A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Bed bugs once again

Santiago Photo Book

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Note from OP. I have removed references to places because I have no idea where I was bitten. I posted only to find out how best to deal with the situation once home.

I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave Santiago and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed, took off the sheets, and saw nothing.

I flew home with the pack checked, still in the garbage bag Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago.

My question is about my pack.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it.
 
Last edited:

Redhead Keith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
I've tried both heat and cold - hanging my stuff in direct , intense sunlight-heat, and wrapping stuff in a bag(s) and leaving them in my deep freeze for several days (-18C) - then straight into the washing machine. The heat one worked pretty good. I'm not sure if I wasn't carefull enough, but after the freezer attempt I still had a problem at home, now, thankfully, long irradicated.
I try all sorts - I carry a couple of small cloth bags of Lavender in parts of my rugsack. I really believe this deters them. Its always fresh lavender, before I leave. And my clothes smell a little bit better - untill several days into the Camino. Checking beds along the camino - maybe you do that anyway. I am the type that attracts them, and mosquitoes. Bites of all kinds and not just on Camino.
Good luck. Give it all a try, but the heat is a good option, I find. Hope you had a great Camino.
LLN Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Bummer, Laurie!
If in doubt, you can always ask @C clearly, who has also acquired hard-earned bedbug knowledge. She'd know, if anyone would.
Given what I've read here (sorry, can't remember where), your plan sounds fine.
 
Last edited:

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
Based on what I've read, I think that high heat of the sun should take care of it Laurie!

I just had a bad attack on the Invierno. Didn’t write about it at the time because the place where I was staying (a hotel) was very responsive and helpful in dealing with it. This was the first time I’ve been bitten. Over the years, based on other’s experiences I’ve tried to be as prepared as possible if it happened. I always keep a light, basic set of clothes in a Ziploc bag (t-shirt, leggings, underwear) in case I needed something to change into. I woke around 3am, feeling like something was wrong…thought mosquito bites and fell asleep. Woke again at 5am really uncomfortable, got up turned on the light and saw a bug on the pillow and other brown spots on the sheets. There were bites on my back, arms, hands, around my chin.

I immediately took a shower and dressed in the clothes from the Ziploc bag, went downstairs to the desk and told the man that there were bed bugs in my room and I needed a large garbage bag and access to his washer and dryer. I was very clear and firm and he was startled but immediately responded. I was relieved – thought for sure he would start questioning me or accuse me of bringing them in.

I put everything in the garbage bag and then in the laundry room, washed everything that could be washed, and put the pack in a hot dryer for an hour. Inspected everything that couldn’t be washed.

That afternoon, on the patio of the next place I was staying, I pulled everything out again and inspected again. No sign of bugs but to be sure, put my pack in a garbage bag again for the night. I had no more bites. Pretty uncomfortable for the next couple of days but a hydrocortisone cream from the farmacia helped.

I did receive a follow up message from the hotel, assuring me that they were doing all possible to make sure everything was cleaned and taken care of.
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, everyone.

So based on what I have read on the other thread linked here, the heat needs to get to 140. Is the temperature of a backpack sitting in a black plastic bag in 95 degree direct sunlight likely to get that high? I suppose I could also take all the contents and just dump them in a large dryer at a laundromat just to be sure (my pack won’t fit in my home dryer).

And also based on what I read, checking the bed is not a good way to be sure there are no bugs since they don’t hide out in the bed. But if I didn’t see any brown/blood spots, is that a good indicator that there were no bed bugs?

I know there are many bed-bug-weary forum members, so please avert your eyes from this thread. :)
 

Doogman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (September 2019)
I have posted this once before, but the advice is so good I think it bears repeating. Avoidance is the best defense, and it is actually quite simple.

"The wise traveller is recommended to send his servant ahead to enquire whether there be no fleas, nor bugs, nor other vermin .......". Apparently is those days you had to enquire about rats and mice as well.

This comes from a French phrasebook for English pilgrims in the late 14th century, and is quoted in the excellent book "Pilgrimage" by Jonathan Sumption.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Sheets aren't a good indication, esoecially in a hotel. It's crevaces you need to check, like where the headboard attaches. Or even the boxspring. Look for holes, or seams. They like the little fabric pocket at the bottoms of zippers.

