Bed Bug Discovery Closes Tulsa Central Library

Tuesday, July 17th 2012, 2:17 pm
By: Dee Duren

The Tulsa Central Library is closed until further notice after bed bugs were found.

Library representative, John Fancher, said they would remain closed until at least through noon on Wednesday.

Fancher said, after a thorough search, there were bed bugs found on a few chairs on the third floor. He said they were limited to a 1,000-square-foot area.

Still, as a precaution, library employees removed all fabric chairs from the second and third floors and replaced them with vinyl or metal chairs.

And though the infestation was isolated, the entire library was immediately evacuated and closed down.

Lee Allen was reading in the library when he said things got crazy.

"They were moving everyone out really fast," Allen said. "No idea what was going on. I was kind of freaked out. I thought it was like homeland security or something."

Library officials say a man noticed bed bugs were crawling on the chair he was sitting in.

Gary Shaffer, of the Tulsa City-County Library said the man may have even been bitten by one.

"There were more than a couple, so it was a serious issue that needed to be addressed immediately," Shaffer said.

John Baker, of the Tulsa Health Department, said no one should be worried if they came in contact with the bed bugs.

"They're more of a nuisance than a public health threat, but when you get them, it takes a lot of effort to get rid of them," Baker said

A Tulsa-based licensed exterminator was on site Tuesday to deal with the situation.

Also, Wednesday, Oklahoma's one and only specially trained bed bug searching service dog, named Miss Liberty Belle, will be in the library to search all floors.

"We will be looking at any and all furniture, looking at carpets and then we'll use the dog as the final check," Shaffer said.

When those checks are done the library will re-open for business.