Horrified members of the public were told to leave a library immediately due to a bed bug infestation.
West London’s Ealing Central Library was briefly closed last week, with cushions being taken away for treatment due to a breakout of the creepy crawlies.
It was later reopened but an announcement over the tannoy on Monday, October 30 told visitors to leave immediately.
Yesterday locals looking to exchange books at the library were greeted by locked doors and a ‘pest infestation’ notice saying that all soft furnishings were being temporarily removed.
Ealing Council has now confirmed the bed bug outbreak – but promised that the library would be open again soon, MyLondon reports.
A spokesperson said: “Ealing Library was closed on 30 October 2023 at 1.30pm as staff noticed pests (bed bugs) in the library.
“It is anticipated that the library will reopen on Thursday 2 November and normal service will resume.
“The council is actively addressing this issue with professional pest control solutions.
“These treatments will be administered during the library’s closure and the chemicals used are safe for individuals of all ages.
“The technical advice was that it was safe for both the public and staff to re-open the library – both in terms of controlling and preventing the spread of the infestation and in relation to the chemicals used to treat furniture.
“However, the council recognised that library users and staff had concerns and decided that temporarily closing the library was the right course of action.
“The library is only being reopened after a full course of treatment has been applied by contractors Rentokill.
“The council will continue to monitor the situation and take preventative measures to ensure that the issue has been fully resolved, and that everything is being done to prevent its recurrence.”
It added: “We extend our apologies for any inconvenience this situation may cause and thank residents and library staff for their understanding.”
October has seen a surge in calls to pest control companies after Paris reported a rising number of infestations.
New maps show the UK hot spots, with three areas in London being named as the areas of the UK where people are searching about bed bugs on Google.
Stats show around 80,000 searches for the term ‘bed bugs’ across the UK, with the rate among Purley in Croydon, south London, residents being the highest of all.