It's the bloodsucking, itchy truth: Chicago ranks fifth in the most bedbug-infested big cities in the country.
The creepy-crawly critters have become a common problem, with the number of confirmed cases growing every day.
"We're seeing 10 cases a month out of this office alone," said Larry List, a Terminix employee from Elmhurst.
Aside from spotting them visually, a tell-tale sign of their presence is blood or black spots near the head or foot of your mattress.
Experts theorize that an increase in international travel helped spark the bedroom bug, and they suggest a couple of tips for travelers:
- Don't unpack your clothes and store them in hotel furniture
- Store your luggage on racks
- Once back home, vacuum the suitcase and wash the clothes in warm water.
Bedbugs have been found in even the fanciest places, List said, so paying more for your hotel may not guarantee that it's bedbug-free.
He recommends inspecting everything when you stay somewhere and contacting a professional if you find something.
"It's something that's difficult for us to treat and virtually impossible for you to treat yourself," he said.
1. New York
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. Dayton, Ohio
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Los Angeles
13. Louisville, Ky.
15. Minneapolis, Minn.