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bed bugs

#1
I'm in Mazarife and I got some bed bugs a couple of days ago down the trail. I also talked to several other pilgrims who have pciked them up. Some others have been seen on pilgrims in the bathroom after showers. Be careful if you can...with so many people on the trail the chance of picking something up goes up if the people do not properly clean the albergues. Also, people carry the bugs down the trail....
 
#2
For anyone reading about this for the first time - there have been loads of postings on this subject (enter bedbugs in the search box) - fortunately there is also advice there on how to prevent infestations. Although there seem to be some around this year reports suggest much less than before so perhaps the programme of fumigation worked to some extent and no doubt will be repeated.
 
#3
Hi Pilgrims,

I must say the thought of bedbugs creeped me out before my walk.

Bed bugs do not live on a person . They only stay for the "feast ".
However , they can live in things such as mattresses, bed frames, packs and even a sleeping bag.
They hide in the seams and can live up to a year without a meal. They are attracted to humans
by the carbon dioxide we breath out while we sleep. That is why most people are only bitten on the upper part of their body.

If you wake with bites do not scratch because this may cause infection , use a cream to prevent.
Check your belongings . Wash them and lie them out in hot sun . That way you will not carry the b.b.'s to
the next albergue.
 
#4
I picked up bed bugs when my stuff was placed next to that of a woman who had bed bugs (we didn´t find this out until the next day when she showed us her bites. Too late for me!) I spent several Euro getting all my clothes & bag cleaned, only to have her put her stuff next to mine AGAIN at another albergue a few days later. She had not followed our advice to wash everything she had, so again, I got bitten & had to spend more Euro cleaning all my stuff. :evil:

If you think you have bed bugs, look for an albergue that has a washer & dryer (lavadora y secadora) so you can wash EVERYTHING.

She thought she picked them up in Logrono, for what that´s worth.

Kelly
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008, Le Puy route 2013
#5
Hi All,

This may sound silly as I've never had an experience with bed bugs, do these critters come out in one seaon (summer) more than the others (winter)?

Buen Camino
Love and smiles
Sonia
:D
 

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
#7
I walked with someone who got them in October of 2006 and was cool then.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#8
We've spoken of Bedbugs, what about ticks? And, other things.

Here's a link to what you can expect, how to identify, prevention and treatment:

http://www.practicalspain.com/spanish-arthropods.htm

I've been in contact with several folks and they report a very large feral population of cats and some dogs. These carry ticks and can present a major health problem, while bed bugs bite, itch and seldom result in major maladies unless you scratch them and cause an infection.

Buen "bug free" Camino

Arn
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#9
Re: bed bugs and ticks

Arn, there are certainly many feral cats in Spain, presumably dogs too, and these would have ticks. However, generally ticks are not transferred from animals to humans. Ticks are picked up by walking through infested thick vegetation and/or long grass. So if there's a need to go offtrack into long grass at any time, that's when it's necessary later on to check for ticks. This applies to just about all countries, not just Spain.

Should also point out that refuges in Spain are not the only places where bedbugs can be picked up. It's now considered to be a worldwide pandemic with accommodation from hostels to 5* hotels having problems and, of course, guests will take them home as well. Just the downside of global travel.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Trudy wrote:ticks are not transferred from animals to humans
That's correct, but ticks carried on the fur of animals can be brought from the grassy areas into a more metropolitan location and from there onto humans.

The key is, as far as ticks go, if you find a tick on you, that's not attached...capture and crush. If attached, remove, apply antiseptic and observe for any development. Normally, a tick must be attached for a period of 24 hours before something such as Lyme disease could be contracted.

Just check each time you change your clothes.

Arn
 
#12
Sometimes any bites are attributed to bedbugs.

During my camino last April/May 2007, I saw only one case where a fellow pilgrim was bitten while sleeping in a very clean and known albergue. In the morning she had numerous bites all over her arms, legs and neck so she reported it to the hospitalero who said those couldn't have been caused by bedbugs, first because they had fumigated recently and second because of the nature of the bite these appeared to be flea bites and, because they do not allow dogs in the albergue those would have come within her backpack.

After initial first aid treatment with tea tree oil, she wasn't entirely satisfied with his explanation so she triple checked at the next albergue and pharmacy where she was told that indeed these were caused by dog fleas she might have pick up along the way.

So, be extremely careful when you take off your backpack and place it on the ground because you might inadvertently pick up something in the pack and carry it along with you. Remember that the camino is on rural areas where a lot of insects and flea-tick prone animals abound, such as cows, horses and dogs.

