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Bed bugs alert

A

Anonymous

Guest
#1
This information is current and to alert pilgrims further back down the Camino Frances to a bed bug situation in Hontanas.

There are three pilgrims here at Boadilla this evening who have all come from the Hontanas Municipal hostal with multiple bed bug bites, and there is a definite bed bug risk there. NOTE: the other hostal in Hontanas is the Puntido and that is NOT the place where the bed bugs are reported.

Gareth

PS - what is the best way to alert the authorities to this situation? Is there a standard procedure? THE PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM THIS ARE AFRAID IF THEY MENTION IT HERE THEY WILL BE TURNED OUT, SO DARENOT SPEAK TO THE HOSPITALERO. That doesn´t help, does it?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
I'll send a message to the Pilgrim's Office - that might help.
 
#3
Tell them to wash everything they have, including the inside & outsides of their packs. If the albergue has a washing machine & dryer, it's worth the investment to get all that done in one fell swoop. Then when they get home, dump everything in the freezer for about 2-3 weeks before taking it out again. (seriously)

On my last camino, I had to check into a hotel & wash everything by hand, then stay an extra day while everything dried in an attempt to ditch another pilgrim who loved to follow me everyday & dump her pack next to mine so she could share the wealth, so to speak...need I say she was covered in bites???? :shock:

Kelly
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
sillydoll said:
I'll send a message to the Pilgrim's Office - that might help.
Many thanks. I stayed late this morning at the Boadilla refugio, so I was last to leave and spoke to the hospitalero. He was very grateful for the information and said they had had a similar situation once before and had to close to treat their beds. That also involved Hontanas. He will speak with the lady who runs he refugio in Hontanas, who may be completely unaware of the situation in her refugio.

(The thing is, the hospitaleros quite often only turn up to close the refugio long after people have gone, so they get no feedback from pilgrims in the morning in some places.)

Meanwhile, do not use the Refugio Municipio in Hontanas. I met another pilgrim as I arrived here in Fromista who also stayed at the Hontanas refugio. He was waiting for the Farmacia here to open, as he was so badly bitten (all over) that he was in a very poor state and was thinking of quitting the Camino.

Gareth
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#6
sillydoll said:
These pilgrims reported bed bugs at a private albergue in Estella

http://buzzinflies.blogspot.com/2008/08/4-days-in.html
I'm a little puzzled by this account, Sil. Was it a private albergue? They say municipal, but the interesting bit is the sighting of the beasts!

"...considering the time and the place (municipal hostel, no other beds available) we killed as many as we could (great fun) and tried to get back to sleep."

Killed as many as they could? How did they see them? These are microscopic creatures, yes? Are they talking about something else? E.g. fleas. In my experience, when you wake up in the night during a bed bug attack, even if you remove yourself from the dark of the dormitory and try to deal with the matter in the full light of the bathroom, you cannot see the culprits! What are they talking about?

Gareth
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#7
I think bed bugs are not microscopic at all, they are bigger than fleas, like 3 or 4 times bigger.
 

viajero

Active Member
#8
Bedbugs are not microscopic. Fortunately I did not encounter them on the Camino but have on other travels. You can see them. I was told while traveling in SE Asia that people think they live in the mattresses but really tend to be found on the framework (especially wood) of the bed itself and crawl up only to find victims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#9
What I recall from my gap year in India, thirty something years ago, when I got bed bugs in my bedding roll on a train journey, I could can easily spot them in the bedding - round when swollen with my blood - but I don't think you'd find them on your body if you rushed off to the bathroom to look. And presumably by the time you are itching (reaction to the anti-clotting agent they inject so their meal doesn't clot)the biter (blighter?) is off sleeping off his/her yummy meal.

That reminds me of an old joke:
Daddy, Daddy, what's a vampire?
Be quiet, dear, and finish your soup before it clots
 
#10
BED BUGS IN GRANON AND SAN JUAN DE ORTEGA!!!

This information is current, and please inform as many people as you can (on other forums).

I have passed Granon 4 days ago and San Juan de Ortega 3 days ago. Trehe are many, many people with multiple bed bug bites on the way. I am a victim of it as well. Today I have landed in Centro medico and received injection as well as some creams for itching and tablets for those bites. I am quite sick at the moment because of that.

I repeat- there is a huge bed bug problem in San Juan de Ortega!!! and there are a lot of people carrying bugd further up the route.
I will try to visit this forum tomorrow for an update.

Kuba Pigora
 
#11
Re: BED BUGS IN GRANON AND SAN JUAN DE ORTEGA!!!

The worse problem is how to clean ALL the albergues.

Cleaning ALL the camino the same day? it's clear that BUGS travel inside the backpags. Can you clean it at the same time, too? It's really necessary to do that. And, what about the private albergues? And the Hostals, pensions and hotels? When it's the best momento during the year to do that? Who has to pay for it? Because this is a problem since two or, may be, three years ago. how the bugs survive during the winter? and where?

I'm lucky, I've never founded it.

