Friday, November 5, 2010

Bed Bugs on TV3 Campbell Live

Yesterday I was in Auckland for the day and today I am still here. The reason I am still here will become clear later.

I came to Auckland to help in the making of a piece for TV3’s Campbell Live program. The reports I have made regarding the increase in bed bug problems tweaked the interest of the program makers and I was contacted to ask if I would help. What they wanted was some film of someone who was suffering a bed bug infestation and was willing to talk about the experience. And allow filming of the bed bugs in their home. A tall order.

Earlier in the week I was contacted by a lovely lady, named Jenny, who recounted a story of picking up bed bugs during her and her family’s travels sometime at the beginning of the year. As I listened to the story I realised how articulate Jenny was in telling of her experiences and how she wanted to educate people on what to look out for, what to do about them and to dispel the stigma surrounding bed bugs.

Once I had answered Jenny’s questions and had given her my advice I asked if she would be prepared to help in the making of the piece for Campbell Live. Jenny happily said yes, saying it would be a great way to get more understanding of these pests out to the public. When I contacted the Campbell Live office to say that I thought I had found a very good example of the problem with a very articulate lady to talk about it, they were also very excited.

There was one hitch. When I contacted Jenny again to arrange the filming; her husband and one of her daughters, when told, had been less enthusiastic and felt that there might be some risk to their workplace reputations. This was exactly the problem with the incorrect perception of linkage between bed bugs and cleanliness that we hoped the program would help to dispel. Jenny managed to convince her family that it would be a message worth helping to get across that bed bugs are coming and they will live in homes and hotels of the highest standards of hygiene; like Jenny’s.

The Campbell Live reporter Tristram Clayton, Jenny, Dave the cameraman and myself filmed the piece in Jenny’s lovely home over a period of nearly four hours yesterday and the piece will be shown on TV3 sometime early next week. I will let you know which day as soon as I know myself.

Who bit the big bold bald bear on the boulder on the shoulder and made the big bold bald bear on the boulder bawl?
A big bed bug bit a bold bald bear and the bold bald bear bled blood badly.


  1. Any chance of the bed bugs hitching a ride on Tristram, Dave or camera equipment? Is that how they spread, like the fleas?

  2. Hello,

    No. Bed bugs are largely inactive during the day except where we deliberately disturbed them for filming. They do not 'hitch a ride' on people and the film equipment was not left in the area for bed bugs to climb on to.

    Fleas are a little different in that if hungry they will hop onto 'passing' food source.

  3. Is Jenny's home free from bed bugs after your visit? Usually how many visits is required to eradicate the bugs? For an average 3 bed room house (120 sq meters) how much should one budget for treatment?

  4. Since the treatment Jenny has commented that she and her husband have the first peaceful nights sleep in months. She has only seen one or two bed bugs since and those were dopey and were 'obviously suffering from the affects of the treatment.' Jenny said. The infestation was extensive and had been developing since February.

    I carried out a thorough treatment of Jenny's home during and after the filming. I used a Kiwicare NO Bed Bugs Box which contains both a concentrate to make up 4 Litres of insecticide containing insect growth regulator (IGR) and a fumigator for flushing and killing adults and nymphs. I used a second fumigator as Jenny's room included an on suite and dressing room and the bedroom had very high ceilings. So the volume of the areas to be treated was higher than a single fumigator is designed for.

    Jenny is still likely see an occasional bed bug for some weeks because the infestation had been there so long, but the residual effect of the products will continue to kill bed bugs as they emerge from hiding places. I have advised Jenny to carry out another treatment 1 month after the one I carried out. It is important that any nymphs hatching from remaining hidden eggs are killed before they have a chance to develop and continue the life cycle.



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