Better safe than sorry...

Buen camino to all :arrow:
 
#14
Hi guys,
I recently read in the MEC catalog about Bed bugs. MEC is a sport clothing and equipment shop in Canada .
The Staff tip in this catalog is to bring patchouli and lavender essential oils because bed bugs and other biting crawlies tend to dislike the smell. I would assume there is some truth in this but I have never heard of patchouli oil. Any comments ???
Astelle
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Astelle wrote:I have never heard of patchouli oil.
I spent most of the late 60's traveling to many interesting countries, not the least of which was India. There Patchouli was the "everything" enhancer. It cured cancer, rickets, herpes, restored lost limbs and eye sight. I never tried it....but after you read some of the latest claims...you may want to.

The benefits of Patchouli are many, including medicinal, beauty enhancing, and emotional effects. First, this oil can help in weight loss. It can curb the appetite, and by increasing urination, it discourages water retention associated with PMS. It may relieve hot flashes during menopause. It is useful in treating athlete's foot, fungi, and jock itch. Patchouli oil can reduce a painful sunburn, skin allergies and eczema. The oil has been used as an antidote for insect and snake bites.

Patchouli Oil has been worn as an Aphrodisiac for hundreds of years. It was also a favorite scent used by Hippies and others in the Sixties. The bitter aroma of this oil makes you either love it or hate it.

Because it works so well at deterring insects, many clothing exporters in India would use this on material and clothing before they shipped it overseas to America.

Of concern: This oil can either be of high or questionable quality depending upon where you purchase it and the price you pay for it. The best oil to use is the essential oil.

VT pay attention:

Use it to enhance your romantic encounters or Love Spells.

Wear it or use it to anoint candles, scent writing paper, or perfume the air, either in a potpourri pot, lamp bulb ring, or simply on a cotton ball.

To suppress appetite and relieve stress, dab a drop or two on your skin, or use 2 to 3 drops in a diffuser.

You can also bathe with 8 to 10 drops added to your bath water. Unlike most essential oils, the scent tends to last a long time and will permeate your clothing.

To relieve water retention, mix 2 or 3 drops in a good carrier oil and massage into skin, or use 8 to 10 drops in your bath.

For those with a bed bug situation:


To repel insects of all kinds, the massage oil described above will do the trick. To keep mosquitoes and other bugs away outdoors, put a couple of drops in a diffuser nearby. Keep moths and other insects out of your clothing, by soaking a cotton ball with a few drops and putting it into your closet.Rub a drop on insect bites to soothe the itch or sting.

To reduce oiliness in hair, add 2 drops to a dab of shampoo and wash hair as usual, then rinse.

PLEASE NOTE
- Patchouli oil is potent, some people may be sensitive to it. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a serious health condition, please consult a trusted medical professional before using this or any essential oil.

Buen Bed Bug...smellin' good Camino,
Arn
 
#16
Love patchouli oil! Brings back great memories. Definitely an aphrodisiac to those who enjoy scents, especially musky ones. Maybe I will bring it this time, although these years lavender seems to be the scent I enjoy. One thing I did was to pick a couple of sprigs of rosemary, which grew in many places, and stick it into my hair. At night I laid it around my pillow, on the hopes that its scent would be enough to repel the little pests. I think it worked. I got bit one night in Triacastela, but then I did not have any rosemary that night. See? hehe
bugfree,
Lillian
 

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:
#17
Rosemary is a wonderful herb and another 'miracle mutti' is Alcohol Romero. which you can purchase in any farmacia in Spain.
(No, no Arn and VT - you don't drink it!)
Rub it on your feet when you take your boots off or change socks. The alcohol dries the feet and the rosemary refreshes them. Being antiseptic and anti-inflammatory it can relieve muscle pain associated with tendonitis, dislocations and sprains. It also induces sleep so sprinkle on the bed and on your sleeping bag.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Sil mentioned: Alcohol Romero. which you can purchase in any farmacia in Spain.
(No, no Arn and VT - you don't drink it!)
hey hey...come on Sil, I can read labels as well as the next guy. Then of course, if the label is in Spanish...I may have to resort to the old taste test. VT on the other hand...I can not, nor would I dare speak for.

Hey, while I’m in the area of bug and repellents one might consider: Cat Nip.