Buen and please! clean Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Re: BED BUGS IN GRANON AND SAN JUAN DE ORTEGA!!!

Javier Martin said:
The worse problem is how to clean ALL the albergues.

Cleaning ALL the camino the same day? it's clear that BUGS travel inside the backpags. Can you clean it at the same time, too? It's really necessary to do that.
If you look at this post you will see that they are thinking of closing all albergues for 15 days (the same 15 days) to clean them up:
el-camino-frances/topic4620.html

It seems like they are working on a plan.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#14
HOSPITAL DE ORBIGO!!!

Hi. And here I am- badly bitten again. I have not recovered from the previous bites and i got bites again yesterday in Hospital de Orbigo (that nice municipal with outside space- renowated by germans). Now we have passed Astorga and looking for a doctor in some village (hopefuly will get to one tomorrow in Rabanal). We are really down right now and only hope for a best.
Kuba from Santa Catalina.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#15
Kuba, I feel so sorry for you and hope you can find a doctor soon. PLEASE try rubbing on lavender oil. Perhaps if you can buy a large foil safety blanket from an outdoor shop you could wrap it over the mattress to prevent the bugs from crawling onto you.
Suerte peregrino,
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#16
Hello Kuba,
You probably won't read this before leaving, but you should have no trouble finding medical attention in Astorga... at which you will arrive before Rabanal. We have a saying in America passed down from our colonial days... "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!" It seems fitting!
Buen Camino,
 
#17
Hello,

Anyone knows if has been found bugs in Tosantos, after Belorado? Because the kind of room for sleeping, I suppose it's a good place for NOT finding them.

Buen Camino, clen from bugs,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#18
Hello, the problem is that the bed bugs are not just in the seams of mattresses, but the shelter during the day in the skirting boards, carpet, even the bed frame itself. The good thing about them is though they like to hitch a ride in a bags, they are not necessarily fond of travel. They come and and bite, and then return to their hiding place - which is why one person gets bitten, but not a near neighbour.

If you google bed bugs you will come up with any number of sites that talk of their habits. Another thing to help us a travellers is to air our bags etc in the sun - bed bugs don't like light (and nice hot sunlight even less!) Below is a quote from one such website. In the event of being bitten my doctor reccomended an anti histimine tablet.

regards, Janet

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius or Cimex hemipterus) are oval, wingless insects that are rusty brown in colour and around 4-5 mm long when fully grown. Bed bugs are thin and flattened, allowing them to hide in narrow cracks and crevices. They are blood feeding insects that prefer to bite humans but will also feed on other warm blooded animals. As their name suggests, bed bugs generally feed at night when people are in bed.

Where do bed bugs live?
Bed bugs will hide (and lay eggs) in a variety of household objects close to where humans sleep such as mattresses, bed frames, furniture, behind skirting boards, loose wallpaper and floorboards, and in cracks and crevices of walls. Bed bugs emerge at night to feed, then return to their hiding spot during the day to digest the blood meal. Bed bugs will come out to feed during the day
if they are particularly hungry.
 

Dale

Active Member
#19
I posted this in another thread on a similar topic thought it might be helpful here too: :idea:

Last year, when I was making plans to walk the Camino this past spring, I found an English company on the Internet that sold a net mattress cover impregnated with pyrethroid, to stop bed bugs. I assumed it was similar to a mosquito netting only designed to cover a mattress . Sounded like a good idea but unfortunately I didn't buy one and I just checked the company again and they no longer sell the item. There are several companies selling mattress covers to prevent bed bugs from the mattress from getting on you but they don't talk about anything on them which would actually kill the bugs. This is a link to one of these mattress covers:


http://www.hardtofindsheets.com/bed_bug ... swodVh9oRA
 
#20
I bought a silk sleeping bag liner,which is impregnated with an anti bug formula. I was out there in May, when bed bugs were not a problem so don't know if it works. Just thinking about returning to Mazarife to complete my camino. so may find out! Clare.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#21
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#22
This week the municipal albergue in Sahagun reports Fleas. Supposedly they are being eradicated this morning (Tues.) or Wednesday, and the albergue will be open as usual throughout.

There are LOTS of fleas around the whole area. Don´t blame your hospitalero.

Reb.
 
#23
I just arrived in Santiago today. I also got bitten some times. In Astorga and Molaniseca I killed bedbugs at night, the last place (Arca) I didn´t see any of them, but had bites when I wake up. I used a beg bug sheet, but they stil bit me :(
 
#24
...Live from the Camino.... I personally can report... no bedbugs in Hornillos... Castrojeritz... Fromista... Calzadilla de la Cueza... or at least, I have not been bitten...

People who have travelled the same distances as me... slept the same places seem to be fine too... no bites...

....I have met people though who have suffered frm bad bites... gotten a fever.... and antibiotics.... - so far I am good.... ;-)
 

viajero

Active Member
#25
Good news indeed. When traveling in Asia, where I first encountered bedbugs, I met a couple who shared a bed. The husband was covered in bedbug bites, the wife had none. I guess, like mosquitoes, they like some people more than others.
 
