What you need to know about bed bugs in Chicago | Illinois …

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In 2013, Chicago passed a law to help with the growing bed bug problem. Landlords are now required to give tenants a brochure on bed bugs when a lease is signed. The law makes tenants and landlords share the duty in preventing and controlling bed bugs.

Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects. They feed on blood.

Bed bugs are the size, shape, and color of an apple seed. They are 1/4 of an inch long and look reddish-brown. The eggs are tiny and white. Bed bugs are big enough to see.

Bed bugs live where people sleep, sit, or lay down. They can be found on mattresses and bed frames. They can also be found in chairs, couches, and tight spaces.

Bed bugs get into an apartment by clothing, bags, furniture, and mattresses. They can get in through small cracks in walls, ceilings, and under doors. Bed bugs cannot fly.

Bed bugs can be found anywhere. Always check furniture and bedding bought used. Never bring items found in the trash into your apartment. After vacation, check your luggage for bed bugs before going into your apartment. Clean your bed sheets often and buy mattress covers.


Bed bug bites may cause swelling, redness, and itching.

Look for live or dead bed bugs on furniture and mattresses. Also look for tiny dark spots or red stains. Bed bug bites are a sign, but not everyone will notice the bites.

Tenants must call their landlord immediately and then follow-up in writing. Once the landlord is told, wait for instructions from the landlord and a pest control expert. Early notification and treatment will help to prevent the bed bugs from spreading.

Tenants should not try to get rid of the bed bugs by using chemicals, "bug bombs", or pesticides. These items do not work and could make you sick.

This is not necessary unless the pest control expert says so. If you have to throw away items, seal them in a plastic bag first. This will stop the bed bugs from spreading. You may not recycle items that have bed bugs. All infested items must be sealed in a plastic bag before throwing them away. This bag must be labeled that it is infested with bed bugs.

Tenants must tell the landlord within 5 days of suspecting a bed bug infestation and cooperate with the landlord by doing the following:

Yes. Tenants living in an assisted living or shared housing facility. These places are required to give the tenant help with daily living. In these places, the landlord is responsible for making the necessary preparations and for removal of any personal property.

The city may issue fines to tenants. Fines can go as high as $2,000 for a third offense. Landlords cannot fine tenants.

Landlords cannot retaliate against a tenant if the tenant:

Give your landlord up to 10 days to have an inspection. If your landlord does not respond, call 311 and file a complaint.

Landlords have four main duties under the ordinance:

Landlords have up to 10 days to have an expert look at the apartment.

If bed bugs are found in apartment, the apartments on both sides and directly above and below it need to be inspected also.

Treatment will only happen if bed bugs are found.

Yes, but only to units that are being rented.

Fines can go as high as $2,000 for a third offense.

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What you need to know about bed bugs in Chicago | Illinois ...

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