File In this Wednesday, March 30, 2011 file photo, A bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
In this Aug. 25, 2010 photo, Delores Stewart displays bed bugs found in her home in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam)
(Meredith) – If you go to the library, you should check out what’s between the pages of your favorite books.
WBAY in Green Bay, Wisconsin, reported that bed bugs can enter a person’s home through library books, but experts said the odds that happening are relatively small.
But that doesn’t mean it is impossible.
“Bed bugs are definitely attracted to inanimate objects that have narrow spaces that they can hide in,” Michael Draney, a biologist with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, told WBAY. “They’re small insects and they hide in very small places, and so you wouldn’t necessarily know that you were carrying them around.”
Bed bugs can slip from home to home virtually undetected in the spine of the book or between the pages.
“Bed bugs are very flat unless they’re fed,” Josh Erdman, owner of Erdye’s Pest Control, told WBAY. “So, they can squeeze just about anywhere. “Bed bugs spread because when they reproduce, it’s a very kind of violent act and the females run.”
When the females, run they try to find small places to hide, like books, clothes or inside a bed.
Checking for bed bugs
If you want to check for bed bugs before bringing a book home, you should:
Flip through the pages slowly.
Check the spine of the book.
Check for skin sheds (they shed the same way snakes do).
Check for fecal staining (their fecal matter looks like dots from an ink pen on the pages).
If you find bed bugs in a book, put the book in a plastic bag and contact the library.
Draney said people are probably more likely to get bed bugs after staying at a hotel, rather than from a library book, but you should still check your books before you get home.