Your iPhone doesn't want you to get bed bugs

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
November 2, 2010 - 2:27PM
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We’ve talked a lot about how to find out if your future apartment has bed bugs, and by now you probably know that is a good place to look for information not only about apartment buildings but also hotels. (Tip: User reviews on many other travel review sites will mention bed bugs if they are present at a hotel.) But what if you’re en route somewhere and want to know whether bed bugs are waiting for you at your destination....whether it be movie theater, conference center, client's office or your best friend's apartment building?

The Bed Bug Alert, a $1.99 iPhone app released recently, wants to be your advanced scouting party in 10 cities including New York. Each appropriately blood-red pushpin on its GPS-enabled Google map indicates a business or apartment building where bed bugs have been reported in the media, to the government, or by users. We downloaded it and took a look at NYC. 

The number of pushpins seem on the thin side for a city that logged 34,000 bed bug related calls to 311 last year, and, of course, there are many, many, many times more bed bug infestations than are reported anywhere. Still, the concept has potential once its database fattens up and if it catches on among the bed-bugged as a place to report infestations. 

We reached out to the Bed Bug Alert’s creator, Adam Kotkin, CEO of, headquartered across the river in Red Bank, NJ.

What information sources are you using to compile the map?

We use several data sources, including news media, health departments, housing departments, and user reported data. We compile all these sources into one easy to use application.

Do you use any data from

No, but I am sure we obtain data from some of the same sources.

Why are you doing this?

As a New Yorker, I have major concerns about the bed bug pandemic in NY. I have not been to a movie in 6 months, I fear going to certain department stores that have reports of bed bugs and when I travel I leave my luggage in the hallway until I carefully inspect the room for bed bugs. I wanted people to be able to have a sense of security when they are out of their home so that they do not bring these pesky critters into their home. Bed Bug Alerts allow users to feel more secure in the places that they intend to go. I created this app for people like me…those that don’t like the idea of being attacked by bed bugs.

How many NYC purchasers do you have so far?

While we don’t have numbers based on where users purchased the app except for which country they have purchased it in, we have noticed a large percentage of our users have searched for bed bug alerts in the New York area….this is most likely due to the pandemic that we as New Yorkers are currently facing.

Related posts:

An iPhone app for finding bed bugs in your hotel room

How to find an apartment without bed bugs


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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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