Bed Bug Information

Bed bugs can live almost anywhere, from apartment buildings to four star hotel rooms. A combination of the bed bug’s evolution, resistance to pesticides, global warming, and a lack of public awareness has hastened the recent spread of this species.  Here is some basic information to help you understand and combat the problem.

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 live wherever humans sleep, feed mostly at night, and can reproduce rapidly.

Picture of a bed bug

Q. Do bed bugs spread disease?
A. No research has linked Bed bugs to the spread of disease. Most health problems associated with bed bugs involve itching and infection from their bites and loss of sleep.

The City of Chicago is committed to providing residents with the best information to protect themselves from bed bugs.   Most experts agree that public education and awareness provides the best defense against bed bugs.

The following fact sheets have been provided by Midwest Pesticide Action Center (MPAC), a not for profit organization devoted to reducing the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides 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.

Please take the time to review the infor

mation carefully. Bed bugs are unlike most other pests and are difficult to control if actions are not taken in a timely, effective and safe manner.

For more fact sheets and detailed information about pest control or Bed Bugs, visit MPAC’s website at

You could also find information on bed bugs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Bed Bug Information Clearing House, or from the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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

Bed Bug Ordinance Essentials
Bed Bug Ordinance for Tenants – English
Bed Bug Ordinance for Tenants – French
Bed Bug Ordinance for Tenants - Arabic
Bed Bug Ordinance for Tenants - Burmese
The Bed Bug Ordinance factsheets provide some basic information to residents about the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords according to Chicago’s bed bug ordinance.  For official City of Chicago information and resources on the ordinance, go here.

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.

Upcoming Bed Bug Training and Events

Need more help with your bed bug issues? Looking for training on bed bug management and prevention? Midwest Pesticide Action Center, Chicago's delegate agency on pest control, can help!*

Go here for a list of free training opportunities both live and online. 

Email us at or call us at (312) 878-7378 for a customized workshop or more information.

*Brought to you with generous support from the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.


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