You doubtless know the old maxim about necessity being the spur to invention. So it was that recent spate of reports of a bedbug breakout in many cities was incentive enough to convince a New York iPhone developer to get coding.
"Everyone's biggest fear is now bedbugs. It seems to be everywhere you turn - Bloomingdales, the Waldorf - you're hearing about it," said Adam Kotkin, the CEO of Apps Genius.
His 11-person company today is releasing an app that will let people go online and map out reports of the latest bug infestations in 10 major American cities. It will also let them submit their own sightings.
"I live in New York and I thought it would be a good way to keep track," Kotkin said. The reports are culled from bulletins sent out by local health departments as well as media and individual reports of bedbug infestations. Kotkin said the next version of the software will color-coordinate the time of the sightings so users will know when they were posted.
"Right now, if I see something about bedbugs at Bloomingdales, I wouldn't know whether that was a report today or from two weeks ago," he added.
Bed Bug Alert app is available for $1.99 from the Apple Store.