Fostering a culture of reading and thought by serving Switzerland County’s information, life-long learning and leisure pursuits.

Pest Policy

Pest Policy


This policy outlines Switzerland County Public Library protocols for prevention of, and reaction to, potential pest situations in its materials and on its premises. Bed bugs are the most prevalent pest and the hardest to eradicate, so for the purpose of the policy, the term “bed bug” is used; however, the procedures can apply to a variety of pests, including but not limited to roaches, spiders, ants, or any other type of bug or vermin.

The Switzerland County Public Library actively works toward the prevention and containment of bed bugs and bed bug eggs in all materials, and on library premises. Switzerland County Public Library ensures its staff is trained in bed bug detection, containment, elimination and prevention, and regularly examines and updates its procedures according to best practices.


Switzerland County Public Library works proactively to:

  1. Reduce risk to staff and patrons.
  2. Monitor our detection, testing and response levels on an ongoing basis.

Contract only licensed, accredited, and reputable pest detection and control companies.


Prevention Protocol and Procedures

Switzerland County Public Library recognizes all patrons and staff have a role to play in controlling bed bugs in our community. All patrons and staff must immediately report any sighting of live or dead bed bugs to library staff.

Staff Protocol

Staff will routinely inspect all incoming materials, including those returned at the public desks, in the book drops and through Evergreen Indiana and interlibrary loan delivery, for signs that bed bugs are or have been present. These signs include live or dead bed bugs, bed bug eggs, bed bug nymphs, and feces and spotting associated with bed bugs.
Materials returned to the Switzerland County Public Library with detected presence of live or dead bed bugs will be treated or discarded at the discretion of the Library. Discarded items will be considered as damaged items under the Damaged Materials Policy.
All items identified by Library staff as potentially containing live or dead bed bugs in any stage will be promptly quarantined. Items with minor or suspected signs will be promptly placed in a specialized heat treatment system that adheres to industry standards and is specifically designed to kill bed bugs. After treatment, all materials will be re-inspected.
Any materials returned by a patron that show evidence of live or dead bed bugs will result in immediate suspension of Switzerland County Public Library privileges for that patron and for any patrons in the same residence as original patron. Suspension will be lifted after the patron presents proof that his or her residence has been successfully treated for and eradicated of bed bugs by a licensed and accredited pest control company.


Patron Protocol

Library patrons must cease to borrow materials from Switzerland County Public Library if they are experiencing a bed bug infestation in their residence.
In the event that a patron discovers a live or dead bed bug, bed bug eggs, bed bug nymphs, or feces or spotting associated with bed bugs in Switzerland County Public materials, the patron must immediately do the following:

  • If the materials are inside of the Library: Bring the materials to a staff member and inform the staff member of the problem.
  • If the materials are outside of the Library and in the possession of the patron: Place the materials into a sealable plastic bag. Return the sealed materials directly to a staff member and inform the staff member of the problem. Patrons must not use book drops to return materials suspected or with evidence of bed bugs.
  • Patrons are prohibited from self-treating Library materials that are suspected to contain bed bugs.
  • Patrons will be held responsible for any damages sustained to Library materials during an attempted self-treatment. Successfully eradicating bed bugs requires professional procedures and equipment contracted by the Library.


Public Donations Protocol

Donors must inspect materials for evidence of live or dead bed bugs prior to donating them to Switzerland County Public Library.
Switzerland County Public Library treats all donations in a specialized heat treatment system before disseminating them to the public. Switzerland County Public Library reserves the right to discard materials with signs of past or present bed bug activity.


Adopted this 10th day of January, 2017 by the Switzerland County Public Library Board of Trustees.

Revisions adopted January 10th, 2023.

Revisions adopted January 9th, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 - Switzerland County Public Library