#26
...Ok!! I can inform that El Burgo Ranero has bedbugs. I've seen them... in MY bed!!!
I have informed the hospitalero who gave me an insectspray... we have now sprayed all 8 bunks in my dorm... - A few of us have gone to the pharmacy to buy sprays to prevent insect-bites... (including bedbugs).

The hospitalero informed me that they are aware of it and that tomorrow the albergue will open later as when the last pilgrim has left the albergue they will fumigate them (but they also know this is just a temporary solution).

I've decided to stay here for the night, bedbugs or not... let's see what happens.
 

viajero

Active Member
#28
My understanding that the bedbugs often stay mainly (during non biting hours) in the frame work for the beds (on wooden beds at least) so it is important to lift up the mattress and spray the frame.
 

lckgj

Active Member
#30
Not sure about that one Rebekah. I walked between Burgos and Leon in November and met several people with terrible bedbug bites. I know the bugs can go for long periods without feeding but I think the temperatures have to be pretty low before they stop going on manoeuvres. All the albergues I stayed in were very well heated so the conditions were probably still perfect for them. I suspect the drop in cases in autumn/winter of bedbug outbreaks has perhaps more to do with the fewer number of pilgrims and the hospitaleros having more time to deal with the problem.

Do we know if Anette survived unbitten? I hope so.

I still think if in doubt about an albergue, choose a top bunk in preference to a bottom one. Generally top bunk mattresses are less used therefore cleaner and if the bugs are living in the skirtings or floors and attracted by your breath then they may only climb as far as the the person in the lower bunk for their supper! No scientific evidence for this one but anything that helps you sleep more easily has to be worth a try....

I wasn't impressed by the bedbug article in the Telegraph referring to the problem being transmitted by "unwashed pilgrims"!

Laura
 
#31
Due to VISIBLE bedbugs in MY bed in El Burgo Ranero... and due to bugspraying the bunks... and that 4-6 of us had bought protection from those little bloodsuckers... EVERYBODY in my dorm was bitten ... EXCEPT from me..... They do not like me!? - Amazing that there actually is saomeone out there who does not like me... (hehe) is my blood not good enough? I was a blood donmer once you know...!! - Anyway. I AM QUITE HAPPY... that they do not like me... And I hope it stays that way. - In León I wasn't biten either... but I do not have an report from there... Now today I am in Villadangos de Páramo... and the hospitalera is well aware of the problem... but let's see what happens here...

Besides from the bedbug alert... and that they do not like me... I am having a great time... I will keep you updated... you can also go to http://annette.smartlog.dk

Hastaaaa Luegooooooo
 
#33
ivar said:
Greetings from sunny and 23c Santiago,
Ivar
Uauuuuu, can't believe it!!

Here in my town, 25 km. north from Madrid, today is sunny but just 13º this morning. Really cold for september.

In just one hour I'm going to take my bike to have a "walk".

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

lckgj

Active Member
#34
Hi Annette

So glad to hear you survived the bedbugs!

Just wanted to be sure that you know that some people are bitten but show absolutely no reaction to the bites. Whilst I hope they really did find you not to their taste, it might be both worth bearing in mind that you may still be carrying critters in your sleeping bag, backpack etc, but just not showing the signs. Taking them home and introducing them to the rest of your family might not be be appreciated and as you have found out they are terribly difficult to eradicate once you have them in your home!

Glad you are staying cheerful and enjoying your camino. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your trip.

Laura
 
#35
Annette said:
EVERYBODY in my dorm was bitten ... EXCEPT from me..... They do not like me!? - Amazing that there actually is saomeone out there who does not like me...
Hi Annette,

Just to add on to what Laura said:

It's possible you weren't bitten, but (and I hate to say this) estimates are that as many as 70% of humans do not react to bed bug bites even when they are bitten.

It would be a good idea to take some precautions with your stuff, since you may have picked them up while there.
 
#36
Thanks for the advise and warnings... I am checking my stuff everyday.
However if 70% does not react to the bedbugsbites... then I guess the 30% are here on the Camino as it seems "everybody" here except from me are reacting to them...

Anyhow... I am checking sleepingbag... clothing... and so on everyday. I do not want those little suckers... ;-)
 
#37
We are back in Poland!
We have walked to Santiago on friday 13th. Thanks for your help during my camino!
I am still recovering from bites. Tomorrow evening I will try to put some photographs on the forum showing my bites.
Someone have said about a married couple, when only husband got bitten and wife not. The same happen to us. My wife got only 3 or 4 bites which have dissapeared the next day.
Will talk to you tomorrow.

Kuba.
 
#38
Annette said:
Thanks for the advise and warnings... I am checking my stuff everyday.
However if 70% does not react to the bedbugsbites... then I guess the 30% are here on the Camino as it seems "everybody" here except from me are reacting to them...
The source of that 70% statistic was a podcast interview with the state medical entomologist for Mississippi, Jerome Goddard (if anyone is interested, it's at the bottom of the post linked here: http://bedbugger.com/2008/09/11/krdo-in-colorado-springs-some-misleading-advice-regarding-bed-bugs/).

