Metropolitan Tenants Organization » Bed Bugs – FAQ

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What are bed bugs?Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs prefer human blood, but can also feed on pets if people arent present.

Are bed bugs disease carriers?There isnt any medical evidence that bed bugs pose any sort of health risk. Some people do, however, experience mild reactions to their bites. It is also possible for the bites to result in secondary infections if scratched.

How did I get bed bugs?A bed bug infestation is not an indicator of a lack of cleanliness. Bed bugs feed on blood and are attracted to CO2. They may have hitchhiked onto your belongings and into your home or, if you live in a multi-unit building, they may have traveled from an adjacent unit.

So, there really isnt any link between bed bugs and sanitation?None. Bed bugs are not attracted to filth nor do they feed on it. However, reducing clutter is extremely important as clutter can provide hiding space for bed bugs. Bed bugs will thrive in cluttered environments because the effectiveness of your pest control plan will be limited.

I have a bed bug infestation. What do I do? Around the House-Reduce clutter in the home. These are safe havens for bed bugs.-Vacuum frequently.-Wash clothes in hot water and dry in high heat for a minimum of 20 minutes. -Do not apply pesticides on your own. Applying pesticides should be left to licensed pest control professionals. -Never use bug bombs or total release foggers. These can worsen the infestation and are extremely harmful to your health.

Beds and Furniture-Steam clean your bed and other furniture at a heat of 120 degrees or more. -Encase your mattress and box spring with bed bug proof mattress protectors. -Do not apply pesticides to your bed or other furniture. Pesticides are often harmful to people. -Do not throw away your furniture until a pest control professional tells you that it cant be salvaged. -If you must throw away your bed or other furniture, please dispose responsibly. Render the furniture unusable by slashing all sides or spray paint bed bugs in large letters.

Remember, bed bugs and their eggs absolutely cannot survive temperatures higher than 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is my landlord responsible for ridding my unit of bed bugs? On June 5, 2013 Chicago alderman passed an ordinance on bed bug control. The ordinance requires eradication to be performed by a pest control professtional as many times as necessary to eliminate the reported problem. Click here to read the full ordinance. This ordinance goes into effect in December 2013.

Bed bug eradication is not an easy task and will almost always require a pest control professional who practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

My landlord wont accept responsibility. What should I do?You can call MTOs Tenants Rights Hotline to speak with a hotline counselor about your situation. The hotline is open Monday through Friday, 1pm 5pm. If you live in a building with 12 or more units and other renters in the building are living with bed bugs, you may also request a visit from an organizer who can assist you in getting your requests met by your landlord.

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Metropolitan Tenants Organization » Bed Bugs – FAQ

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