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Bed Bug Protector Sheet. Effective? Availability?

I have been considering adding a lightweight bed bug protector sheet to my gear. My plan is to place this sheet on top of the mattress and under my sleeping bag. Are barrier sheets effective?

Looking online I found in the UK the "Pyramid Single Bed bug Protector Sheet" at www.gapyeartravelstore.com/single-bed-bug-protector-sheet.html

I contacted the store and found out they will not ship to the USA. Didn't find such an item on Amazon or Ebay and have now emailed the Camino equipment store in SJPDP. So at this point I'm thinking of making my own using a silk sleep bag that I could resew into a flat sheet and impregnate with Pyrethium. Can somebody tell me if silk and Pyrethium are compatible?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Be aware, also, that sleeping on the bottom bunk can be hazardous for you regarding bedbugs. They crawl, they don't fly. So I've been in a situation in Leon where the guy in the bunk below me fought them all night (and had a pile of dead bugs to prove it) and they didn't touch me on the top bunk!
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, July '14 & Sep-Oct '16
Via di Francesco, July '15,
CP Oct. '17, Salvador & Primitivo Sep '19
I have a few questions:

1) what time of year are you walking? Often I would not take a sleeping bag at all.
2) I cannot tell from the link if that item is the same as a sleeping bag liner that you sleep inside, or just single layer sheet that you sleep on top of?
2a) If it is a sleep-inside system, why silk? I tried it and found that it is very unforgiving. Coolmax is stretchy, and therefore easier to sleep in.
3) Why are you thinking of a two piece system? Even if you take a sleeping bag, why not just spray it? https://sawyer.com/products/permethrin-premium-insect-repellent/

We walked in the summer (July 2014). No need for a sleeping bag that time of year--plenty warm and, except for Roncevalles, there were blankets everywhere you needed them (take a cheap fleece blanket for Roncevalles and donate it the next morning). I used the following sleeping bag liner: http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=Coolmax®+Adaptor+Traveller+Liner&o1=0&o2=0&o3=127. I just sprayed mine with Sawyer permethrin, and that worked fine. My wife got hers with it built in, and that worked too. http://www.seatosummit.com/product/...;+Liner+-+Insect+Shield®&o1=0&o2=0&o3=118. If you are going cooler but not cold times of the year, look at this one. http://www.seatosummit.com/product/?item=Thermolite®+Reactor+Liner&o1=0&o2=0&o3=119
3)


Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I got a shop to cut muslin to sheet size and soaked it in Permethrin (note: different product than the Pyrethium you mention). Seemed to work fine but still a little bulky.
Next time I'll try the Bride's veil material, whatever that's called!
Regards
Gerard
 
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Anniesantiago: Never thought about the danger of bottom bunks. Thanks for the tip. Guess I'll be climbing up each night! Love your idea of using a sheer curtain. Great alternative to using silk.

JoJo: I arrive at SJPDP on 16 April. My sleeping bag is a Sea to Summit Traveler down bag. 10C, 476g, and packs very compact due to the down fill. Given the 0C/8C temps on the early stages of the camino it seems a reasonable item to take. I would greatly prefer not having bed bug repellant touching my skin and not too keen on spraying the outside of the sleeping bag either. Certainly the repellant will rub off from the sheet to the bag, but I'm hoping it would be far less than directly spraying the bag exterior. FWIW the silk liner I'm thinking of remaking into a flat sheet is only 115g and the size of your fist.
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
You can make any sheet or fabric bed bug proof (or at least a bed bug deterrent ;)) by spraying it with permethrin. You can buy permethrin on Amazon or at a local sporting goods store. No need to buy special sheets as the spray wears off over time and after repeated washings anyway.

I had a silk liner already so I sprayed it and used it under my lightweight sleeping bag. No bugs. And I usually had a bottom bunk.

