Three huts on Whanganui Journey Great Walk closed due to ‘bed bug attacks’ –

Three huts along the Whanganui Journey Great Walk are closed following a bed bug attack.

A Department of Conservation media release said the Whakahoro and Teke Huts would be temporarily closed for a highly-precautionary treatment.

Jim Campbell, DOC Whanganui supervisor, said the John Coull Hut where the bites were reported would receive a heavier dose of chemicals and remain closed for the rest of the Great Walk season. The season ended in one week.

Steve Taylor, director of heritage and visitors, said all visitors to these huts had been contacted and advised of treatment plans.

READ MORE:* DOC hut with the 'toughest bed bugs known to mankind' to close for refit* Stewart Island visitor disappointed by visit to bed bug infested DOC hut on Rakiura Track* Tourism staff restoring backcountry huts with Jobs for Nature funding

The release added this was the first time bed bugs had been reported in the Whanganui huts.


Department of Conservation Rakiura operations manager Ren Leppens described bed bugs as master hitchhikers (file photo).

In March, a visitor to the hut along the department's Stewart Island's Great Walk track reported meeting the toughest bed bugs known to mankind.

The hut had been fumigated four times since the initial report in February.

Yesterday, DOC announced the Stewart Island hut would be closed for a week in May to be fully refitted.

Campbell said it was impossible to tell, but highly unlikely, that the Stewart Island and Whanganui bed bug infestations were linked.

He said rangers cleaned the huts daily and none had noticed any bed bugs.

Bed bugs generally attack at night by feeding on the blood of sleeping people and animals.

Although an infestation could be annoying to get rid of, it generally was not a health hazard.

Anyone who had already booked to stay in the huts were eligible for a refund.

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Three huts on Whanganui Journey Great Walk closed due to 'bed bug attacks' -

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