When Bedbugs Became News, the Bedbug Registry Became a Debated Source
Posted by Bill Krueger at 9:09 AM on Oct. 15, 2010
For three years, hardly anyone noticed the quirky little Web site Maciej Ceglowski created to keep track of bedbugs.
That was fine with Ceglowski, because it was more of a personal matter to him after bedbugs bit him one night in a Travelodge in San Francisco.
"It was good psychological therapy for me to get back at the bedbug," Ceglowski told me in a recent interview.
But bedbugs are in the news these days, with numerous reports about a rise in infestations nationwide in apartment buildings, hotels and other buildings. And suddenly Ceglowski's website, bedbugregistry.com, is not so little anymore.
At the beginning of the year, Ceglowski's website might have had 3,000 visitors a day and 20 reports of bedbug sightings. Now, the site gets up to 40,000 visitors and 100 new reports a day. (That's down from a peak of 50,000 visitors a day in August.)
ntended or not, bedbugregistry.com has become a source of news. For some, it's an example of the potential of crowdsourcing, where thousands of anecdotal reports come together to identify clusters of bedbugs in cities around the country. That relies on the assumption, though, that the information reported is accurate. And that gives some people pause.
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