A German tour guide claims an Auckland motel has failed to address a bug infestation leaving him covered from top to toe in painful itchy bites.
Juergen Abele, who runs Te Ra Tours - a boutique tour company tailored for German tourists - claims he was bitten by bugs at Auckland North Shore Motels and Holiday Park for the second time in a year.
But the motel's management says it doesn't breed bugs and has a pest control firm visiting the room tomorrow to inspect it.
Abele has a regular booking for his tour group and claims he was first hit by bugs at the same motel in March last year.
He said he contacted the motel's management then who apologised and gave him a free night's accommodation as compensation. They also promised they would get the rooms cleaned and it would not happen again.
But a year later, Abele said he was left covered with bites again after staying at the motel last Wednesday night but this time he claims the bites are much worse.
He said he was pleased it had happened to him and not the 13 German clients he was hosting.
"I was really very very badly hit this time. I think I've got about 200 bites all over the body, hands everywhere."
The bites were so unbearable that he had to have showers every few hours on Thursday to night to try to relieve the itchiness, he said.
"I couldn't sleep. My whole body was crazy."
Abele then left his tour group with its driver in Cooks Beach in the Coromandel and caught a ferry to Whitianga to see a doctor who prescribed an antihistamine and a steroid for the bites.
He said it was one of the worst cases the GP had ever seen.
"She was quite astounded actually."
Abele said he complained to a motel staff member when he was leaving on Thursday morning who said she would pass the complaint on to the manager but he never heard back.
He received an email response from the general manager on Friday who, in the email sighted by the Herald, said she was "shocked" to receive his email and would get back to him once a pest control firm had inspected the room.
But Abele did not think their response was good enough and said it shouldn't have happened a second time.
He had already given the business a second chance and would now be finding somewhere else for his tour groups to stay in future.
Auckland North Shore Motels and Holiday Park general manager Priya Ramachandran told the Herald she was looking into the complaint and had booked a pest control contractor to inspect the room on Monday.
"I did ask him [Abele] to wait until Tuesday morning because he could have brought it too. Bed bugs just don't pop up like that. Either it comes from travellers or other people to our motel. It's not like we breed them here."
Ramachandran wanted to wait for an expert in the field before answering any questions.
Once a complaint had been received it was normal procedure for a room to be blocked and not rented out until a pest control contractor had attended, she said.
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