Beating Back Bed Bugs

One out of every five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has. Bed bugs can live everywhere—from single-family homes, apartment buildings, and shelters, to office buildings and hotels. Residents, building managers, and businesses take desperate measures to control these tenacious pests, often leading to dangerous use and misuse of pesticides that aggravate asthma and cause unnecessary exposure to high levels of chemicals. Minimal use of pesticides can safely and effectively control Bed bugs. Midwest Pesticide Action Center holds training events, workshops, and has developed outreach materials to educate residents and institutions on how to spot early signs of bed bug infestations, response strategies, and effective treatment options. Continue reading for: Bed Bugs and Chicago Training Events, Outreach that Informs and Empowers, Policy Making, Making Institutional Change

Bed Bugs and Chicago Training Events

Being informed and aware is the best way of controlling bed bugs. We hold training events throughout Chicago and provide a basic knowledge of bed bug behavior and control.

  • We offer sessions to residents, landlords, and business owners.
  • Designed in a “Train the Trainer” format, we provide attendees with materials and tools to share what they learn with their own organizations and residents.
  • Bed Bugs in Chicago has trained over 3,100 individuals and impacted an estimated 144,000 households.
  • Visit the Upcoming Events Page to sign up for the next training.
  • Subscribe to our e-newsletter to be alerted when new events are scheduled.

2013 Regional Bedbug Flyer Banner 2

Outreach That Informs and Empowers

We provide a number of resources that inform landlords and residents on their rights and responsibilities when it comes to bed bug treatment.

  • BITE Back Volume 12 Page 1The B.I.T.E. Back! Newsletter explores new options on controlling bed bugs and how to make informed decisions when paying for services and products.
  • We have many materials in Spanish, and some in Polish, French, and Mandarin.
  • Participating in and hosting information sessions on the Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance.

Policy Making

Midwest Pesticide Action Center works to impact the greatest number of people for the greatest good.

  • As part of our appointment duties to the Structural Pest Control Task Force,MPAC Battling Bed Bugs-page-0 we worked with the state on the State of Bed Bugs in Illinois report, which makes recommendations regarding next steps for the state’s response to the bed bug problem.
  • Midwest Pesticide Action Center helped the City of Chicago’s City Council to pass the public health-protection ordinance on bed bugs, which classifies bed bugs as a public nuisance.
  • The ordinance passed in 2013 and was based on the 2011 Midwest Pesticide Action Center Report: Bed Bugs: Making the Case for a Comprehensive Approach.

Making Institutional Change

Through customized training, workshops, and one-on-one education, Midwest Pesticide Action Center works with institutions and building managers to develop strategies for structural and mechanical methods, monitoring, sanitation, and non-chemical and least-toxic treatments for the control of bed bugs and helps ensures the health of thousands of people. A short list of institutions we have worked with includes:

  • Chicago Housing Authority
  • Heartland Alliance
  • Chicago Department of Family Support Services
  • Mercy Housing
  • The University of Arizona

“We provide homes for the most vulnerable populations of society and have been greatly affected by the resurgence of bedbugs in the area. Our experience with this ‘new normal’ has really affected us and [Midwest Pesticide Action Center] has been an excellent ally in advising us on early detection and providing training resources for both our staff and participants. The training and informative resources [Midwest Pesticide Action Center] has provided to our organization are priceless.” – Director of Property Management, Heartland Housing

Contact Ruth Kerzee at if your organization is interested in working with Midwest Pesticide Action Center. The Polk Bros. Foundation and the City of Chicago funds most of our Beating Back Bed Bugs program.

For More Information

University of Arizona Bed Bug Survey: Learn more about the study and take the survey to help researchers understand the factors behind bed bug infestations. Learn More

Battling Bed Bugs in Chicago- Making the Case for a Comprehensive Plan: Policy paper produced by Midwest Pesticide Action Center. Learn More

Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance: The City of Chicago passes a comprehensive public health-protection ordinance on bed bug control. Learn More

B.I.T.E. Back! We have 11 previous issues of the BITE Back! newsletter, which provides timely information on bed bug treatment and control. Download All Issues

In Your Home: For tips on controlling the spread of bed bugs by making smart decisions. Learn More

View Resources in multiple languages for efficient and safe ways to control bed bugs.  Learn More