When media reports began circulating about an outbreak of bedbugs in South Korea, Kang Jae-gu, a young computer engineer with a fear of bugs, quickly created an app that provided a map of all the locations where cases had been reported.
While South Korean officials were working to curb the phenomenon by installing steam heaters at the country's main airport and allowing home use of industrial pesticides, Kang (age 29) began mapping all the reports.
South Korea, which has been immune to the phenomenon for years, has seen a steady increase in the spread of bed bugs as travel returns after the pandemic, and the country has officially reported more than 100 cases since late November. Statistics.
While the hype over the event was growing, the website “BigBugBoard.com” created by Kang became a huge success as it began to receive about 50,000 visits a day.
“He's so sensitive to bugs that he sleeps under a mosquito net year-round,” says Kang, who admits that seeing pictures of the bugs and their eggs on his site gives him goosebumps.
His fear of bed bugs prompted him to create an interactive website map of reported cases across South Korea.
Similar fears have surfaced in recent months, particularly in Paris, with a significant increase in reports of these pests leading to school closures just months before the 2024 Olympic Games.
In South Korea, 44% of cases were recorded in small, low-cost “koswon” apartments of less than five square meters. The phenomenon also affected other types of limited-edition housing, student housing, and public bathrooms.
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