In reference to Kubapigora's comment, often women react to bites and men don't (it does not mean the men aren't bitten.) Plenty of men, also, are allergic to bed bug bites, and do react, and plenty of women don't.

We don't really know a whole lot about them, since most of the research is being done on how to get rid of bed bugs, and on whether bites may transmit disease (no evidence of that yet) rather than on reactions.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#39
I apologize if this has been answered before; I just can't find it. I have found the bed bug sheet, but for the life of me can't find a supplier in North America. It is made by Lifesystems and is called "Lifesystems Bed Bug Under Sheet". So will you please post if you know of a North American supplier, or if any of the UK suppliers will ship to NA?

Thanks. lynne
 

lckgj

Active Member
#40
Hi Lynne
I bought a second bed bug sheet this year for my son on ebay. It was new and the same Lifesystems brand as the one I already have. Could be worth a try as lots of ebay traders post worldwide.

Impossible to be sure if they work or not - they are a little on the small side - but anything that is reassurring and helps you sleep well is worth carrying, especially as they are so light.

Buen Camino
Laura
 

Minkey

Active Member
#41
The municipal albergue seems to repeatedly get them, as it had only just reopened when I got there last year. I'd still happily stay there again though.

Saw some horrible images of bedbugs over the last few years. The bites REALLY swell up. I had been bitten last year, but I don't think they were bed bugs, but took the precaution, as any responsible peregrino should, and washed everything.
 
#42
Hi everyone. This is my reaction to bed bug bites! Those photos were made some 10 days after my first bites and 2 days after second ones. If anyone of you would like to use them somewhere on your websites or post the link to this thread- feel free to do it- just let me know! Thanks.
Kuba. mypielgrzymi.com
 

Attachments

Janeh

Active Member
#43
I am in Burgos and so far have been lucky and not come across any bed bugs. Nor have I spoken to any one who has been the victim of them. One lady was bitten but it turned out to be mosquitoes. Perhaps it´s getting too cold for them now? I notice on the street signs it´s about 11C in the mornings, not sure what it´s getting down to at night but I´m sleeping in my silk sleeping bag liner with my sleeping bag on top. Soon I think I´ll need to zip it up.
Walk going well, although been plagued by a troublesome knee cap. Still, all in all, I´m sure things will improve and then can only look up. I´ll keep checking here re bed bugs up ahead, although I really hope they aren´t part of my camino experience. cheers, Jane
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#44
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/ ... .transport

Bedbugs make a return via low-cost flights . Increased foreign travel and a lack of awareness have been blamed for the rise in bedbug infestations being reported by airlines, train and bus companies.
Pest control company Rentokil says there has been a 40% rise in the number of call outs over the past 12 months from the transport industry. Britain is now struggling to cope with infestations not seen in half a century.
The overall number of inquiries to the Rentokil UK website about the problem has doubled in the last three months. The company will this week fly in entomologists from all over the world to discuss the issue at its technical centre in Horsham, West Sussex.
 
#45
lckgj said:
Impossible to be sure if they work or not - they are a little on the small side - but anything that is reassurring and helps you sleep well is worth carrying, especially as they are so light.
I can't say whether they work or not (I consulted with two entomologists who study bed bugs but without seeing one unpacked, they were unable to say). But remember that bed bugs can potentially crawl into clothing, shoes, or packs, and "hitchhike" with you. (This is usually how they got there in the first place.) They can do this without you ever seeing one.

So another tip would be to keep your luggage sealed up in a bag while overnighting.

You could put your entire pack within a large garbage bag (sealed in an airtight manner) or for someone who is from North America and hasn't left yet, XXL Ziplocs might fit many backpacks.

Alternatively, you can bag things inside the backpack. If you can separate clean clothing, and other items in separate resealable bags, and dirty clothing in a separate resealable plastic bag until its washed, it may help you avoid taking bed bugs from one place to another.
 
#49
Hello,
this is quite yacky. Living here "in the clean Sacandinavia" bedbugs are not that common. It´s very difficult to imagine how to cope with them. You can´t win them or you can´t join them. Should one sleep in tent instead or use extra strong insect repellent, really toxic poison spray ?
I´ve corresponded with a Finnish pilgrim who herself nor her friends had any encounter with the devils. This really strange. How should one prepare to sleep in alberque and know all night long that any moment now...
-T-
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#51
I´ve lived here in Spain for almost three years and haven´t seen any bedbugs outside Planet Pilgrim. Spanish housekeepers are brutal with the bleach!

But living out in the country, there ARE bugs, and if there´s a bug within a kilometer it will bite me. I sometimes have bug bites. Maybe they are spiders, or fleas, or mites, or boll weevils or mosquitoes. ( I´ve never had welts like the poor guy in the photos above is sporting, thank God. ) And every time I´ve had bug bites they have bothered me for a day or two or three, and then they´ve gone away.

