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Bed bugs and black bags

Nanc

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
Some of the bed bug threads are so long I wanted a fresh easy start. Hopefully that doesn't offend.
I too have "stuff" that can't be dryed in hot dryer. So if a black bag were possible , how long would it have to sit? And what kind of ambient temperature to be effective?
Some have shared about suspending their pack off the floor from the bunk (upper?) to prevent BB. But I see a long of single beds, so then what? Is wrapping the pack in a plastic bag on the floor enough? Are there any walk hooks (or places to hang an S hook ) to suspend a pack?
Thanks all
Nanc
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances/Portuguese/Ingles/Sanabre/Frances/Fineste
I always hang my bag from something. The "S" hook idea or a small strap might make it easier. I have always been too cavalier towards BB's, I hang my pack because floor space is limited and I can get my pack on without moaning too loudly early in the morning.......... Ultreya........ Willy/Utah/USA
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
someone suggested that the colours black, blue and to some extent red attracted said BBs as the critters seek the shadows of animals and humans. I think of bringing a large white bag instead next time around.
 

EL Guapo

EL Guapo
Time of past OR future Camino
(1983 - 1985-1990-1995-1999-2003-2008-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017) CF, etc.
I believe the black bag concept is derived from the eradication process of BB's. The idea is to encase your belongings in said bag and place it in the sun for a few hours. The temperature is what kills the bugs. I think it has to be somewhere around 117 deg. Fahrenheit or there about. I could be mistaken on the exact temp though. If you are concerned about them,you can always place your belongings in the bag and tape it shut with a bit of electrical tape and nothing will be able to get inside. I have used this process in other countries as a precaution, but not in Spain. I guess I have been lucky as to not have had any BB problems. But there is always the possibility I guess. There is a thread on BB techniques here on the forum,you may want to look at. My only suggestion is not to let it worry you too much and enjoy your Camino. Also the idea of a plastic bag is the bugs can not attach themselves to the bag because it is too slick for them to hold onto,unlike garments or cloth. Hope this is helpful.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
The technique of leaving an article in a black bag in the sun is correct. Which is what we were asked to do, when we were hospitaleros , should a Pilgrim be suspected of carrying bed begs along,
However, I think that Nanc wants to know what to do with her backpack each night when she puts it in a large plastic bag. You simply either tie it tight, or roll down the top several times and fix it, maybe with duct tape, so that the bugs can't enter. You can then leave it wherever there is suitable space in your dorm!
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I see my error now;
1) to heat treat BB already in the clothes uses black bin bags in the hor sun for xx hours !!

2) to avoidBB even wanting to get near your bag in a bin bag, use white colour !!
 

Nanc

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
Yup so still not hearing how long I leave said black bag in the sun.

I can see us sitting in a yard all looking at each other saying"1 hour?" 2? 4?
The idea of 175 degrees is interesting. I'll look it up. Not sure how to measure it while on the Camino?
And, no, I'm not worried or fretting. Just doing research BEFORE it is a problem
Thanks for the input
Nanc
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Don't let bedbugs worry ruin your Camino..
The chances are very good that you will never encounter them.

Be aware that they are out there but don't stress about it.
 
Last edited:

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Yup so still not hearing how long I leave said black bag in the sun.

I can see us sitting in a yard all looking at each other saying"1 hour?" 2? 4?
The idea of 175 degrees is interesting. I'll look it up. Not sure how to measure it while on the Camino?
And, no, I'm not worried or fretting. Just doing research BEFORE it is a problem
Thanks for the input
Nanc
There is no specific answer as it depends on things like air temperature, cloud cover, strength of sun (time of year), how much stuff is in the bag. The point is to heat the bugs' environment to at least 50°C (120°C) for 20-30 minutes. That means that everything in the bag needs to heat up. I haven't done any trials ;) so I am just making a guess here, but I'd suggest you need a good hot sun in a sheltered location, airtight bag and give it an hour or 2.