(I'd be happy to be Laurie's servant, but sure would have trouble staying ahead of her!)
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I have only been bitten once on camino and also found the bites while staying in San Martin Pinario at the end of my camino. I informed them and they gave me another room. I saw no new bites, nor evidence of bedbugs. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the place where I stayed the previous night. When I got home I went through my usual procedure: dump my pack and all my clothes in the bathtub and sort things: woolen garments into plastic bags and into the freezer for a two months' stay, all other clothing and sleeping bag on hot wash then a long, hot dry. Spray the backpack thoroughly with the bedbug killer that I used before I left, while sealing it in a plastic bag. I do not have a place to put a bag in the sun and I am content to use the insecticide. I also sprayed my boots with it. I did not get bugs in my apartment nor did I see any sign of dead bugs anywhere. I shall do this also on future caminos, as I think that it is a pretty good procedure to avoid taking bed bugs home. Next time, I may also put all the odds and ends (except for the electronics) into the bag which I am spraying. I would not put my backpack into a hot dryer, as it is new and is likely to be ruined by the heat, judging by earlier posts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
So based on what I have read on the other thread linked here, the heat needs to get to 140. Is the temperature of a backpack sitting in a black plastic bag in 95 degree direct sunlight likely to get that high?
@trecile is beating me out to good answers a fair bit lately. I would put a thermometer in the bag for fun too. But, to get to your question, I saw a TV reporter yesterday tell about an experiment to show how dangerous the heat the US has been getting lately. It was 90 degrees and a thermometer was put in a car and within an hour it registered 130. And that is without the black.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
When I get picked up, I usually change to fresh clothing that my wife brings and place all gear and clothing, except electronics, in a bag that I seal, before entering the car. Back home, I leave the sealed bag with my gear in the deep-freezer for not less than a week. Then it's straight to the washing machine for the clothing, followed by the dryer.

I won't use a dryer on any woolen items or on my down sleeping bag, but usually put them, and the backpack and the rain gear, back in the freezer for a week or two more.

It's nice to have a large freezer ;)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
@trecile is beating me out to good answers a fair bit lately. I would put a thermometer in the bag for fun too. But to get to your question I saw a TV reporter yesterday tell about an experiment to show how dangerous the heat the US has been getting lately. It was 90 degrees and a thermometer was put in a car and within an hour it registered 130. And that is without the black.
And according to the following article

“When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
Thanks, everyone.

So based on what I have read on the other thread linked here, the heat needs to get to 140. Is the temperature of a backpack sitting in a black plastic bag in 95 degree direct sunlight likely to get that high?
Oh yes. And you also have the black color absorbing more heat, I would consider it to get in the range of that 172 mark that @trecile mentions if left in a place in contact with the direct sun with those 95+°F days
 
Last edited:

kafnorx

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
If you put your DRY gear into a dryer on high it will achieve the heat you need far more quickly and avoid damage. My tech clothing and merino all survived this work no bother. Don't wet it first! You can wash it later, when you've killed any bugs and eggs
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
For those who have experienced first hand the uncomfortable skin reaction from bed bug bites (redness, swelling, itchy feeling), are you also sensitive or more reactive than the people around you to mosquito bites or other insect bites?

I'm wondering if most people who get bitten by bedbugs don't even notice it?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
If you put your DRY gear into a dryer on high it will achieve the heat you need far more quickly and avoid damage. My tech clothing and merino all survived this work no bother. Don't wet it first! You can wash it later, when you've killed any bugs and eggs
I agree. It's not the washing that kills them. It's the high temp drying for at least a half an hour. I've put my merino, down and silk in a hot dryer with no I'll effects.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Oh yes. And you also have the black color absorbing more heat, I would consider it to get in the range of that 172 mark that @trecile mentions if left in a place in contact with the direct sun with those 95+°F days
Just think what you could acheive if you face your car into the sun on an asphalt parking lot and then put the black bag with your stuff on the dashboard. It wouldn't be safe to open the door again until 3:00 in the morning.
 
Last edited:

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave San Martin Pinario and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed in San Martin, took off the sheets, and saw nothing. When I got to my friends’ home in Madrid later that day, we put the unopened backpack in a big black garbage bag and left it outside. We carefully washed all of the clothes I was wearing. The next day a few more bites appeared, but I assume that was a delayed reaction, because we inspected the bed carefully and found nothing (others have slept in that room since with no problems). I flew home with the pack, still in the garbage bag, wrapped up in clear plastic. Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago. No more bites have appeared. I’m assuming I was bitten a day or two before arriving in Santiago.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it. Also any critique of the process I used would be welcome, since I am sure this won’t be the last time!
My friend just got back from Columbia, where she got bitten by bedbugs. She put all her stuff into sealed bags inside the pack and the pack into a plastic sack. At customs, she told staff. They kept pack and contents and they kept all for 2 days and fumigated it. She could pick her stuff up 48 hours later, all treated. Way to go!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thanks, everyone.

