Read, read, and read away -- the borrowed books at the San Francisco Public Library pose no bedbug risk, library officials say.
Bedbugs are the loathed and loathsome creatures that infect and invest many an urban habitat, necessitating costly throwaways of bedding, books and other items into which the critters burrow. And there's been a fear that bedbugs are in the library's books, spurred by a report in The New York Times warning of a book-bug link.
There is nothing to fear, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The SFPL "has never had a bedbug infestation," library spokeswoman Michelle Jeffers told the newspaper.
Eight percent of bedbug exterminators told the National Pest Management Association that they had sprayed down libraries, the newspaper reported.
In 2010, there were 567 bedbug complaints in San Francisco, the most of any county in the state and twice the bedbug infestation level of 2005.
When the library receives a book that staff fear is infected, it is sealed in a plastic bag and discarded. It is a "truly rare occurrence," the library said. No word on how a book is earmarked as a bug-carrier.
A bedbug can live without eating for up to a year, though 30 minutes in the dryer at the hottest setting may be enough to cook the pests to death.