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Stop Bed Bugs Biting

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A Global Plague?

Bed Bugs are found throughout the world and are becoming more common in New Zealand, particularly where there is a large turnover of visitors; places such as backpackers, hotels and motels, but you are also at risk in your home.

Bed Bugs hide in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on our blood, attracted to the food source by body heat and carbon dioxide from in our breath. They feed by using their hypodermic like mouthparts to penetrate your skin. They then inject you with saliva containing aneasthetic and anti-coagulant proteins to stop your blood clotting. It is these proteins that cause itchy reactions.

The Bed Bug is wingless and therefore likely to be found near to where the host sleeps; in the mattress or bed frame, behind wallpaper and in furniture. They will hide in spaces behind skirting, the seams of mattresses, curtains, furniture etc.

Because they can ingest up to seven times their body weight in blood in one feed, they can survive long periods without feeding. After mating takes place, Bed Bugs will lay up to 200 eggs. The nymphs that hatch out are miniature versions of the adult. There is no larval stage. The nymphs will moult several times over a period of 6-18 months before becoming an adult.

Bed Bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of because they hide so well and there is evidence that they have become resistant to some insecticides, but they can be controlled with thoroghness and persistance.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Control of bed bugs requires a four pronged attack.

  1. Control of bed bugs requires very thorough examination and treatment of all the possible places where they might hide. Check around seams of mattresses, bed base, bed heads, curtains and other furniture. Also check around the edges of carpets, behind skirting, edges of wallpaper and picture frames and in all other crevices within the room and adjacent rooms. Bed Bugs leave tell-tale blackened smears of blood which look like ticks made with a black pen.
  2. Carefully collect all bedding from the room and place in a plastic bag for transport to your washing machine, being careful to make sure no insects are dropped on the way. If possible wash the clothes in a hot wash.
  3. Spray all areas where signs of infestation are found and all cracks crevices and seams with NO Fleas Total. This product contains a residual insecticide and a growth regulator which will help prevent young Bed Bugs reaching maturity and continuing the life cycle.
  4. Release NO Bugs Borafume Fumigators (2 for an average sized room). The fumigant produced will kill adult bed bugs and penetrate into areas that cannot be treated directly. Lean the bed mattress and bed base upright against a wall in the room to improve exposure to the vapour.

If the Bed Bug infestation has become established it may be necessary to repeat this treatment. Always follow the instructions on the products carefully. 

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Kiwicare have just launched

Kiwicare have just launched a NEW product for eradication of bed bugs. The NO Bed Bugs Box is a Total Solution Pack containing long lasting spray concentrate, IGR insect growth regulator, fumigator and detailed instructions.

There is also a ready to use trigger spray for topping up control in bedrooms and protecting luggage and bedding while travelling.

For more information....

Did you watch TV3's Target

Did you watch TV3's Target program on bed bugs last night?

The motel that had the problem with them is not alone in having to deal with bed bugs. They are very much a problem for the hospitality industry in New Zealand and other parts of the world. The problem is that, as the entomologist on the program said, these pests are great hitch-hikers, travelling easily on clothing and luggage with travellers.

This does not mean that they are only associated with hotels, motels and back packers but will also come home with you and they infest homes just as frequently.

They are indeed difficult to control as the article above alludes to. But you can get rid of bed bugs by DIY bed bug control as described above or here.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

I surely want to get rid of

I surely want to get rid of them.

Hi Beds, It is true that bed

Hi Beds,

It is true that bed bugs can be hard to see when they are nymphs and because they are excellent at hiding during the day, but as adults, and when they are in the open, they are easy to see, being 4-6mm in diameter. They can be pale and almost translucent when they have not fed for some time but are red/brown after feeding on blood.