So based on what I have read on the other thread linked here, the heat needs to get to 140. Is the temperature of a backpack sitting in a black plastic bag in 95 degree direct sunlight likely to get that high? I suppose I could also take all the contents and just dump them in a large dryer at a laundromat just to be sure (my pack won’t fit in my home dryer).

And also based on what I read, checking the bed is not a good way to be sure there are no bugs since they don’t hide out in the bed. But if I didn’t see any brown/blood spots, is that a good indicator that there were no bed bugs?

I know there are many bed-bug-weary forum members, so please avert your eyes from this thread. :)
Yes 60 degrees C it must be. Why not put a thermometer into the bag?
 
Last edited:

chinacat

Veteran Member
For those who have experienced first hand the uncomfortable skin reaction from bed bug bites (redness, swelling, itchy feeling), are you also sensitive or more reactive than the people around you to mosquito bites or other insect bites?

I'm wondering if most people who get bitten by bedbugs don't even notice it?
Mossies don’t find me at all palatable ... neither do midges.
Bedbugs, apparently, are gourmands, rather than gourmets ... 😡
 
  • Like
Reactions: twh

chinacat

Veteran Member
And also based on what I read, checking the bed is not a good way to be sure there are no bugs since they don’t hide out in the bed.
Checking the mattress is a very good idea, Laurie, as long as you check around the bed too .. bed frame, walls and floor etc.
Strip the bedding, then examine every seam, edge ... any nook and cranny ... top, bottom and sides. On Camino, the only one I’ve trapped ‘on the hoof’ was hiding in the plastic trim on the underside, at the corner of the mattress.

I remember @Anniesantiago, once advising spraying Permethrin around suspect areas too, as it would ‘mobilise’ any that were hiding away.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave San Martin Pinario and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed in San Martin, took off the sheets, and saw nothing. When I got to my friends’ home in Madrid later that day, we put the unopened backpack in a big black garbage bag and left it outside. We carefully washed all of the clothes I was wearing. The next day a few more bites appeared, but I assume that was a delayed reaction, because we inspected the bed carefully and found nothing (others have slept in that room since with no problems). I flew home with the pack, still in the garbage bag, wrapped up in clear plastic. Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago. No more bites have appeared. I’m assuming I was bitten a day or two before arriving in Santiago.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it. Also any critique of the process I used would be welcome, since I am sure this won’t be the last time!
Sorry to hear that you were a magnet. I believe some people’s skin is either more susceptible or “attractive” to bedbugs. On 4 Caminos people staying in albergues around the same time as me have been bitten and “fingers 🤞” I’ve not been afflicted. I use a permethrin-containing DOG bug spray on my silk liner and sleeping bag BUT I’ve walked in spring/late fall.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
I'm so sorry for you. Please go to the first travel shop and buy anti-bedbug sheet. And special spray for your sleeping bag. Follow the instruction. And you will be fine - bedbugs will loose an interest in you. Tasted in dirty albergues.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Never spray permethrin indoors around other people!!
As someone who reacts (randomly) to anything and everything, you can rely on me not to inflict permethrin spray on anyone else!
Oddly, there are a few neat essential oils that cause me no trouble, including lavender.

And ... since there would appear to be more bed bugs in private accommodation than there are in most municipal and donativo albuerges, the permethrin wouldn’t necessarily affect anyone else!
The residue on mattresses etc would be unlikely to affect anyone using the bed the following night. You yourself spray your belongings with it pre-camino, so presumably you don’t believe the residue affects others. 🤔

Btw ... even permethrin should be used in moderation, since it has adverse effects on aquatic organisms. We need to find other, more ecologically-sound, ways of achieving a balance between us and ‘them’, when it comes to all the various forms of life that we’d rather we didn’t have to ‘deal’ with.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I remember @Anniesantiago, once advising spraying Permethrin around suspect areas too, as it would ‘mobilise’ any that were hiding away.
Not to speak for @Anniesantiago :), but what I remember her suggesting was to spray an insect repellent that you can buy at any pharmacy (safe to be applied to skin) - not permethrin, which should be used in well ventilated areas and not applied to human skin.