Yup, the essential oil nepetalactone is about 10 times more effective than DEET because it takes about one-tenth as much nepetalactone as DEET to have the same effect.

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family and grows wild in most parts of the United States and across Europe.

It is primarily known for the stimulating effect it has on cats, although some people use the leaves in tea, as a meat tenderizer and even as a folk treatment for fevers, colds, cramps and migraines.

Now, if you can just find a way to keep the feral cats away!

Buen Camino,

Arn
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#20
Vinotinto wrote:what would happen if I rubbed orujo de hierbas on my dawgs? :mrgreen:
Well that's a new one on me. I've heard of drinking champaign from a ladie's slipper, but I'll be a bit cautious of drinking orujo from a boot, especially when it still has a grunt's foot in it!

AAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW!

Buen Camino,

Arn
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances; Via Podensis; Via Francigena; Via Portugues; Via Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg.
#21
Have a look at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bugs for information on bed bugs.

Another link is: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/

I did my Camino in May/June last year, and bed bugs were not an issue. I guess they die out or go dormant in the colder, non-pilgrimage months over winter and it takes a while for populations to re-build when the weather warms up. The summer surge in pilgrims will provide optimal dispersal conditions along the route.

Given a choice, I would try to complete the pilgrimage before summer to avoid these little beasties. A couple of years ago I was travelling down the Amazon, and received over 100 bites (I counted them!) at one hotel near Manaus :cry: . They itched unbearably for several weeks, and I have had no desire to repeat the experience!

Although pilgrims who seek mortification of the flesh might welcome the additional scourging supplied so freely by bed bugs.

Bob M
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#22
astelle said:
they can live in things such as mattresses, bed frames, packs and even a sleeping bag. They hide in the seams and can live up to a year without a meal.
The discussion on this thread reminds me of an awful experience I had in August 2007 in the refugio in Terradillos de los Templarios (shortly before Sahagun on the Camino Frances). The large private refugio there had a Templar flag proudly flying from a mast, and I considered myself lucky as I arrived at dusk, after a long walk, because I found there was just one bed left! Later that night I did not consider myself lucky at all!

In the small dormitory I was allocated, the beds all had several blankets on them and I decided to save the trouble of unpacking my sleeping bag and simply use my silk liner with the blankets. Big mistake! By the time I realized the source of the intense itching that was preventing me from getting to sleep I had been bitten all over: back, thighs, shoulders, everywhere! I did not have any experience of bedbugs before this, so I acted entirely intuitively.

I took my rucsack out into the yard (and luckily it was not even unpacked, as I had arrived late and tired), I had a shower as hot as I could bear it and a very good scrub. Afterwards, I packed the sleeping bag liner and all clothes that had had contact with the bed in plastic bags, rolled tight and tied to the outside of my rucsack, ready for laundry washing at the first opportunity. Then I set off and did a full length walk in the night, through Sahagun and most of the way to Leon, and caught up with my sleep next day, in a whole afternoon siesta lasting from midday until mid-evening!

Further down the Camino, in the refuge in the Benedictine convent where I stayed in Leon, I met the three French guys who had shared that dormitory with me in Terradillos de los Templarios. They had all been so badly bitten they had spent a long time next day being treated in a clinic in Sahagun (EEC citizens get free treatment in Spain), where the doctor suggested making a complaint to the Friends of the Camino in the town. They did, and found out there had been various complaints about the hygiene of that particular establishment previously, including incidents of food poisoning.

There are a number of learning points. First, some establishments are to be avoided. Of course, ownership and management of refugios changes, so it is necessary for us to exchange up-to-date information about places to avoid. Second, the blankets in the refugios are best avoided, and using a sleeping bag liner without a bag is perhaps unwise. Third, if you are affected, immediate action is necessary (even if it means loss of sleep!) and it's essential to isolate the affected clothing until you have a chance to use laundry facilities.

Most refugios are very well managed and the amount of cleaning that takes place is quite impressive! So the risk of bedbugs should not be a source of worry for any who are preparing for their first Camino, but it is one factor to be aware of as a possibility, and if you are suitably informed and prepared, that's why it's worth telling the story.

Gareth
 

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:
#23
Bed bugs have been a part of the trials and tribulations of pilgrims for a very long time.
This article was written by the Foreign Correspondent of the New York Times on September 3, 1899.