You will find some photos here. The photo of the bed bugs clustered behind the stapled vinyl is one I took at a hotel in Christchurch. It is of the back of a bedhead that had been screwed to the wall. Note also the black blood marks where bed bugs have regurgitated some of their blood meal.

yes i agree with david, good

yes i agree with david, good advice

Hi Josh, It is possible that

Hi Josh,

It is possible that you have an infestation of fleas or bed bugs but I think there are still other possible causes. As mentioned above. I think the best thing you can do is treat the problem as though you have bed bugs and fleas in the house. Check out the Kiwicare site for information on how to get rid of fleas and bed bugs for some good advice. I also suggest visiting your doctor if you have not already. He or she may be able to identify the cause from the bites.

Good Luck


Small blood spots on the

Small blood spots on the bottom sheet [mostly by the shoulder area] and some on the pillow cases . I have/had itchy bites [mostly on legs , some on stomach , back and arms] , but I haven't heard the buzzing of mosquitos nor seen a flea in a long time (we have no pets but there's a few cats around ) .

Hi Josh, I would say don't

Hi Josh,

I would say don't assume you have bed bugs until you find one, or a discarded bed bug exoskeleton, or marks like ticks made with a black biro in the seams of the bed or other furniture.

If the only signs are bites or marks on the skin there are several other possibilities; fleas (but if you looked for bed bugs you might expect to find these), mosquitoes or other flying biting insects, or the 'bites' may be welts caused by a reaction to something else in your environment such as fibre glass particles, or it may be a psychosomatic reaction (we are all susceptible to feeling itchy when we think about bed bugs or fleas, I am beginning to scratch now myself).

What are the signs that you have seen so far?


Is it possible that

Is it possible that something else can cause bed bugs problems , i'm finding it hard to find just one .

More information on bed bugs

More information on bed bugs here.

Congratulations. Keep up the


Keep up the good work. It is great that you have been bite free for such a period. But, do remember to keep up the treatments and the vigilance. You are right that the bed bugs can survive without a blood meal for several months and also the eggs can be ready to hatch and start the cycle over again.

For some more info check out the Kiwicare site.

Good luck


Well, I think I'm ready to

Well, I think I'm ready to soon claim victory over these Bed Bugs. It took a while, I emptied the room out at least 3 times over a 3 wk period. I haven't seen or got a bite now for about 10 days. I created a "moat" around my bed, which was a suggestion i saw online. Each of my bed "feet" i put in small bowls with vaseline coating the bottom. and also sprayed in the bowls too. I made sure nothing was touching the bed, such as sheets, etc, and just sprayed and sprayed and cleaned constantly. So, I think it's good now. But they saw the bugs can last for months when they're in Hibernation mode, so I probably still may have a few lingering. But I think they're gone for the most part. Thanks to all. My advice would be to stay vigilant, you're not going to spray and be rid of all of them in a day or two, it takes a lot of effort. Good luck

Thanks for your valuable

Thanks for your valuable advice.We have only one member of the family complaining of this, so fingers crossed I need only to address the problem in his bedroom..cheers

Thanks for the advice to

Thanks for the advice to all.

Hello, Bed bugs are amongst


Bed bugs are amongst the most difficult pests to get rid of, particularly if they have managed to get established in a house.

You can't be too thorough! Check ALL cracks crevices and seams in the bedroom and the rooms surrounding. Look in the bed frame, behind picture frames, curtain seams, edges of carpet, behind skirting and architrave, light fittings, electric sockets (take care to disconect power), wardrobes, etc, etc. These bugs are experts at hiding.

Ask what product is being used to spray your bedroom. A product with a growth regulator such as NO Fleas Total (,19,0,0,html/Bed-Bugs ) will be best as it will stop the bed bugs reaching maturity and continuing the cycle of infestation.

Good luck

I don't know how but I got

I don't know how but I got infested with these little **ckers. They're horrible. I spray and spray, washed every piece of clothes,bedding,etc in the room. moved out for about 5 days and sprayed hard. I moved back in, with a mattress still in the bag. Last night, I got bitten up again. about 6 bites. I don't know what else to do. My landlord is too cheap for a licensed exterminator, he sends his own people with spray.

I'm going to have to move if it doesn't stop. I work in an office and have all these little bites all over. It's embarassing. I don't know what else to do.