Even so, many people raised the questions of whether this was actually effective and whether it was fair to inflict on other people in the albergue.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
To be honest, it would never occur to me to use any spray in an albuerge.

Did you read my most recent post, @C clearly?

I have just done a bit of research into permethrin/pyrethryn/pyrethrum.
I’m not sure I’ve ever come across permethrin as such.

I’ve used Nelson’s Pyrethrum liquid (it’s not in homeopathic form) on stings, and have pyrethrin, which is a derivative of the plant. Both are safe to use on the skin, in small quantities.
Permethrin is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring insecticide, pyrethrum, which comes from Chrysanthemums.

Even pyrethrins are toxic for aquatic organisms.

The main point of my original post was to point out that close inspection of mattresses is helpful.

And now my brain hurts ...

Anyone who has read my previous posts would know that I have never advocated spraying anything which might adversely affect anyone else ... quite the contrary, in fact.

@Anniesantiago ... my apologies if I have cast aspersions on your good name.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
To be honest, it would never occur to me to use any spray in an albuerge.

Did you read my most recent post, @C clearly?

I have just done a bit of research into permethrin/pyrethryn/pyrethrum.
I’m not sure I’ve ever come across permethrin as such.

I’ve used Nelson’s Pyrethrum liquid (it’s not in homeopathic form) on stings, and have pyrethrin, which is a derivative of the plant. Both are safe to use on the skin, in small quantities.
Permethrin is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring insecticide, pyrethrum, which comes from Chrysanthemums.

Even pyrethrins are toxic for aquatic organisms.

The main point of my original post was to point out that close inspection of mattresses is helpful.

And now my brain hurts ...

Anyone who has read my previous posts would know that I have never advocated spraying anything which might adversely affect anyone else ... quite the contrary, in fact.

@Anniesantiago ... my apologies if I have cast aspersions on your good name.
When living in the north Queensland I was told to have lots of vitamin B foods, to keep the sandflies and mosquitoes away as insects are averse to bodies (high in vitamin B) who eat a banana a day, washed down with a barocco.
Love
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
When living in the north Queensland I was told to have lots of vitamin B foods, to keep the sandflies and mosquitoes away as insects are averse to bodies (high in vitamin B) who eat a banana a day, washed down with a barocco.
Love
Did you mean a berocca?

I’ve never been palatable to biting insects .... perhaps because I eat B rich foods? And supplemented (in cycles) when I was veggie.
Don’t they like Potassium either?
Does this mean Marmite/Vegemite lovers are less likely to be bitten? 😉😄

I always thought it was the garlic ... 🙅🏼‍♀️ (and onions) (and leeks)
I wonder if sulphur rich foods help too ...?

I remember putting my arm outside a tent one morning, and seeing it turn black ... instantly 😳
Midges ... but not one bite!
(I was advised to market my sweat ... backpackers, eh? No ‘couth’ ... 😉)

But .... bed bugs just don’t care ..... must be omnivores, I guess ...
 
Last edited:

TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave San Martin Pinario and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed in San Martin, took off the sheets, and saw nothing. When I got to my friends’ home in Madrid later that day, we put the unopened backpack in a big black garbage bag and left it outside. We carefully washed all of the clothes I was wearing. The next day a few more bites appeared, but I assume that was a delayed reaction, because we inspected the bed carefully and found nothing (others have slept in that room since with no problems). I flew home with the pack, still in the garbage bag, wrapped up in clear plastic. Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago. No more bites have appeared. I’m assuming I was bitten a day or two before arriving in Santiago.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it. Also any critique of the process I used would be welcome, since I am sure this won’t be the last time!
Oh you poor thing!. I too am a bed bug magnet and for all my searching, the best evidence I have found is for heat. Here's just one more tip (apologies if it's already been mentioned). If your pack is still sealed in the garbage bag, make sure it's still super sealed and place it in your car in the sun for a few weeks. Cars can get up to 50deg celsius in less than 15mins on a hot day in Australia, so that should kill them. Good luck!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Did you read my most recent post, @C clearly?
Yes I did. I was not suggesting that you were doing anything right or wrong. I was simply saying what I remembered. I thought it was a useful clarification.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
I'm wondering if most people who get bitten by bedbugs don't even notice it?
I've been lucky, so far, as I've only discovered it once, and that was because I saw and squashed the blood-filled bugs.

