3 aldermen propose making bed bugs landlords` responsibility - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

3 aldermen propose making bed bugs landlords` responsibility

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

City Council's Committee on Health and Housing heard testimony that would make your skin crawl: Stories about bedbugs. Experts said they can show up in the cleanest, nicest environments.

The committee wants to declare bedbugs a public nuisance, after Orkin Pest Control recently announced that of all major U.S. cities, Chicago is their top client for bedbug treatment. The call for bedbug treatment increased 33% in one year.

Bed bugs are spread through the sale of second hand bedding and because of insects that hitchhike their way into homes and hotels.

The City Council committee wants landlords and condominium boards to act responsibly when infestations are reported, or face fines up to $1,000 a day.

Housing advocates who testified before the committee said tenants who report bedbug infestations sometimes face a fiercer pest: the landlords themselves.

They said landlords blame the tenant for the problem and try to bully them or evict them. The proposed ordinance is expected to address that, too.

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