Ohio entomologist develops app to identify bed bugs

A close-up look at adult bed bugs, their eggs and fecal spotting. (Source: Ohio State...
A close-up look at adult bed bugs, their eggs and fecal spotting. (Source: Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences)
Updated: Jan. 1, 2019 at 9:15 AM CST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Do you freak out when you see a small insect on your couch or scurrying across your desk and fear that it is a bed bug? Well, there is an app for that.

Susan Jones, an entomologist at Ohio State University, has developed an app that can help spot or identify bed bugs, and provides information on how to get rid of or prevent a potential infestation.

The Bed Bug Field Guide is an app that includes enough photos and descriptions for people to easily identify the insect.

A recent study ranked Cleveland as the top bed bug-infested city in the United States, with three other Ohio cities listed in the top 10.

“Bed bugs can be found in homes, in the workplace, in schools, hotels, theaters, vehicles, in the soles of your shoes, nearly anywhere,” Jones, a founding member of the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force, said. “And, because they’re expensive to get rid of and many people are using ineffective chemicals trying to kill them, bed bugs aren’t going anywhere.”

Jones says bed bugs are nocturnal and are great at hiding. The pests can also reproduce quickly and travel easily.

“The bed bug problem is not going away, so we wanted to create an app to get factual, relevant information into the hands of as many people as possible in an easy-to-use format,” Jones said. “There’s so much misinformation out there, so we wanted to provide the most factual information that we can about bed bugs.”

The Bed Bug Field Guide app works on Android and iOS devices.

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