Afterwards, I couldn't even find where they had bit me.

I was immediately evacuated to a much better room - and spent quite some time meticulously examining every single piece of my gear.

Twas a good thing that I've always followed the advice never to place my pack on the bed.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Yes I did. I was not suggesting that you were doing anything right or wrong. I was simply saying what I remembered. I thought it was a useful clarification.
It was 🙂 ... it certainly prompted me to seek my own clarification regarding the three different forms.
I’d assumed that permethrin was a natural derivative of pyrethrum, which I’ve used for years.
I think I’ll be sticking with pyrethryns, extracted from the plant itself .. and even then, only for emergencies! They smell bad enough to me.

I prefer my huge tub of Diatomaceous Earth, anyway ... especially for controlling cat fleas (and worms). It’s messy to clear up, but it’s not poisoning my home ... or my cats.
We’ve grown lazy ... pharmaceuticals are so much quicker and easier to use, sadly.
And most are so inimical to life.

I thank you, @C clearly , for prompting me to clear my own rather muddy thinking on the matter!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
Did you mean a berocca?

I’ve never been palatable to biting insects .... perhaps because I eat B rich foods? And supplemented (in cycles) when I was veggie.
Don’t they like Potassium either?
Does this mean Marmite/Vegemite lovers are less likely to be bitten? 😉😄

I always thought it was the garlic ... 🙅🏼‍♀️ (and onions) (and leeks)
I wonder if sulphur rich foods help too ...?

I remember putting my arm outside a tent one morning, and seeing it turn black ... instantly 😳
Midges ... but not one bite!
(I was advised to market my sweat ... backpackers, eh? No ‘couth’ ... 😉)

But .... bed bugs just don’t care ..... must be omnivores, I guess ...
Yes berocco...thanks
Love
 

Sarah Anne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019)
I booked 2 nights at the Acola Hostel in Pontevedre this week and my son woke up with bites after the first night. I hoped they were mosquito bites as there were quite a lot and only one in a row of three - he told me while we were sightseeing so we went back to get cream and found a big bed bug on the inside of the curtain on his bed. We told the girl in charge - who saw and disposed of the bug and made many excuses - they had the place sprayed a frw days before etc. she informed the owner who we had said hello to as we came in but had left. I wanted to move either to their other hostel Acola sport next door (as all the beds are in one room in the acola) there was no space. You would have thought the owner would be more concerned - the girl gave us access to the drier and vaporiser ( hot water). It took 4 hours with the only place the men’s lavatory sort through our stuff. Lots of pilgrims arrived but we didn’t advertise what we were doing as no one asked. But we were very fed up. Someone brought bed bugs to my flat 2 years ago and the time and misery getting rid if them was immense (They got under the floorboards). The owner communicated via his assistant that he would move us to a hotel at his expense and then followed up with “there are none available - only 2 miles outside town) his assistant suggested we check air b and b - there were only single rooms so i then checked booking. Com and the parador 2 mins away had a basic room for e113- i suggested this- given the circumstances ( i had paid them 70 for the 2 nightsi would have they would move us there like a shot - he said no and said he would refund the 70 and left it to us to find accommodation - we found beds at slow city. I am pretty appalled at their attitude - and warn Others. They were unconcerned and unhelpful. We spent hours in a lavatory rather than the day off having a relaxing time and i still have the issue of dealing with it all again as i am by no means sure we irradiated anything we migjt have picked up.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave San Martin Pinario and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed in San Martin, took off the sheets, and saw nothing. When I got to my friends’ home in Madrid later that day, we put the unopened backpack in a big black garbage bag and left it outside. We carefully washed all of the clothes I was wearing. The next day a few more bites appeared, but I assume that was a delayed reaction, because we inspected the bed carefully and found nothing (others have slept in that room since with no problems). I flew home with the pack, still in the garbage bag, wrapped up in clear plastic. Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago. No more bites have appeared. I’m assuming I was bitten a day or two before arriving in Santiago.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it. Also any critique of the process I used would be welcome, since I am sure this won’t be the last time!
GR65
Le Puy en Velay .....bags in one room only , ground floor and not near any beds.
Sooner or later this will appear.
 

