Bed Bugs Cause Closures at U of U Library

Oct 28, 2013

University of Utah closed down the Marriott Library over the weekend after bed bugs were discovered in the building. Pest control teams scoured the facility to prevent the spread of the insects first found on some lounge chairs. Part of the library reopened today, but other areas remained closed. Some students and staff are cautious as operations return to normal.

As students walk through the Marriott Library’s west doors, some like Freshman Ragnhild Read stop to read a sign posted on the glass. It says level one is only open for student classroom access, but Read usually studies in a quiet room on level two in between classes.

"So I have to go find somewhere else to study that will keep me warm but also keep me from being distracted for the next couple of minutes, so it’s not very happy," Read says.

The bed bug discovery and full library closure also came as a surprise to Ian Godfrey, the library’s head of facilities and collection management. He says this is his first bed bug case in eighteen years at the library. Concerned about possible migration to other areas, He decided to close the building completely for a few days so pest control experts could completely exterminate the insects.

"Treatment includes a three step process. We’re heating all of our lounge furniture up to 140 degrees which kills the problem. In addition to that we’re spraying pesticide and spreading diatomaceous earth as a proactive step to make sure this doesn’t happen again," Godfrey says.

Students don’t seem too worried. Booths, benches, chairs and floor space are all occupied along the open level’s corridor. The entire library re-opens on Tuesday.