A motel accused of having a bed bug infestation has been given a clean bill of health by a pest control company.

But an afflicted customer - a German tour guide operator - is adamant the motel is to blame for his 200 insect bites.

Juergen Abele was covered in hundreds of unbearably itchy bites after staying at the Auckland North Shore Motels & Holiday Park last Wednesday night.

He now says he will take future business elsewhere - and is grateful it was him, not the 13 German clients he was hosting, who had been the victim of the vicious insects.


Tour operator Juergen Abele says he was savaged by insect bites, blames motel
Bed bugs 101: Seven steps to getting rid of stowaways and bug-proof your holiday
Bed bugs are harder to get rid of than ever, study finds
Review sites have revolutionised booking holidays, but can you really trust them?

However a pest control company that inspected the room this morning found no sign of bedbugs. The report from Flick Anticimex, seen by the Herald, says the officer found "no sightings of fleas or bedbugs" in a visual inspection.

"I recommended we spray anyway as bed bugs could be around/under bed slats, but client declined," the report said.

General manager Priya Ramachandran said it was a shock to hear Abele had been bitten.

"We immediately got in touch with a pest controller who was supposed to come on Monday (this didn't happen), so we contacted another pest controller and he visited the site this morning and has not spotted any signs of fleas or bugs."

The room had also been well checked by an experienced staff member following Abele's stay.

"She found no signs of bugs or blood stains on the bed sheets (which is usually the case). Also, there have been many other customers who have stayed in the same room before Mr Abele, and we have received no complaints from any of them," she said.

"I do sincerely feel for Mr Abele as he is a regular at our motel and we definitely would give him a refund for his night's stay with us.


"But what I fail to understand is how only Mr Abele gets bitten both times though there were 10 other rooms booked for his group and no one else had any issue."

Ramachandran said the bites were bigger than normal bed bug bites and suggested jellyfish or sealice could be to blame.

Abele has stayed at the motel about 14 times but says he'll never go there again - despite a pest control company giving them the all-clear. Photo / Supplied
Abele has stayed at the motel about 14 times but says he'll never go there again - despite a pest control company giving them the all-clear. Photo / Supplied

However Abele rejected that claim.

Abele had stayed at the motel about 14 times since October 2018, about eight of those times with a tour group. He has a fixed discount at the motel.

He claimed to have already suffered a bedbug attack last year staying at the same establishment, at which time he had been offered a free night's stay at the motel.

But this time was far more severe.


"I couldn't sleep. My whole body was crazy."

Abele told the Herald today the bites had gotten less itchy over time, thanks to the antihistamine and steroid tablets prescribed by his GP. The doctor was also certain the bites were from bedbugs, and told him it would take up to 14 days for them to get better.

He poo-pooed the results of the inspection which came a whole week after he stayed at the motel.

If he had been in the motel's position he would have chucked the mattress out before the pest control officers arrived, Abele said.