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Bed Bug Information

Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere, from apartment buildings to four star hotel rooms. Recently, they have become more problematic. Possible reasons include modern bed bugs’ resistance to pesticides, increased travel, global warming, and lack of public awareness.  Most likely it’s a combination of all of these and others. 

Q: What are bed bugs?

A:  Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are parasites that feed on human blood. Adult bed bugs are about the size, shape and color of an apple seed.  They are found wherever humans sleep, feed mostly at night, and can reproduce very rapidly.

Q. Do bed bugs spread disease?

A. Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep.

Picture of a bed bug

The City of Chicago is committed to making sure residents have the best information to protect themselves from bed bugs.   Most experts agree that public education and awareness are the best defenses against bed bugs.

The City has partnered with the Midwest Pesticide Action Center NFP, to provide the bed bug fact sheets and other information available here.  Please take the time to review the information carefully.  Bed bugs are unlike most other pests and are difficult to control if actions are not taken quickly using the best methods available.

The following fact sheets have been provided by Midwest Pesticide Action Center, a not for profit organization founded in 1994 to reduce the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides in Illinois by advocating for the use of Integrated Pest Management, or IPM – a proven, effective and economical method of pest control that aims to eliminate the root causes of the pest problem.

For more fact sheets and detailed information about pest control or Bed Bugs, you can visit their website

You could also find information on bed bugs on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Bed Bug Information Clearing House. 

Bed Bugs Fact Sheets

Bed Bugs Fact Sheet- English

Bed Bugs Fact Sheet- Spanish

Bed Bugs Fact Sheet- French

Bed Bugs Fact Sheet- Polish

Bed Bugs Fact Sheet - Mandarin

The Bed Bugs Fact Sheet provides background information, facts, and control strategies, available in English and Spanish.

Landlords Checklist- English

Landlords Checklist- Spanish

The Landlords Checklist gives landlords and building managers basic information about responding to the growing bed bug problem, available in English and Spanish.

Tenant Checklist-English

Tenant Checklist-Spanish

Tenant Checklist-Chinese

Tenant Checklist- French

Tenant Checklist- Polish

Tenant Checklist - Mandarin

The Tenant Checklist gives tenants a checklist for things they can do if they suspect a bed bug problem available in English, Spanish, Chinese

Purchasing A Mattress In Chicago Fact Sheet

Filing a Complaint

You can report instances of bed bug infestation in an apartment building or commercial building by calling 311 or by filing an online complaint with the Department of Buildings.

If you have purchased in the City of Chicago and believe it to have bed bug infestation, such as a mattress or other piece of furniture,  you can  file a consumer fraud complaint here.  You can read more about purchasing a mattress in Chicago here.