Stop bed bugs in Southland huts
Bed bugs can appear in high-occupancy shared sleeping areas without warning, and DOC’s approach is to work quickly to get any minor infestations under control before they become a major problem. Senior Heritage Ranger and Visitor Dale Chittenden says the rangers check the North Arm Hut daily.
“Only one visitor has had bites while staying at the cabin recently, but we still take it very seriously,” says Dale. “Bed bugs are well known hitchhikers and notoriously difficult to get rid of. We therefore ask visitors to check their equipment to ensure that bed bugs do not enter or leave cabins and other accommodations. ”
The North Arm Hut was last given a full chemical treatment in late September, while the Luxmore Hut was treated in October. This treatment presents a low risk to humans. Dale says the cabin will be temporarily closed if full treatment is required that could pose a risk to the cabin users.
“Our response includes thorough cleaning, chemical treatments, and monitoring. We also communicate with our local accommodation providers so that they are aware of the situation. We want to keep the bed bugs under control while avoiding disrupting the Great Walk experience. We don’t want a few bugs to spoil people’s plans. “
North Arm Hut will close on the morning of November 18, 2021 while a contractor continues to provide bed bug treatment. Luxmore Hut will be treated again over the next two weeks. Both huts will remain open until further notice.
The best pieces of advice to stop bed bugs from spreading are:
- If possible, leave your equipment outside the hut; only take in what you need.
- Make sure you ventilate and clean your equipment regularly.
- Be careful not to spread bed bugs to local accommodation providers.
- Check with staff for their protocol for handling equipment that may have come into contact with bed bugs and their eggs.
- Don’t interrupt the glue traps – leave them alone so we can continue monitoring.
- Ideal control measures may vary depending on the location; If in doubt, ask a supervisor.
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