Lillamy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Going on my first in october, for two weeks. (2017)
If you put your DRY gear into a dryer on high it will achieve the heat you need far more quickly and avoid damage. My tech clothing and merino all survived this work no bother. Don't wet it first! You can wash it later, when you've killed any bugs and eggs
This is something I wish I had known before my first camino. Such good advise! All that unnecessary washing before the heating bit.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
I have been incredibly lucky in regards to bedbugs, six Camino's and not one issue yet. I don't take any precautions, don't spray my gear. Maybe I don't react to them. My wife has had no issues either. Maybe our primarily late March, early April walking times in the cool weather is outside of bed bug prime time.
I guess a case of 'luck of the draw'...I am sure my day will come one of these years.
I am careful when returning home. My back pack goes into the garage, all clothes in a bag and direct into my washer. I strip down in my garage as well and my clothes go into the same bag. My back pack never comes into the house. I give it the 'black garbage bag treatment for a few hot days on the deck.
 

JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
I agree. It's not the washing that kills them. It's the high temp drying for at least a half an hour. I've put my merino, down and silk in a hot dryer with no I'll effects.
Yes, some people are VERY sensitive to the bed bug (and other) bites...others are not. My son/wife contracted a terrible bedbug issue in the city they lived in after storing a mattress in a storage unit. His wife began to have a terrible rash (she thought) and saw an allergist/dermatologist, took massive antihistamines, etc. ONe day, her mom, a nurse, took a look and pronounced the rash as insect bites. My son, who had done the Camino previously (with no bbugs that he knew of) immediately began to search beds, bookshelves, etc., and found (to their horror) a massive infestation. They'd shared the same bed, clothing, packs, etc., and he had not one single bite issue. They were told that 1)people who had had many mosquito bites as children can become somewhat immune, and that 2)some people just don't react to the bites. And so began a massive campaign that took months (between two apartments) of exterminators, etc. etc. Needless to say, she is still absolutely terrified of bedbugs.
 

Gazelle2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
19th May 2014
I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave San Martin Pinario and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed in San Martin, took off the sheets, and saw nothing. When I got to my friends’ home in Madrid later that day, we put the unopened backpack in a big black garbage bag and left it outside. We carefully washed all of the clothes I was wearing. The next day a few more bites appeared, but I assume that was a delayed reaction, because we inspected the bed carefully and found nothing (others have slept in that room since with no problems). I flew home with the pack, still in the garbage bag, wrapped up in clear plastic. Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago. No more bites have appeared. I’m assuming I was bitten a day or two before arriving in Santiago.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it. Also any critique of the process I used would be welcome, since I am sure this won’t be the last time!
I got savaged on The Francigena two months ago I had about 100 bites
Wash kit on high temperature put everything in drier for 40 minutes.
I bought a bed buck killer aerosol sprayed my entire rucksack put all non clothing items in a bag and sprayed inside the bag and sealed it, then put my rucksack in bin liner and sprayed into that and sealed it for two hours, I then put the clothes I was wearing in a bag and did the same.
Always put your rucksack away from you if can you, preferably in a bath as the little swines cannot get out.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I think that time of year definitely plays a big part in whether or not you will have an encounter with bedbugs. I did my first Camino Frances starting from SJPDP the last week of August. By Logroño I started seeing pilgrims who had bedbug bites. In Astorga the woman in the bunk above mine found them in her bed, and I discovered three bites on my leg, so I took care of all my gear that day.
I began my second and third Caminos at the beginning of July, and didn't hear of anyone getting bedbug bites, though I had some suspicious bites myself, so I put all my things in a hot dryer or plastic trash bag in the sun.
This year I started in May, and heard no reports of bedbugs, and had no experience myself.
So it seems that the later it is in the Camino season the more chance there is that someone will have been transporting a few of the critters from place to place in their backpack.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
Regarding freezing your gear: There was an article about bed bugs in the news the other day, stating that the temperature should preferably be -20*C (-4*F for the illiterate :p) , or lower. The normally recommended setting is -18*C. Rather nice to know - and luckily easy to fix.
 

Corine

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2013)
Portuguese (2015)
VDlP(2017)
Camino Mozarabe/Levante from Toledo (2018)
Note from OP. I have removed references to places because I have no idea where I was bitten. I posted only to find out how best to deal with the situation once home.

I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave Santiago and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed, took off the sheets, and saw nothing.