If the weather is suitable and you have nearby shade, you could turn it into a pleasant daily siesta routine.:)
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
If you can elevate the plastic bag a little so that the bottom isn't sitting on the ground and cooler than the top and turn it once or twice so everywhere gets an even roasting. I ferreted around and found a discarded barbecue rack and that, raised up on few stones, worked a treat.
In colder/less sunny weather you can use the same idea only instead of heat as the killing agent you have to use bug zapper sprayed into the bag close it tight and wait (Spain has lots of pharmacies). But please remember to do your spraying outside and downwind of other peregrinos and let everything air for a bit before bringing it into the albergue.
 
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cher99840

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
Permethrin is the way I go. I don't even want to think about the black bag treatment. A bit of a chore before leaving home, but a small price to pay for deterring the little critters.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
D

Deleted member 56069

Guest
I have been on three Camino's and have yet to have any bed bug issues. But to be fair, my wife and I stayed mostly in private rooms in the albergues and some hotels.
If you want to stay primarily in the cheaper municipal albergues, then your possibility of encountering bed bugs certainly increases.
We enjoyed our own space and a good night's sleep. We certainly did not feel this diminished our experience as we still met many people each day.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
[QUOTE="ZREXER, post: 415416, member: 56069"
If you want to stay primarily in the cheaper municipal albergues, then your possibility of encountering bed bugs certainly increases..[/QUOTE]

Not true, all it takes is a person bringing them from home, a pilgrim bringing them in from an albergue or other hotel, or having your bags transported in a van with backpacks that are infested. My one and only time I got bit by bb was in a lovely Santiago hotel!
 
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SeaHorse

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
I treated all my things with permetrin (well, except underwear and such) and had a bit of lavanda eau de cologne along, in suspicious places I sprayed the bed hoping that the bugs will find others more tasty. Worked perfect, I even slept in Granon hippy place and nothing bad happened to me :D
 

Wandershot

CarolG
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 Camino Frances: Burgos to Santiago
I neglected to treat with permethrin, much to my everlasting regret as my time on the Camino was particularly bad for the little bastards. I now do a quick spray before any trip to avoid any problems. If you forget, there is a Spanish version of it that they sell in the pharmacies (but oddly, not in the sporting goods stores). My brother-in-law swears by taking along dog flea collars which he attached to the bed. I haven't tried it but it works for him.

The whole thing about using a hot washer and dryer works in theory, but on the Camino industrial strength appliances are scarce...nay nonexistent. A handwash... or a cold water washer with a line dry are the most common options.
 
A

AJ

Guest
What is there in a backpack to attract bedbugs?

Now a nice sleepingbag containing lots of bedbug food (I.e. you) would be a huge attraction. And where does the bag get packed? And what does the hungry bug do at the end of the next day? I doubt a backpack would be a match for a sleeping bag.
 

Joanne - Falmouth

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
St Jean to Santiago 2014
I treated all my things with permetrin (well, except underwear and such) and had a bit of lavanda eau de cologne along, in suspicious places I sprayed the bed hoping that the bugs will find others more tasty. Worked perfect, I even slept in Granon hippy place and nothing bad happened to me :D

Does Lavendar spray deter bugs as it does moths?
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Does Lavendar spray deter bugs as it does moths?

No, no aromatic oil/spray has been ever proven scientifically to deter bed bugs. They are orientating themselves in your direction via the CO2 you exhale and don't care how you or your sleeping bag smell. Buen Camino sin chinches, SY
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
I have been on three Camino's and have yet to have any bed bug issues. But to be fair, my wife and I stayed mostly in private rooms in the albergues and some hotels.
If you want to stay primarily in the cheaper municipal albergues, then your possibility of encountering bed bugs certainly increases.
We enjoyed our own space and a good night's sleep. We certainly did not feel this diminished our experience as we still met many people each day.
Er no... bedbugs are becoming a problem everywhere even 5 star hotels. There's even a registry in the USA and UK to check for ongoing infestations. As @Anemone del Camino says, we're the carriers.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
Permethrin is the way I go. I don't even want to think about the black bag treatment. A bit of a chore before leaving home, but a small price to pay for deterring the little critters.
I'm with you Cher. Actually, I do both-- permethrin and once home I put everything (YES EVERYTHING) in large black bags and soak them in the sun for at least one full day. Last year i did have bed bugs so I cooked those buggers three days. Just to be sure. I did find dead ones amungst my items. I made sure to eat all my chocolate before I got home so none was in the bags.....
 

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