Nothing fatal. Nothing permanent.

If being bitten by bugs makes you freak out, you have some thinking to do. Because if you are here during warm weather, some critter or another is going to bite you. Count on it. It´s nothing personal.

Reb.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
#52
My guess would be that bedbugs are a lot less common in Spain than mosquitoes are in Finland.

Or anywhere else, come to that.

And I've just done a bit of googling and it seems that bedbug bites and mozzie bites are much of a muchness, and different people will have differing reactions to each.

And then there's fleas - from time to time we have an odd cat flea bite and I have to treat the cats.

And don't forget the dreaded Highland midge!
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#53
I've walked the Camino twice in July and August from Roncesvalles to Fisterra and never seen a bedbug...... :D
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#54
I"m sorry, but there is just no way to compare a bedbug bite with a mosquito bite.
Having been bitten by both, it's sort of like comparing the bite from a chihuahua to the bite of a pitbull! :wink:

Not many people are allergic to mosquito bites. . . they swell a bit, then are gone by morning.
Bedbug bites are horrid.

That said, I see no way of ridding the Camino of bedbugs unless every single alburgue on the route closes down for the same weekend and sprays, and at the same time somehow forces every single pilgrim to put everything they've brought through the wash/dryer. ::shrug::

It's a shame... but they're everywhere these days.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#55
I have never seen a bed bug, nor looked. I use permethrin. Clean up efforts and pesticides at refuges will work only for a short time until the next pilgrim brings two bed bugs from home. One can continue to rail against the problem, or understand that it is there and solve it for yourself with insect repellent. Panicked hand waving has not worked for me, though it may for others.
 
#56
In Sept 2007, from Logrono to Leon, I picked up bed bugs from a woman who got them at some albergue before Logrono. I had welts for weeks all over my arms & chest areas. When I first discovered them (the day after I shared a room with this woman in Ventosa), I immediately washed everything in my pack. Unfortunately, the woman kept putting her pack next to mine, or sleeping next to my bunk, & I would get re-infested. She was a nice lady, but honestly, even though she herself was covered in bites, she never took any steps to get rid of the dang things. I couldn't convince her to (a) use the washer & dryer & (b) stop putting her things next to mine. It wasn't until we split up one day that I was able to finally wash out all my things (even going over my backpack with warm soap & water) that I stopped getting bitten. I mailed everything home & when the box arrived, I immediately emptied it out into my chest freezer & left it there for a couple of months.

Next time I walk the camino, I'm taking a bed sheet & benadryl.

Kelly
 
#57
I wish to thank all the people who have commented on the Bed Bug issue, it has helped me to gather information for my trip in May/June.
I have some anti histamin tables in my first aid case - :D in case I get bitten.
I wonder if placing a rain poncho over the matress may help reduce bed bug bites???
Any comments???
Regards Begonia
 
#58
It might. Just wash it off every day & keep it in its own sealable plastic bag so whatever critters got on it don't get on the rest of your stuff. :)

(and this is why I use sealable plastic bags---helps to keep the critters out of my stuff!)

Kelly
 
#59
Hi pilgrims. August 2008 I started in st.j.p.d.p on my walk to Santiago.
I have read so much about the bedbugs before i started out, that it was in fact my biggest and only fear. I cant say exactly where on the route, but I began to scratch in the nights, there were only very small red spots.
When I got to Leon and albergue Santa Maria de carbajalas, I got ALL my stuff cleaned, including myself, because i feared that I could have bedbugs.
Outside my backpack was sprayed with a powerfull insectspray. When I came down in the sleepingarea there were nuns using these insectsprays inside. I woke up in the night sick, very sick. There is a long story to tell now,
(how the hospitalera didnt find it to serious and therefore wouldnt call a doctor and then the help from a spanish speeking who talked with a doctor and got me and another girl rushed to the hospitals emergency.....)
-but to keep it short: I couldnt eat or drink, couldnt keep anything in me.
The tests in the hospital showed that I was poisoned by the chemicals in the insectspray. Me and the other woman were not the only pilgrims at the hospital with this poisoning.
I spent 3 days in the hospital and had no chance to finish my pilgrimage because I had no power left in my system.
Well looking back I can see that the bedbugs didnt do me much harm, but my scare of them was leading me up to accepting chemical treatment (which I avoid in my daily life) which was far more destructive than the bedbugs themself.
By the way im going back on the camino again in may and looking forward to it, and this time not worring about the bedbugs. I have learned a lesson and i am thankfull for it. Buen camino Molle
 
#60
I spent three days in an albergue in Burgos and every morning the hospitalero would sweep and mop . He would check the beds then spray all around the corners, baseboards and under beds. I would leave and return later because I knew better than he that we are talking poisons and he said they were harmless. Sure!!
I saw one Australian peregrina who arrived severely bitten and he sprayed all her belongings inside and out.
I have concerns about bedbugs as well, but all those poisons they use are dangers as well.
What to do.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#61
What to do.

