Bed Bug Registry | Finding reports of the bloodsucking bugs
For travelers in other countries, bed bugs are always of concern. A resurgence of bed bugs in the United States has led to the Bed Bug Registry. A way of exacting revenge on the bloodsucking little bugs, the Bed Bug Registry is a user-run database of bedbug sightings.
Biting bedbug blues
The bedbug is technically a parasite that feeds on blood. Mainly active at night, bedbugs are usually found in beds, couches, and other upholstered furniture. There has recently been a resurgence in bedbugs that are resistant to normal pesticides. The theory is that bedbugs are coming back because of increased international travel. Though bedbugs usually carry a stigma, the truth is that bedbugs can happen just about anywhere, and can be very difficult to get rid of. The natural predators of bedbugs — spiders, ants, cockroaches and centipedes are usually banned from homes.
After being bitten by bedbugs in 2006, computer programmer Maciej Ceglowski started the Bedbug registry. The website is designed for user-submitted reports of bedbugs. The site does not try to verify any of the sites submitted to their bedbug registry. There is a way for any location to dispute a report submitted to the bedbug registry, but reports that meet posting guidelines are not removed without the author’s permission. If a location is reported once and then has no further reports for two years, the location is removed from the bedbug registry.
Protecting yourself from bedbugs
When you’re traveling, checking the Bedbug Registry can be the first step in protecting yourself. Remember that the reports submitted to the Bedbug Registry are not confirmed, by any means — so look for patterns. Much like most user-submitted reviews, some may be inaccurate. If you do suspect that you’ve found a bedbug problem, report it immediately. It is very possible that the hotel or your host may not know that they have an infestation, and the earlier they are addressed the more likely they are to have a chance at beating it.