Maybe the iPhone does have an "app" for everything. Now there's an app to help the traveler keep a wary eye open for hotel bed bug infestations. Check it out at http://appshopper.com/lifestyle/bed-bug-identifier
If you're not quite sure what an "app" is, the word is shorthand for mobile device application. These are down loadable, mini-software programs that works on mobile devices like the iPhone or iTouch or even Blackberry. Some of these programs are quite ingenious and some are even useful. For anyone who has heard about bed bugs and wants more information immediately, this little program might do the trick.
The bed-bug-identifier app shows pictures of all life stages of the insect, where they are most commonly found in a typical hotel room (in other words, where to inspect your room), safest places to put your luggage when you check in, and even what bed bug bites look like.
Because I don't have an iPhone myself, I am unable to do a critical review of the software--although my Extension colleague from Colorado, Whitney Cranshaw, calls it "very cleverly done". He says he thinks "a lot of people might find it useful-from frequent travellers to motel personnel to others with interests in bed bug detection."
The online description claims that it includes an interactive hotel map...which if I interpret this right, is the central value of the program. Such information is available already online through a site called bedbugregistry.com I don't know how anyone can vouch for the accuracy or currency of this kind of information, but in theory the idea is a good one for travelers. On the downside, I suspect that soon we'll hear of apps like this being sued by hotel owners who have been victimized by travelers seeking revenge for some perceived form of bad service unrelated to bed bugs.
If anyone downloads this $4.99 app, let me and others know what you think.