Vigo: Aug 15:
It did not seem to me historically respectful to take leave of Spain without having made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago. A faithful friend crossed the sea to bear me company. Hygenic pilgrim that she is, she came equipped, not with cockle shells and sandal shoon, but with sleeping bags, coffee and cereals. Many a morning, in traversing these northern provinces, where the scenery is better than the breakfast, we have blessed her for her boxes of grape nuts, and many a night, doomed to penitential beds, we were thankful to entrench ourselves against the stings and arrows of outrageous insects in those spacious linen bags that gather close about the neck leaving only a loophole for the breath."
 

lckgj

Active Member
#24
I have often read that one way determining whether a place is infested with bedbugs is by the 'distinctive smell' but have had no idea how to distinguish what this smell might be. (Lets be honest, until everyone is showered and refreshed there are enough smells in an average albergue to stop a charging bull...)

Anyway a comment in an article in the Times last weekend might throw a little light on the subject:

"Coriander, slightly unnervingly, comes from the Greek word for bedbug, Koris, apparently coriander smells of crushed bedbugs"

I was badly bitten last June and am slightly obsessive about not repearing the experience!
I am back on the camino in May - any reports as to whether there have been problems so far this year? I know they prefer warmer weather but I saw others with bites last November when it was quite chilly. The albergues were well heated so the bugs had no reason to be dormant.
Laura
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#25
No word yet about bedbug infestations, but our word choice in this thread makes me wonder:
How come insects "infest" albergues, but pilgrims only "frequent" them? (the bugs do not get in there on their own power. Somebody brings them there.)

Aside from that, the comment about the bugs at the ´Templar´ albergue in Terradillos, and the response about hygiene there from people farther down the trail, prompt me to remind everyone of what a loaded place the camino is, rumor-wise. The woman who runs the new albergue on the edge of Terradillos used to work for the guy who runs the albergue in San Nicolas, who is at war with the people who run the new place in Sahagun (and anyone else who dares open a pilgrim place within his perceived "sphere of influence.") People who run albergues say terrible things about one another. Take it with a big grain of salt, because every single albergue on the Camino has had at least one insect infestation in the last couple of years. I´d bet the Farm on that!

Rebekah, whose dogs get ticks this time of year. On the Camino.
 

lckgj

Active Member
#26
You are right Rebekah, bugs must travel with the pilgrims but I think that both the people travelling and the people running the albergues are sometimes too embarrassed to admit they have a problem and therefore it is not addressed until it gets out of hand.
When I showed the hospitalero in Astorga evidence of bed bugs he said I must have brought them with me from Mararife and HE didnt have any bugs there. This was not true - my bed was COVERED in bugs and I would have noticed the weight if I was carrying so many! He did not want to know where I had slept and therefore some poor pilgrim was going to sleep in that same bug- ridden spot the next night.
We ALL have a responsibility to keep the albergues free from unwelcome visitors. The pilgrims have to report what they find and ensure they dont transport them to the next albergue and the hospitalero has to respond appropriately when a probem is highlighted.
Denying the problem exists just keeps people uninformed as how to deal with bedbugs when they suspect they have encountered them and therefore the bugs are more likely to be transported to the next albergue.
I appreciate your honesty Rebekah and wish you an insect free spring and summer! And yes, I too know it is spring when my dog starts scratching! I live in a village where I "know'" all kinds of intimate details about people I have never met - I guess the gossip between hospitaleros is just another example of how the camino is one big community.
Best wishes,
Laura
 
#27
Hi guys
I took very seriously what You told about these little beasts.
I wouldn't like to get them (got enough to carry).
I was shopping today, tried Patchouli oil byt can't stand its smell.
Will it be enough to take Lavender oil instead?
Hate when something sucks my blood without authorization ruining my rest.
Andy
 
#28
I have been bitten by bed bugs over the last week. I know from a London experience in 1976 that bedbugs come out of their hiding places when the temperature is just right and this is usually about 3 or 4 in the morning when your body is very still and all is very warm. Then when they bite they inject a mini sort of anaesthetic so that you can´t feel them when they are feeding!!!!!!!!!! It is then hard to say when you were bitten because it can be hours later that you get itchy....if I remember right. My suspicions for my current state are Sto Domingo de la Calzada, in the monastery and then Villafranca in the roadside hotel where the big trucks drive past.

I arrived in Burgos last night and stayed at the Hotel Evolucion (40 Euros for 1). I left my pack closed and away from the bed just in case I was carrying the little critters and crawled into bed in my birthday pyjamas and woke up covered in more bites! Have now done all my washing but difficult because the weather on the camino is cold and wet. The hotel room was very nice all looked shiny and new, with spa shower etc. so in the AM looked under the sheets over the mattress...and it was an old and awful mattress.

