Debra Bogstie and Thomas Kienzler
Miller Memorial Library in Hamden is closed until Monday following the discovery of bedbugs. All books and items that might have bedbugs were loaded into a truck that baked everything at 130 degrees for one hour to eliminate the pests.
All Hamden Public libraries are closed after bedbugs were found at Miller Memorial Central Library.
The Whitneyville and Brundage Community branches are closed as a precaution.
The town released a statement on its Facebook page on Friday:
"The Miller Memorial Library has discovered bedbugs in areas of the library building.
"As a precaution for both staff and patrons, the library was closed today to allow for identifications of areas of concern and treatment to rid the library of the bugs. The Town is planning efforts throughout the weekend to complete the work needed."
By Friday night, word about the bedbug problem had spread around town and many patrons stopped by the library to return their books.
"My wife instructed that I get the books out of the house as soon as possible," said Kevin Donovan, a Hamden resident.
"I'm sure there's nothing there but why take the chance?" said John Farquhar, a Hamden resident.
Someone called the library earlier this week to report bedbugs in a book he or she had taken out, according to Curt Leng who is Hamden's Chief Administrative Officer.
After that, the library hired Quest Pest Control to heat the books from that section, said Leng.
On Friday, the town decided to have the company check over the entire library, he said. They found bedbugs in several sections which prompted the closure.
Workers from Quest spent much of Friday heating the books from the infected sections in a truck outside the library.
"We take the temperature up to 130 degrees and we keep it there for an hour or two. At 121 degrees bedbugs die in less than one minute," said Charlie Mastroberti, of Quest Pest Control.
This is the second Connecticut library to have an issue with bedbugs this summer.
Russell Library in Middletown was closed briefly at the end of July because of a bedbug infestation.
The Middletown library has treated the problem and since reopened.
"The Town of Hamden is following Middletown's lead, who had a bedbug problem at their library earlier in the week, in asking patrons to return items that were taken out in ziplock bags," the Hamden statement said.
Residents with concerns about bedbugs in their home can call the Town's health department - the Quinnipiac Valley Health District at 203-248-4528.