There are a few tricks to help prevent bed bugs and I'm sure they do help but it's partly just luck. You never know who was there hours before you. Just check out your surroundings and take reasonable precautions but try not to worry. Not everyone gets the uninvited guests.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017

bed bug death by permethrin

Warning; funeral music that will drive you crazy

I can't believe I watched that for three minutes before pushing it forward! And yes, the music was pretty irritating, ha ha!
 
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Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Year of past OR future Camino
September/October 14, May 17, September 18, MAY 2020
I purchased a bedbug sheet from Lifesystems, a product that comes from the UK. It is a mesh type fabric. About $20 or so.
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
Can somebody tell me if silk and Pyrethium are compatible?
I sprayed my Sea to Summit silk liner with permethrin last trip. No problems. I also sprayed the outside of my pack (nylon) and my sarong (probably rayon) with no problem to the fabrics.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)

bed bug death by permethrin

Warning; funeral music that will drive you crazy
Does it mean I'm sick that 1) the music was interesting in short bursts 2)wondering if the bed bugs actually linger20 minutes in order to be killed 3)I felt quite bad watching even a bug die
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Does it mean I'm sick that 1) the music was interesting in short bursts 2)wondering if the bed bugs actually linger20 minutes in order to be killed 3)I felt quite bad watching even a bug die
No, it merely means that you a) have excellent taste in music; one of the pieces is the funeral music of Queen Anne by by Henry Purcell (1659 - 95)
b) that you are a mensch and do not like suffering in general, but c) you have plenty of time to read about bed bugs...
 
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Marina Zd

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April 2016.
Camino Primitivo May 2018.
Hi ! I have a question regarding the permethrin spray: did you treat the sleeping bag, sheet and pack only once before starting the Camino, or should I take a spray with me and treat the gear every few days? I will start my first Camino in April and I first thought that in that time of year there is no worry for this little bandido :) but you can never be too careful, right?...
Thanks...
 

mcopeland

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
Yikes! Just read about permethrin. It doesn't seem like something I'd like on my skin or even in my pack. Are there alternatives (besides getting bitten)?
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
There is a French spray, I forget its name, sorry, against 'punaises de lit'...
You can find it in St Jean pied de Port if you start there...
 
Last edited:

GlenysP

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
There is a French spray, I forget its name, sorry, against 'punaises de lit'...
You can find it in St Jean pied de Port if you start there...
Does it say what the active ingredient is? It might be worse for us than either of the Pyrethrin type products.
 
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ELHS220

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Anniesantiago: Never thought about the danger of bottom bunks. Thanks for the tip. Guess I'll be climbing up each night! Love your idea of using a sheer curtain. Great alternative to using silk.

JoJo: I arrive at SJPDP on 16 April. My sleeping bag is a Sea to Summit Traveler down bag. 10C, 476g, and packs very compact due to the down fill. Given the 0C/8C temps on the early stages of the camino it seems a reasonable item to take. I would greatly prefer not having bed bug repellant touching my skin and not too keen on spraying the outside of the sleeping bag either. Certainly the repellant will rub off from the sheet to the bag, but I'm hoping it would be far less than directly spraying the bag exterior. FWIW the silk liner I'm thinking of remaking into a flat sheet is only 115g and the size of your fist.
I was on the Camino from May 17 to June 26 last year. I stayed in albergues maybe two-thirds of the time. I never saw a bedbug; I never felt a bed bug; I never heard anyone else mention them either. And I always slept on the bottom. Maybe I was just lucky!! My bedding was nothing more than a queen size flannel sheet. There was plenty of material to wrap around me and I was never cold. But you are starting a month earlier than I did.
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
I was on the Camino from May 17 to June 26 last year. I stayed in albergues maybe two-thirds of the time. I never saw a bedbug; I never felt a bed bug; I never heard anyone else mention them either. And I always slept on the bottom. Maybe I was just lucky!! My bedding was nothing more than a queen size flannel sheet. There was plenty of material to wrap around me and I was never cold. But you are starting a month earlier than I did.
I think that's a bit of the uncertainty of the Camino. Last year was seasonally very hot for months whereas I've read that only s few years ago, maybe 2012/13 , it was snowing in May.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I was on the Camino from May 17 to June 26 last year. I stayed in albergues maybe two-thirds of the time. I never saw a bedbug; I never felt a bed bug; I never heard anyone else mention them either. And I always slept on the bottom. Maybe I was just lucky!! My bedding was nothing more than a queen size flannel sheet. There was plenty of material to wrap around me and I was never cold. But you are starting a month earlier than I did.