At the Burgos albergue today, which is quite claustrophobic, the hospitaleros noticed my bites and asked me about them and I told them I had cleaned everything. They said their albergue was spotless, but I found 3 bedbugs when I sat on the bottom bunk. There must be a lot, as usually you don´t see them. A tiny black spot...if you see one, rub your nail across it to see if it is a bug or a bit of fluff...all 3 were not fluff. Tough issue to deal with as the one with the bites is the baddy and mention bbs and everyone gets upset. Do you blame them?

I have been having a wonderful Camino....by the way :)

Clarisa en Camino
 
#29
Bed bugs get carried along the camino by pilgrims but they can also infest a particular bed or room by setting up home there and breeding. They can hide in in cracks in the skirting or behind a picture as well as in the bed.

I think the reason they are more common towards the end of the year is that if there are any they get carried down the route with pilgrims as the year goes on. And if they then set up shop in a particular location then they can be hard to find and eradicate (don't be too harsh on the hospitaleros/as - they can be difficult to spot).

I get very bitten by fleas whenever I go travelling (even in England sometimes) - usually if I sit anywhere where a cat has been - but the hazards are greater in other countries where it is warmer and where there are a lot of rural animals on the loose so to speak.

However, bed bugs are rarer - last year in France we walked from Le Puy and it was only quite a long way down the track in La Romieu where my daughter reckoned she was bitten (on her arm where it was outside the sleeping bag). And the same thing happened to me (on my upper arm/shoulder) in Aroue.

But I quite agree with Clarisa that the bites don't often develop for hours so we had long moved on by the time we realised what had happened and that they were probably bed bugs and not some other biting insect (it really IS difficult to tell). Mercifully, we didn't carry them on with us and we always shook everything out carefully every morning. The advice is to spread everything out in the sunshine as they don't like light - however, we really didn't get that much sunshine to spread everything out on - (http://www.suzielda.com/camino/gallery.php?id=TC49).

My daughter is currently walking Pamplona to Santiago and has not come across any bed bugs yet - she is just past Rabanal now - but I guess from poor Clarissa's experience the bugs will be following on down the track so anyone not yet at Burgos should watch out.

A Romanian friend told me that you can tell bed-bugs from other bugs by crushing them - they smell of almonds apparently. Another warning - not all bugs on beds ARE bedbugs. We stayed somewhere where there were loads of little insects on the beds - like tiny ladybirds - but they weren't bedbugs and were quite harmless.

Wishing everyone an itch-free walk!

Windy
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#30
Just met today with people who run five different albergues in Palencia-Leon. Only a couple of bedbug moments, but lots of TICKS. These are the small, shiny, black kind, not the nasty fat gray ones. They very much prefer animals to humans, but they´ll jump onto any warm body that passes through their patch of grass. They like warm things. They really like computer terminals and keyboards!

The ticks almost never bite people, but if you suspect contact give yourself a good scalp massage. They head for your head. Pilgrims who insist on traveling with their dogs ought to be warned that this spring´s tick population is exceptional. And just so you know: sheep almost always are alive with fleas.

Now I am all itchy!
Reb.
 

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:
#32
Read this on a blog this morning:
The albergues have started handing out disposible sheets for our beds and pillows. I sleep much better with the sheet over my bed. Before I tried my best to caccoon into my sleeping bag so no part of me was touching the bed at all.
 

Janeh

Active Member
#33
I have succumed to the dreaded bed bug - got mine from a blanket in a nice clean albegue in Molinaseca. It´s not the albergue´s fault, just we pilgrims carrying them along with us. One of the pilgrim things. I bought some spray from the pharmacy and some anti itch cream for the bites. C´est la vie of the camino. Jane. (plus I stayed over in Ponferrada and washed all my clothes and other things to try and eliminate them as best I could.)
 