Follow directions.

Some insecticides can drop a wasp in flight in a fraction of a second. A toxin THAT powerful cannot be good for any living thing, even if it has been designed for the neurology of a bug. My guess is that the hospitalera is not following the label, which probably warns against getting the spray on skin and breathing the vapor.

Permethrin spray on fabric is a good preventive for bed bugs, but it should be applied with ventilation, wearing a mask, and without getting it on skin (human or pet). Once it has dried, it is "safe" for humans, but will repel bed bugs. I am personally wary of the laundry permethrin applications. I don't want it on the surface that touches me at night. I am OK with having it on the outside of my sleeping bag, or on my back pack, but I do not feel the need to sleep with it on me. I use DEET when the mosquitos swarm, realizing that it is a fairly toxic insect repellent for skin application. It does work, though.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#63
You can buy them from any Life Systems dealer in the UK for £10 - £14:

http://www.lifesystems.co.uk/psec/mosqu ... rsheet.htm

Bed Bug Undersheet: 95g to 117g
Bed Bugs are found world-wide, particularly in hostels and hotels where bedding is not regularly cleaned. Bed Bugs are not regarded as disease carriers, but their blood feeding can cause severe irritation. Using an ultra-fine mesh and a special Anti-Bed Bug impregnation formula, the Bed Bug Undersheet is a great piece of kit for any traveller who may find themselves in cheaper hostel accommodation
 
#64
just read an article in a Swiss newspaper - bedbugs are much more spread than one would expect, it's just that a lot of upperclass hotels try everything to avoid bad publicity.
In the last two weeks on the camino I didn't have any problems, but a woman I met was terribly biten one night, in an albergue which had a certificate that it has been desinficated only a few weeks ago and which is one of the cleanest on the Camino! I guess you can't avoid these little buggers, therefore prevention seems the way to go...
 
#65
Hi All,

Walked March and April 2009, did not encounter any bedbugs. There are signs in a lot of the albergues that they were "treated" for rats, roaches and other things. I think this might be under control. Did not stay in El Burgo Ranero though, walked the other route, and Religios was closed at the time.

Liz
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
#66
I can report that following albergues DIDN´T HAVE BED BUGS in May -09;
Orisson, Espinal casa rural, Pamplona Jésus et Maria, Uterga Camino del Perdon, Cirauqui Maralotx, Villamayor de Monjardin, Torres del Rio, Logrono the big one, Ventosa San Saturnino (angry hospitalero though), Santo Domingo de Calzada Casa del Santo, Belorado A Santiago, Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos Municipal.
We were maybe little bit nuts but each time we arrived to a new albergue we did THE BED BUG CONTROLL and controlled the whole bed.
annie
 
#67
Instead of buying the Lifesystems bed bug sheet, why not just take a cotton bed sheet and spray it with permethrin before the trip and laying it over the mattress and whatever else you can cover with it?

Or what about getting a mylar blanket (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FETSDQ/?tag=ivarrekve) and covering the bed. They can't crawl through or probably on the surface. Mylar is extremely light, though once you get a hole, it'll start tearing pretty quickly.

Seems the mylar solution may be a lot lighter than the sheet solution. I'll be spraying permethrin on my sleeping bag anyway.

-Thomas
 
#68
I would like to know the latest concerning the bed bugs situation at places to stay for the night. This is because I will be on the Camino trail in early September. I am thinking (as an option) about taking a small tent and not use any of the alberguers at all. Good idea or not?
 
#69
Hola - Today in the pilgrims' office we had two pilgrims with extensive bites from bed bugs. They said the got these post Sarria and in a municipal albergue. They had taken no precautions and of course the danger is that they have been carrying them from one place to the next. Fortunately they were on bikes so they hadn't stopped all that much! As ever we advised them to report the albergues concerned to the Tourist Office and to throughly clean all of their gear before going to an albergue or hostal here in Santiago.

The message must continue to be - be prepared pilgrims!
 
#71
I heard that colonia is an effective mosquito repellent. It might work against bedbugs too as it has a very high alcohol content and is lemon scented. It may just be an extra expense/weight to carry but I might try applying it before I sleep when I do my camino. I have never got bitten by any bug when I splash it on my skin! :wink:
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#72
DEET is an effective insect repellent. All the natural stuff does not work. Treat your sleeping bag and backpack with permethrin, which is a human-friendly (after it dries) insecticide that will repel bed bugs, and kill them if they invade your pack. I am not sure what colonia is, but you should carefully check its credentials!

Buen camino.
 
#73
lol colonia is not even an insecticide its a cologne they use in spain like nenuco or something. i think it is best to take precautions though but not abuse the use of insect repellent, as someone mentioned earlier it can be very harmful to people too.
 
