Bed Bugs (2013)

Do I need a bed bug sheet?


The question was:

I found many discussions about this, but most of them was solved by Permethrin, but I can not find it in Europes stores. Is this problem really so hot on Camino Frances, or are there just few rare cases in concrete albergues? Thank you for answers and sharing your experiences. I will travel from SJPP in half of April.

Read the conversation on bed bugs for the 2013 season here in our Camino Forum.

9 Replies to “Bed Bugs (2013)”

  1. I walked the camino frances this past summer. Sprayed everything I down with permethrin before embarking on the trip. carried a little bottle of bug spray just in case, which I ended up dumping about halfway through because I hadn’t encountered any bed bugs. And then somewhere past Sarria (pretty much once I hit Galicia) they popped up. Hard to say where exactly (which albergue) because at first I was convinced they were mosquito bites and also because you don’t necessarily notice the bites the next day. But the tale tell signs (3 bumps in a row) and an itch worse than any mosquito bite convinced me otherwise. I never saw the buggers, don’t know if they hitched a ride with me, or if they were present at several albergues I ended up staying at. The ate up my arms mostly – I still have scars from the unavoidable itching. I was happy to have treated with permethrin beforehand (like my shirts) – the bugs did not bite me where ever I was wearing treated material. I found more bug spray towards the end and would spray myself down before bed every night to prevent more bites and once I got to Santiago, I took everything to the cleaners and had it washed in muy caliente water. No bugs after that. And as I still had more travelling to do after the camino for a few more weeks elsewhere, I bought huge garbage bags and would put my backpack in one whenever I was done for the day to prevent reinfestation.

    1. [color=#408000]
      If you treat your sleeping bag with Permetherin that should help quite a bit. The silk liner I was referring to is called the [b]”Cocoon Insect Shield Safari Silk Rectangular Bag”[/b], and I bought mine online at Campmor:

      It weighs only 5.6 oz and costs $69.99 (U.S.) This is what it looks like:


      Buen Camino!


  2. My friend had a different room than me on a convent in France.She was bitten a lot.In many “rows” with five or six bitts in each.She did not think much on it at first,because it did not itch much.But as days went on it became more and more itchy. We went on a farmacia,but they did not know.The bits went worse every day.They were wery inflamated.Yellow pus came out all the time. We understood then why some gites did not want us to bring in our backpacks.When I were back home,all my stuff went into a garbage sack,and out on the veranda.The rucksack went into the freezer for 3 days.
    Norway is wery strict when it comes to repellent stuff,but we can buy permethrin to repell ticks and moskitos.This bug is wery contagious.We got good adwices at the chemist,and some repeller stuff.Guess it is easy to buy a repeller at the place you start walking. As I see it, they should sell the repeller where yuo make the overnights,and they should also give advises how to use it. It will continue to be a problem,I guess.

  3. They say its dangerous to spray for example the sleepingbag and then use it. Its not good for the skin .

  4. The pilgrim store in SJPP, where I started walking sold me a small spray bottle of repellant to spray on the bed before putting my sleeping bag on it. I also sprayed my sleeping bag and pack and, while I was using the spray, didn’t have any issues. It was made from a substance taken from chrysanthemum flowers.

  5. You can use also etheric lavender oil inside of your sleeping bag and on your skin (apply a small amount careful or mix it with some skin protection oil and keep it away from your eyes!!!), this will keep insects away. Patchouli also will do it, but also many people will not like the smell 🙂

  6. Permethrin is a synthetic pesticide which is very similar to crysanthemum-based treatments. It’s apparently of low toxicity to humans but you should avoid breathing in any dust/spray. You should also avoid it if pregnant or breast feeding because its effects on very young children or a foetus are not fully understood. Oh, and keep it away from your cat – it’s toxic to cats.
    Best to only use when necessary as bugs are starting to develop immunity to it.

  7. I just sprayed permethrin on my sleeping bag, backpack, hat, etc. I hope that’s enough. I have been debating for days after I purchased the spray bottle, but finally decided to go for it after reading all the posts in this thread.

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