I flew home with the pack checked, still in the garbage bag Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago.

My question is about my pack.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it.
Really sorry to hear about this happening to you.
We’ve been lucky so far but as a precaution we always put our backpacks in our freezer for a few days once we get home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Del Norte 2020"
September 2018 CP /
Sept 2016 CF
I have posted this once before, but the advice is so good I think it bears repeating. Avoidance is the best defense, and it is actually quite simple.

"The wise traveller is recommended to send his servant ahead to enquire whether there be no fleas, nor bugs, nor other vermin .......". Apparently is those days you had to enquire about rats and mice as well.

This comes from a French phrasebook for English pilgrims in the late 14th century, and is quoted in the excellent book "Pilgrimage" by Jonathan Sumption.
What happens when someone else staying has brought them with them though, hard to prevent when you can't control others. 😂
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Note from OP. I have removed references to places because I have no idea where I was bitten. I posted only to find out how best to deal with the situation once home.

I must be a bed bug magnet, because I think this is the fourth or fifth time I have been bitten. As I was changing into my clothes to leave Santiago and head for home, I saw some of the telltale marks. Several groups of three or more red bites, on shoulders, lower back, tummy. I took a shower, put on clean clothes, packed everything else in my pack. I checked the bed, took off the sheets, and saw nothing.

I flew home with the pack checked, still in the garbage bag Luckily no one in TSA wanted to open it. The pack is still in my garage unopened since Santiago.

My question is about my pack.

I remember that some forum members have suggested that leaving a pack outside in a black garbage bag at high enough heat will kill any eggs or bugs that are there. Will the current heat wave crossing the midwest be hot enough to do that? Temperatures are expected to hit high 90s today (high 30s C), and I have put the bag out in the sun with the hopes that it will do the job if there is anything alive in there. Should that be sufficient?

Sorry to add another thread about bed bugs, but I have searched for some of the great advice given here over the years and can’t find it.
I had a bedbug encounter last year on the Norte. Worst case, they got into my sleeping bag because I was being bitten the following night. Simple solution: put everything (bag, pack, clothes, stuff sacks, etc. into a dryer at the highest heat setting for 30 minutes. Did the trick. Don’t worry about the synthetic fabric warnings. Nothing was damaged and I’m still using all the gear a year later. Hot washing will NOT kill bedbugs.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Hot washing will NOT kill bedbugs.
I have never thought that hot washing will kill bedbugs, but it will remove stains and sweat and smell prior to hot drying, which WILL kill them.
 

cathal Ferris

Member
Camino(s) past & future
29th April to May 31 2014
April to May (2015) starting in Burgos on the (27th April 2015) completing in Santiago on the 10th May flights booked from Dublin into Madrid and alsa bus up to Burgos
12th August 2015 Starting at Croagh Patrick Clew Bay to Downpatrick known as Camino Way of St Patrick
I have only been bitten once on camino and also found the bites while staying in San Martin Pinario at the end of my camino. I informed them and they gave me another room. I saw no new bites, nor evidence of bedbugs. I tried unsuccessfully to contact the place where I stayed the previous night. When I got home I went through my usual procedure: dump my pack and all my clothes in the bathtub and sort things: woolen garments into plastic bags and into the freezer for a two months' stay, all other clothing and sleeping bag on hot wash then a long, hot dry. Spray the backpack thoroughly with the bedbug killer that I used before I left, while sealing it in a plastic bag. I do not have a place to put a bag in the sun and I am content to use the insecticide. I also sprayed my boots with it. I did not get bugs in my apartment nor did I see any sign of dead bugs anywhere. I shall do this also on future caminos, as I think that it is a pretty good procedure to avoid taking bed bugs home. Next time, I may also put all the odds and ends (except for the electronics) into the bag which I am spraying. I would not put my backpack into a hot dryer, as it is new and is likely to be ruined by the heat, judging by earlier posts.
Yes I would agree living in Ireland I used permethrin get it on e-bay make up a spray I sprayed all my clothes before leaving including back back sleeping bag no probs so far keep fingers crossed for 2021i also kept the back pack of the floor and away from the bed you can also line your back pack with plastic bags and seal when walking to kill any strays Buen Camino all
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 6 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 44 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 165 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 268 24.5%
  • June

    Votes: 83 7.6%
  • July

    Votes: 22 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 23 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 313 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 134 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 13 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top