#74
i did this summer the camino portugues and had no problem with bugs. the hostels were all exceptionally clean. however, when i arrived in santiago, i stayed at Casa Felisa for two days and was covered with red spots after the first night. i did not see any buds but wonder what else could have caused the red spots all over my body... the room had a strong chemical smell and i assume that the owners sprayed something to get rid of the bugs, but did not hesitate to rent out the room... the lesson learned for me is to avoid cheap accomodations in santiago..

alex
 
#75
Unfortunately, the presence of bedbugs has nothing to do with the price or, for that matter, age and cleanliness standards of an establishment, as New Yorkers have witnessed recently: http://sleepny.lefora.com/2010/12/07/th ... ween-manh/. Even Abercrombie and Fitch and Victoria Secret stores in Manhattan, and the Sherry Netherlands, NYC's most expensive hotel, became infested. All it takes is a couple of bugs hitching a ride in someone's suitcase, handbag or clothing.
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#77
Falcon greetings having done the Camino from Lourdes France to Santiago June and July of 2011 I came across a number of people with bed bugs. Logrono, Plais de Rei were but a few. I was lucky not to get any although people who I stayed in the same albergue with had them and others not. Now you suggest permetherin, in Canada it's not allowed nor can we have it shipped here. I live close to Buffalo New York and even there was unable to get what do you suggest.
thanks
n+
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#78
Getting permethrin-treated gear:

I also live in a "border town" in Canada - about 35 miles from the US border. I'm going to drive down there with my gear, buy the permethrin, find a semi- secluded place, spray all my gear, hang around for a bit, then drive home. No laws broken, objective achieved.

lynne
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#79
I am reasonably certain that Canada has approved permethrin for livestock. Try a farm or equestrian store. Follow the instructions for human use that you find on REI or Amazon.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#80
Thanks falcon, I'll look into this.

L
 
#81
http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-SP657-Perm ... B001ANQVYU

Sawyer SP657 Permethrin Premium Insect Clothing Repellent, 24-Ounce Spray

Amazon shipped mine to me in Florida. Canadians could try that route. If the US BDU's are soaked in it for controlling insects, I can almost guarantee that Canadian soldier's BDU's are too. I bought a great kayaking hat from Exofficio soaked in it and says guaranteed for 70 washings and i do attest that it works great against our tiny but fierce Florida mosqjuitos!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#82
This is great - going to order through Amazon. Much easier.

Thanks for the info.

L
 
A

AJ

Guest
#83
Anniesantiago said:
I"m sorry, but there is just no way to compare a bedbug bite with a mosquito bite.
Having been bitten by both, it's sort of like comparing the bite from a chihuahua to the bite of a pitbull! :wink: .
On me they are much the same. When I was bitten in Villafranca I thought it was mosquitoes and only realised the following day that it was bedbugs: they hitched a ride with me to La Faba.
 
#84
Different people react differently to bedbug bites. Some people develop a serious rash, some have nausea and feel very weak, some get fluid-filled boils (similar to 3rd degree burns), some get a very itchy raised welt (that can get infected if they are scratched with dirty fingernails), some get something similar to a mosquito bite, and some (lucky devils!) get no symptoms whatsoever, to the point that they can be bitten extensively every night and never know about it...

In doubt, take with you some anti-histaminic tablets (loratadin) and a cortisone cream. They help with the symptoms if you get bitten. But they don't solver the problem. I think that sweeping the dust (or the bugs) under the rug by saying that getting bitten is no big deal is not the answer. Problems don't go away by simply ignoring them, and may get much worse. Albergues along the Camino need to get their act together and give this problem the serious, coordinated attention it deserves. The argument that bedbugs have been part of civilization since pre-history is a lame excuse for neglect. Cockroaches, rats, ticks and fleas have also, but nobody think it's "normal" to find them in hotels and other types of collective shelter in the 21st century.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#85
Cockroaches, rats, ticks and fleas have also, but nobody think it's "normal" to find them in hotels and other types of collective shelter in the 21st century.
Having 120 roommates that change each night is not the same as sequential guests in a hotel! There are bed bugs in all types of accommodations, but the chances increase when there is a large number of residents. While it is irritating that some hospitaleros are casual or negligent in responding to bed bugs, you can protect yourself with DEET and permethrin. I do not leave it up to the landlord to protect me; I do it myself.
 
#86
Ouch

Nuts. I got 'em and my body is not reacting well to the attack; large numerous welts on the skin. I think I picked them up 3 or 4 days ago, although I'm not sure. Symptoms can be delayed for up to a week from what I understand.

Perhaps in the municipal alberge in Nájera. Very hot, humid and crowded there.

Be aware, they are active! I'm in the process of cleaning all my gear/clothes now. And hopefully the repercussions of the bites will subside soon.

What can I do to minimize the symptoms? Where can I go on the Camino to get some medical assistance?
 
#87
Fuzzy - there may be a medical centre in the village where you are, if not go to the Farmacia and explain. They will help you or tell you where to go that is easiest to get to.

Let us know how you get on. Good luck.

