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iPhone App Shows You the Bugs

by Tom Moccia | November 3, 2010November 3, 2010 10:00 am PDT

So as I author this piece I have just put my 8 and 3 year old daughters to bed, and as I walk out of the room I always say “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”. I then sit down at my computer and scan the App Store for some interesting new iPhone apps, to my surprise I find the App “Bed Bug Alert” priced at $1.99.

The App was inspired by the recent reports of bedbug outbreaks in many cities across the country, most notably, New York. Bedbugs are not some mythical monster that just scare kids, they are a very real problem that can have serious consequences on your health.

screen-shot-2010-10-25-at-83042-pmAdam Kotkin, CEO of Apps Genius explains:

Everyone’s biggest fear is now bedbugs. It seems to be everywhere you turn—Bloomingdales, the Waldorf—you’re hearing about it.

After a lot of coding, and approval processes, the 11 person company has released an app that will give people the opportunity to go online and see reports of bedbugs infestations in many areas as well as submitting their own bug sightings. Simply let the iPhone use the built-in GPS to pinpoint your location, or manually enter the address to submit a sighting.

The reports are obtained from local health department advisories along with media reports and individual submissions via the app. Kotkin mentioned the next version of the software will implement color coded time stamped sightings so users will know when sightings were posted. “Right now, if I see something about bedbugs at Bloomingdales, I wouldn’t know whether that was a report from today or from two weeks ago,” Kotkin added.

This application will be of great use for the frequent traveler and road warrior whom would like to get an idea of the cleanest hotels and motels in their destination city. Bedbugs are not strictly a hotel problem, retail stores and restaurants can also be infected with bedbugs, and this app gives consumers an idea of how clean the businesses they frequent really are.

Have you ever come across bedbugs in your travels? How bad an infestation have you found? How likely would you be to use an app to see if the place you are potentially staying at has bedbugs?


Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...

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