedbugs earlier, and expressed concern that this information was not acted upon. He said that he was gathering information about the timeline, and would be addressing this apparent breakdown in communication after the library was re-opened.

On Wednesday evening, Meyers said that the company hired by the city was at work in the Library, "...a sniffer dog is going through the Library and making many hits". He said the company will treat all items with bed bugs with heat.

Meyers said that the Library would be announcing tomorrow whether it would reopen on Friday or next week.


Anonymous said...

Bet you the Health Dept. folks who knew about it and did nothing will get a raise like the custodian who didn't turn off the water at the high school and caused the pool to overflow.

Anonymous said...

so Drew knew about this months ago but is trying to blame the Health Department?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 9:48 - you seem to have missed the point - Drew was notified and then took action.

But generally, this situation sounds like a mess. Not to mention that the very worst thing you can do in a bed-bug situation is to MOVE the furniture that is infested. That just spreads the problem Also, can it possibly be true that Broeder said that bed bugs don't bite in the daytime? They are MOSTLY nocturnal, but there are many, many cases of daytime biting or scurrying into someone's bag which happens to be sitting on a chair or on the floor.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous 8:43 :

you most deffinetly are a disgruntaled person in genral and have no life but the bloggs. The janitor at the high school is in big trouble and so isnt the janitor at the library for lying about the time line of events leading to the bed bug issue. point i would like to make, dont give a janitor any responsibility, dont take a janitors word unless you talk to the proffesionals first and dont become a blogger trying to make a bigger story out of 2 small ones. ! ( I do love Building Maintainace people ! ). So go fly a kite in a thunderstorm, one guy got away with it and i hope you are not as fortunate. PS: Kids dont become a problem to the "soul"ution become the answer unlike Blogger 8:43am and you will live a happy life, not like sour grapes above !!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's called bad reporting. But we should be used to it. Consider the source.

Anonymous said...

great more heroic stories about how Drew saved Middletown when in fact he did not-
I am sure the Health Director told the City and nothing was done, but it is typical for the person at the top to pass the buck.. Just like Ken Jackson is doing in the case with the custodian

Anonymous said...

Custodians, and the mayor we blame for this????
C'mon, the blame of the bedbug infestation is surely the library's manager, for ignoring the problem when it
was discovered in the beginning of July.
That is the tip of the iceberg for this incompetence.
For example, why would a public space use upholstered
chairs anyway?
The library HAS been a gem for this city and it is going down hill fast.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the Health Inspectors didn't have to work the counter in the office because Drew refuses to fill any open positions - because he overspent the budget THE INSPECTORS COULD BE DOING THEIR JOBS.

Whatever, when you hire a boy to do a man's job, that's what you get PROBLEMS.

Just look at the spending problems. They are bonding for regular expenses so we will be paying for them for years. Let's get a man (or a woman) to do the job.