Facebook post suggests bed bugs in Murray Library

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At approximately 1 p.m. on Sept. 21 a post was made to USask Confessions that included images of suspected bed bugs in the Murray Library at the University of Saskatchewan.

USask Confessions is a Facebook page where users can make anonymous posts about their lives as U of S students or in general. The post, made by Landon Tetreault, a fourth-year computer science major, about the suspected bed bugs included three images, two slightly blurry photos of a small brown insect and one of blood on a library desk.

“I never believed it before but there are 100 [per cent] bed bugs in Murray Library. I’m never going back,” Tetreault said, in the Facebook post. “I killed one and it had already bit someone.”

While most comments on the USask Confessions post include only tags of other Facebook users, many express feelings of disgust and dismay and some state that they will not return to the Murray Library. Many also comment that they believe the insect was a tick and not a bed bug, while others disagree, describing the differences between the two insects.

Tetreault explains that he found two bugs in the library and killed only one.

“I did not kill the second bug. So as far as I know, it is still crawling around somewhere. The first bug was the blood smear and the other one is the bug you see in the pictures,” Tetreault said, in online correspondence with the Sheaf.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, the U of S responded with a comment on the USask Confessions post.

“Facilities Management is aware of this concern and we are currently looking into this issue. We will provide updates as we find out more.”

Within the hour, the U of S provided a follow-up comment, stating that Murray Library staff had received a report of a possible bed bug earlier on the afternoon of Sept. 21 and that the Facilities Management Division was investigating the incident.

“At this point it has yet to be confirmed as a bed bug. As a cautionary measure, a small area of the fourth floor is currently closed off and we will provide updates to our Facebook page and website as we find out more information.”

Tetreault explains that, after finding the bug, he notified Murray Library staff. Later that day, he met with Dale Amerud, director of financial and physical resources at the university libraries, as a follow up to the incident.

“The library was very quick to get in touch with me and deal with the situation. I met with Dale Amerud last night to show him where I [saw] the bed bugs. He seemed to be concerned and did not take the possibility of bed bugs lightly… I took the picture, let the person in the next cubicle know about it, told the front desk and then left the library,” Tetreault said.

When contacted for a statement about the incident, Jennifer Thoma, media relations specialist on the university marketing and communications team, provided the same statement that the U of S made at approximately 10 a.m. on Sept. 22 in a follow up comment on the original USask Confessions post.

“After a thorough inspection, no bed bugs were found in the area that was closed off [on Sept. 21]. As a cautionary measure, we are treating the closed off area and inspecting the rest of the fourth floor in the Murray Library. Portions of the fourth floor will remain closed until Facilities Management has finished monitoring and completes any precautionary treatment. Again, no bed bugs have been found in any areas of the library or anywhere else on campus. The rest of [the] library remains open.”

The U of S has also posted this statement on the PAWS feed. At the time of print, Facebook users were still viewing and commenting on the original USask Confessions post, garnering over 900 comments, hundreds more than the majority of posts on the page.

Tetreault says that he will return to the Murray Library but that he plans to avoid specific areas in the future.

“I will probably go to the ground and first floors, but at least for the next little while I won’t be going back to any of the higher floors,” Tetreault said. “I will be avoiding any of the comfy cloth chairs.”

Jessica Klaassen-Wright / Editor-in-Chief

Photo: CCAC North Library / Flickr