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London library closed over bedbug outbreak – media

The institution reportedly removed all the cushions from its chairs last week but continued to allow visitors in

A library in West London has been shuttered over a bed bug infestation. The facility will remain inaccessible to the public until the insects are treated, management said Thursday on X (formerly Twitter).

On Monday, staff at Ealing Central Library ordered everyone present to leave immediately over the public address system, according to a report by the Independent that cites one person who was among those evacuated. Another visitor told the outlet that the library had been open as usual last week but that all the cushions had been taken, noting that “it’s disappointing if the staff knew, but the customers didn’t.”

The next day, management announced that the library was “closed for essential maintenance” until Thursday. On that date, however, they issued another statement saying it was not ready to reopen, adding that pest control crews were “still working hard.”

The incident comes weeks after France was hit by a bedbug infestation that forced the closure of schools across the country. In early October, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told journalists that the city’s public transport system disinfects seats daily to prevent the spread of insects, claiming that his office “does not think these issues will arise” in the UK capital.

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British microbiologist and founder of an anti-bed bug company, David Cain, told media outlets at the time that London could experience a “similar level” of problems to Paris, as the blood-sucking insects have reportedly been spotted in public places.

Bed bugs are small insects that usually live on bedding but can hide in many areas, including clothing, furniture, bed frames, behind picture frames, and under loose wallpaper, according to the National Health Service. NHS guidance says the insects’ bites can be very itchy and may cause painful swelling, as well as a severe allergic reaction for some people.

 

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