#34
Re: bed bugs - Sept 2008

I have just finished walking the 788 kms from St Jean to Santiago one week ago - now home and still scratching! I picked up bites twice along the way and found that there is really a serious problem with bed bugs and that the transmission is impossible to prevent as there is so much traffic on the Camino. What I did was simply to take everything out of my pack that was cloth and put it into the washing machine and the dryer at the next alberque. This solved the probelm until I again picked up something in Santiago in the last 3 days. When I got home, everything went straight into the washing machine and the dryer for 70 minutes as heat will kill the offenders. As well my pack is haning in the garage to freeze through the winter and that will take care of that. I will also dry clean my back pack in the spring. The newspapers in Spain were full of articles about the bed bug problem along the Camino through September and so there were lots of us sporting bites in the communal showers. Head lice is also reported so take your own pillo case!! I will be better prepared next time ie do not use the blankets! wash clothes a lot and inspect the place carefully. Maggee
 

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:
#35
Well done Maggee - I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I'm sure you have a lot of memories to process now that you are back home.
Pilgrim hugs,
 
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
#36
Maggee said:
Head lice is also reported so take your own pillo case!!
I do so agree - take your own pillow case - its the one thing we forgot . Mind you - which shape? The square european one or the rectangular british one? And how do you manage a bolster? We found a stretchy t-shirt made a good substitute.

BUT don't worry about catching head lice from dirty pillows. Head lice do not survive long away from body heat. You catch them from head to head contact. That's why children get them so easily - those charming scenes of two little ones bending over some tiny treasure together, heads and curls touching, provide the ideal opportunity for the little blighters to migrate! So unless you have very affectionate convivial evenings in the albergues you probably wouldn't catch them from other pilgrims.

Should you find a head louse in your hair, do not fret! There is plenty of time to deal with the problem before you'll be scratching and crawling. Buy a nit comb. (Cheap and plastic is fine. Any chemist/pharmacy will have plenty, so will a supermarket probably.) Wash your hair and apply conditioner. With the conditioner still in comb through your hair. Examine the comb after each stroke and deal with any livestock you find. (Very satisfying) Then rinse as usual. You will probably have got (at least nearly) all the actual insects.

If you repeat this process every time you wash your hair for couple of weeks you will get any that hatch from any eggs (nits) that the first visitors might have laid. They take (from memory) 12 days to reach mating and laying egg stages, so you'll have removed them before then. This process is called 'Bug Busting'. If a whole school/country/camino/world did it over the same period, we could eradicate them!!!

Also, regular brushing and combing helps because it breaks the louse's legs, which she needs to cling on to your hair to cement her egg to it. (You begin to feel sorry for the poor little things, don't you?)

This method means you don't need to treat yourself with nasty smelly chemicals. When I worked with families who did have a constant problem (purely through neglecting to do anything about it) I did the conditioner treatment after each visit. I did find the occasional louse, (I used to read stories with the children and let them climb over me a bit) but never got an infestation.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#37
A medieval remedy to repel lice was to rub parsley into the hair.
A 1511 Venetian book claims that cotton-weed or cudweed 'boiled in strong lees cleans the hair from nits and lice'.

Or,
the Leechbook suggested a number of cures 'for nits in the head':
[1] Make lye of wild nept (bryony) and therewith wash your head, & it will destroy them;
[2] Take quicklime or piment [spiced wine], amd make powder of them, and mix the powder with vinegar and annoint the head with it. And this destroys them without falling of hair or any other harm;
[3] Take seawater or else brine, and wash your head, and that shall destroy them;
[4] Take the juice of a herb that is called blight, and anoint your head with it, and both lice and nits shall fall away.;
[5] Take a broad list [strip of cloth] the length of a girdle, and anoint the one side with fresh grease mingled with quick-silver, and spread on it the powder of lichen and press on it with your finger so that it sticks firmly to it, and then fold it together, and sew together the sides; and then wind it in a linen cloth; and sew it together, and wear it henceforth; and the lice & nits shall die.
Now you know!!
 
#38
Touva said:
I'm in Mazarife and I got some bed bugs a couple of days ago down the trail. I also talked to several other pilgrims who have pciked them up. Some others have been seen on pilgrims in the bathroom after showers. Be careful if you can...with so many people on the trail the chance of picking something up goes up if the people do not properly clean the albergues. Also, people carry the bugs down the trail....

bien camino! im in burgos tonight, and have not yet had encounter with bed bugs, nor has anyone i know, what great weather, very little rain, lots of love, good food, beautiful earth and skys, and everyone loves to sing!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#39
Latest report of bedbugs was in a very nice hotel in the center of Burgos, the Norte y Londres. As the Spaniards say: "This happens even in the best families!"
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
F Bed Bugs 3
arturo garcia Bed Bugs 93
Jennifer Partika Bed Bugs 33
Jennifer Partika Bed Bugs 18
ValDur Bed Bugs 3

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