- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque officials have asked for increased funding to continue bringing a dog to sniff out bedbugs at a public library.

The Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/20xPmSR ) reports that a specially trained Labrador named Cooper has been sniffing Carnegie-Stout Public Library monthly since bedbugs were discovered in the folds of a couch in October.

Library officials have requested $5,400 in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 to continue the inspections. City Manager Mike Van Milligen is recommending approval.

Library Director Susan Henricks says a patron spotted the parasite. Staff removed two couches and hundreds of newspapers, a small section of the library closed down for a week, and the area was professionally treated.

Cooper and Orkin, a pest control company, conduct monthly inspections while library staffers perform weekly inspections.

Orkin Dubuque Branch Manager Jamie Karls said Cooper works with a handler trained to locate bedbugs based on the likelihood of where they would be hiding, such as in cracks and crevices, in furniture seams, and in between walls and wood trim.

“The dog has never found any evidence of bed bugs and (we) remain confident the library remains bed bug-free and has been since this isolated incident,” Henricks said. “People have been scared off from the library and there is no need to be.”

Library workers have also been trained to spot and treat bedbugs. The library spent about $1,500 to purchase inspection kits and a steamer to treat library furniture. Henricks says leaders also purchased a heat-treatment box that bakes any bedbugs found in library books but doesn’t damage the materials.

“Library patrons should feel comfortable and confident to come to the library,” said library board President Jenny Weiss. “Since (October) there has been no resurgence - no other incidents of bedbugs - and that’s in large part due to the diligence of library staff.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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