There's an App for That: Track Bedbug Outbreaks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An app for the iPhone claimes that it can help you steer clear of bedbugs.Andrew Siff has more.

    So, bedbugs are everywhere. If only there was a way you could snap your fingers and find out if they were at your hotel, your theater, or your office.

    Well, you can't snap your fingers, but you can touch your finger to a screen. As in an iPhone. Yup, you guessed it, there's now a bedbug app called the Bed Bug Alert.

    The app had some early proponents.

    "I wanna know ahead of time," said Robin Bovis of Ridge.  The Suffolk County grandmother said she would love to use the app to learn if certain hotels, theaters or stores had dealt with infestation.

    But her son-in-law was skeptical.

    "You know what you need," said Jeff Blume of Smithtown. "You need a scanner for bedbugs on the phone.  Otherwise you're not getting anything, really."

    The app says it helps you "stay on top of the rampant spread of bedbugs."

    "No matter where you are located, you can easily see all reported infestations of these pesky creatures," the app proports.

    The APP inventor is Adam Kotkin, a self-described "idea man" who runs a company called AppsGenius in Red Bank, New Jersey.
     
    Why did he devise a bed bug application?
    "To be honest it kind of freaks me out a little, I haven't been to a movie in over six months," said Kotkin, who lives in Manhattan. "You can type in any address in the U.S. and within a one-block location, see all the bed bug reports."

    But some exterminators are skeptical.

    "I think the app is a good idea," said Keith Caneiro of Eco-Star Pest Management. "But the problem is you have no real understanding if where the data is coming from."

    Kotkin says most of his data comes from media reports, but some is culled from Health Departments and other sources. He says like any growing Web application, it becomes tweaked and refined over time. A new version launched late today, through the iTunes store.