Berkeley Public Library branch closes to treat possible bed bugs

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Berkeley Public Library’s North Branch closed Friday morning after detecting the possible presence of bed bugs and will remain closed until Tuesday to allow for treatment.

Bed bug-sniffing dogs discovered the possible presence of the pests in the downstairs men’s bathroom, underneath the desks of the public computer area and in chairs in the adult reading area. There is no indication that library materials are involved, according to the library website.

According to the California Department of Public Health, bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They do not transmit disease and are therefore not considered a public health hazard. However,  bed bug bites can cause large, itchy welts on the skin.

The Art of Howl, an exhibit on loan from the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed.

Bed bug-sniffing dogs will search all Berkeley Public Library locations next week.

Sonja Hutson is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SonjaHutson.