MOST pilgrims will never see a bedbug and never will be bitten.
But if you do, and if you are,
it's an experience you'll never forget,
and most wish they'd taken precautions.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I've seen tulle mentioned a couple of times. What would be it's purpose? Surely not as a physical barrier against bedbugs?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I've seen tulle mentioned a couple of times. What would be it's purpose? Surely not as a physical barrier against bedbugs?
You spray it with permethryne, it serves to "crarry" the chemical which keeps the bugs away.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Yikes! Just read about permethrin. It doesn't seem like something I'd like on my skin or even in my pack. Are there alternatives (besides getting bitten)?
Given it's not clear what your concerns are, or what you have read about permethrin, my comments would be:
  1. the only approved application of which I am aware that requires it to be applied directly to the skin is in nit shampoo and other nit treatments.
  2. in applications where it is applied to clothing and equipment, once it has dried, transmission through the skin is extremely low, which is why it is able to be used in those applications provided you avoid it coming into contact with naturally moist areas of the body - mouth, nose, eyes, etc. So treat outer garments, not underwear.
  3. it is an extremely effective, but not instantaneous, insecticide, and is toxic to cats. Care needs to be taken when treating clothing and equipment, and the recommended handling precautions should be followed if one is not to kill beneficial insects like bees or otherwise contaminate the local environment.
  4. alternatives are generally less effective.
There are a variety of good information sources on this in national health authorities and the like.
 
Last edited:

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).

bed bug death by permethrin

Warning; funeral music that will drive you crazy

I don't want to sleep with them alive for that long. Anything you know of that will kill them before I get bitten?
 

nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Be aware, also, that sleeping on the bottom bunk can be hazardous for you regarding bedbugs. They crawl, they don't fly. So I've been in a situation in Leon where the guy in the bunk below me fought them all night (and had a pile of dead bugs to prove it) and they didn't touch me on the top bunk!
I was at an Albergue in Burgos where I stayed for three days due to a knee injury it's the Albergue with the winding staircase above the chapel.I had my sleeping bag that was sprayed with permethrin. A young lady slept above me and when we reached Leon at the Benedictine Albergue she had bedbugs and I didn't this was due to my sleeping bag being protected against bb. Many will argue permethrin is toxic nevertheless I am a healthy 70+and it has not affected me.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
I take a sheet that I have impregnated with pyrethrum (permethrin is human made) on all my long distance hikes and have never had a problem.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I was at an Albergue in Burgos where I stayed for three days due to a knee injury it's the Albergue with the winding staircase above the chapel.I had my sleeping bag that was sprayed with permethrin. A young lady slept above me and when we reached Leon at the Benedictine Albergue she had bedbugs and I didn't this was due to my sleeping bag being protected against bb. Many will argue permethrin is toxic nevertheless I am a healthy 70+and it has not affected me.
Yep. I swear by it and treat my sleeping bag and pack each year.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Permethrin is not a bed bug deterrent. They can and will crawl onto permethrin treated fabric. It does however kill them eventually. The primary reason to treat your gear with permethrin is to avoid transporting the critters to the next albergue - or into your home.

Watch how they slowly die in this video.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
Permethrin is not a bed bug deterrent. They can and will crawl onto permethrin treated fabric. It does however kill them eventually. The primary reason to treat your gear with permethrin is to avoid transporting the critters to the next albergue - or into your home.

Watch how they slowly die in this video.

This is why I put my treated sheet on my bunk as soon as I get into the alburgue.

Never had a problem.
 

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