John
 
#88
Fuzzy,

go to any farmacia and buy a a cortisone cream ("una crema de cortisona") to apply topically on the bites. Apply 4 - 5 times a day, and massage well. That should alleviate the itching and swelling. The one I carry also contains a small amount of antibiotics, to prevent the bites from becoming infected (from scratching). Buy also antihistaminic tablets (ask for "loratadina oral"; that's the active principle, it's sold under various brand names, including Claritin). Make sure it does not contain decongestants (as in Claritin D), or you will sleep-walk all the way to Santiago!... This treatment will reduce your body's reaction to the bugs' saliva. Here in Brazil both are over-the-counter medications (no need for a prescription); I don't know in Spain.

Good luck!
 
#90
I have just returned from an amazing camino walking from astorga to santiago-hopefully next year I'll be able to walk from st Jean!! Meet some fantastic people and had a brilliant time. Unfortunately I also got bed bugged i think at Mercadoiro but from a fellow pilgrim not from the actual place. Only saw 2 and then throughly washed all my things and sprayed everything after visiting a pharmacist in portomarin. Think I got them from a fellow pilgrim who had bought a new sleeping bag but hadn't treated her things! I'm still suffering now but they didn't put a downer on my camino-just another camino experience!
I would recommend people treat their things if they suspect.We found the pharmacist very helpful and understanding so definetely use them!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#91
Bed bugs are very mobile, so it is rarely useful to tie them to a particular albergue. When I stayed at Mercadoiro in September, it had spray cans of insecticide in each room. It was permethrin-based, and I used it to kill the fly invasion while we all went to dinner. Other pilgrims may have used it for bed bugs! I am sure that the hospitalero at Mercadoiro actively combats pests, and has no power to stop new invasions brought in by pilgrims.

The battle against bed bugs continues!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP-SDC) 2012. Camino Portuguese 2013.
#92
Dear ladies and Gentlemen,

I saw the last bedbugs quarter century ago or even earlier. They will not prevent me to accomplish my pilgrimage although they will provide certain problems.

If I bring them home then my wife will have me court martialed and summarily executed. And she will be right I guess.

So, dear pilgrims would you be so kind as to report all your encounters with those chinches including when and where you discovered them. I think it would be very useful to start the specific thread about the bedbug and other bloodsucking insects somewhere in this forum. The problem is that all this useful information is spread among so many topics.

For instance:
http://www.caminodesantiago.me/camino-d ... earch.html
Sincerely,
Oleg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
#93
found one bed bug at El Burgo Ranero on March 8th 2012. It was on the bed sheet under my sleeping bag.

I hadn't been bitten and have not seen one since (now home)

Truth to tell the warden didn't seem very bothered when I told him about it. He thinks it's too early int he season to be worried as the weather is not yet warm enough for them to come swarming out.

No I hadn't sprayed any of my stuff and yes I have checked both my bag and kit carefully several times since then but found no trace.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#95
Bed bugs are too mobile for today's information to be useful tomorrow. Just assume they will be everywhere, and act accordingly. Half the bed bugs I have seen in eight walks in both France and Spain have been in hotels, which usually actively work to prevent them.
 
#96
Excuse me fellow pilgrims!

What is the best way to prevent bedbugs during our camino and what kind of equipment should we bring to El Camino to prevent this... if there is any..

Starting my Camino in two weeks from St. Jean..

Cheers!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
#97
I did the Camino last Sept and October and did not have any incidents with bed bugs. I did follow Annie's Simple Life precautions and tips about bed bugshttp://caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2011/06/dont-let-bedbugs-bite.html, which I think helped.

At one albergue, a German woman grumbled that she had bed bugs and sat picking them off her bed sheet. She said she had had them for three days and was blaming the albergues. She did not understand that she was the carrier; removing the bugs does not remove the eggs. One has to wash everything in hot water and put them through the dryer. If the backpack cannot be washed it needs to be sprayed with bed bug killer or taken to professional cleaner.

I walked extra mileage that day to distance myself from her.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012), VdLP (2014), CF (2017), Rota Vincentina (2018), Cammino di Assisi (2019)
#98
k-fun said:
I did the Camino last Sept and October and did not have any incidents with bed bugs. I did follow Annie's Simple Life precautions and tips about bed bugshttp://caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2011/06/dont-let-bedbugs-bite.html, which I think helped.
Annie's tips sound good. BTW, I also follow her tips for my less than 100% Achilles tendon.
I've read that bed bugs "disappear" in the winter due to the cold. Trying to be optimistic, since I'll be walking in the spring (April and May), does it mean there will be less bed bugs (if any)? What are the experiences of previous Spring pilgrims? Is it true?
Buen Camino,
Hieu
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Discussions of bed bugs always brings out fear and disgust by those about to start their first Camino. It really is not a big threat. You probably will "hear" about "someone" along the way but never experience anything yourself.
The time of year is one of the main factors.
Don't let the fear of the critters spoil your enjoyment of preparing for your Camino. Take simple precautions "just in case" but don't worry.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
H Bed Bugs 2
M Bed Bugs 4
F Bed Bugs 3
arturo garcia Bed Bugs 93
J Bed Bugs 2

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