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Bed Bugs

D

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The alert brochure in France (in English):
 

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Portia1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
The reason it hit the Post is because there is a Bed Bug Summit going on in Arlington, VA. It has been on the local news and in the papers. Enough to make you start scratching just listening to all the information! International travel has made them universal once again and a presenter said that many of them are now more "resistant" to erradication. And they are FAST. He said they have tracked particular bugs going from one hotel room to another down the hall in less than a night. Given their tiny size, they are covering a lot of ground! He said that pesticide use in the USA is now basically ineffectual and international travel has provided a continuing flow of new bugs--they are rapidly spreading and there isn't a whole lot anyone can do other than when you return (or come) from a country where they are, put everything in the dryer for 15 minutes at high heat to be sure you don't spread them to your own home. Someone is even selling a bed "cover" that bugs cannot bite through. You put it around your mattress and box springs to effectively seal the bugs inside until they starve to death--a LONG time. The presenter said to take antihistamines with you to counteract the itching and inflamation of the bites. He reiterated that bed bugs do not carry disease so it is the discomfort and the nightmare of bugs feasting off of you at night that are the big concerns.
 
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First the conference should decide if they are bedbugs or bed bugs...
 

jeffm2009

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Bedbugs are becoming more and more widespread and they are a huge problem. The first thing I think you should do if you found them is protect your mattress. If they are not in there yet, make sure they can not get in. You will need one of those mattress protectors to put over your mattress. The bugs will not be able to get through it so there will be no chance of them living in your mattress. Here's a link to a site that has them: mattress protectors. After you do that, there are a lot of other things you can do to try to get rid of them in other places in your house. You don't want them to get out of control. They're already traveling easily to different countries :shock:
 
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Rocknroll

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Does anyone have seen those "bedbugs"?
Or is just another invention of those to sell products that "protect" you against of...?
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
no bed bugs this year so far. Walked from SJPP to Burgos in May. My friends walked to Santiago yesterday, no bed bugs yet. We did the bed bug controll in each place, checked the mattresses and zipped up the mattress covers, the pillows. I know I would go nuts if I found some but they are not there yet.

xxx annie
 

elzi

Active Member
Rocknroll said:
Does anyone have seen those "bedbugs"?
Or is just another invention of those to sell products that "protect" you against of...?

I can assure you they do exist and the bites are VERY painful/itchy! You can never be too careful...
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
elzi said:
Rocknroll said:
Does anyone have seen those "bedbugs"?
Or is just another invention of those to sell products that "protect" you against of...?

I can assure you they do exist and the bites are VERY painful/itchy! You can never be too careful...


Normally you only will see them if you are in a albergue with. I only has seen them in a albergue, when the hospitalero showed me inside a little bottle.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
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A

Anonymous

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This is a strange post - how can people say there haven't been any reports this year? This forum has reports ... verr strange.


I saw a number of people this year who had been bitten and were having strong allergic reactions - a doctor in Los Arcos told me that Pamplona had severe problems .. this as he dialled to warn other places (I had taken a severe reaction patient to him) ....

no bedbugs this year?

Lots of them, the rascals!
 

pal

Member
If you notice, the messages from Annie and Ivar were in June. Reports didn't crop up until July or after. Seems like August and September have been the worst months.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Ok..so I have walked from August until October, and I have seen PLENTY of bedbugs on the Camino Frances with my own little eyeballs. They are pretty much everywhere once you pass Astorga, where they have often been picked up at St. Javier from most of the pilgrims I have spoken with. I also saw them myself at Astorga, at Ave Fenix, at Sarria, at Samos, and a few others I cannot recall at the moment.

I have NOT seen them on the VDLP or on the Aragones... yet.

I also saw them in about 7 beds in Rome, and have read many reports of them in Rome.

To find the critters, you simply lift the sheet and check around the seam of the mattress, usually in the corners on the underside.

Also, in those wooden bunkbeds, they love to hide in the ROUND place where the hardware screws in to hold the legs on. You can find that place by lifting the mattress.

On metal beds, they hide in the mattress and under the frame.

I have also found them inside the mattress if there are holes, and in the WALLS... usually by following their little telltale black spotted tracks.

Those who doubt they exist will be sure they exist once bitten.
For some strange reason, the most bites I have seen are on Germans (must be the good beer) and on women (sweeter?) :D
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Bed bugs are as old as...well, "Good night, Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite!" I remember thinking growing up that this was just a cute nursery rhyme, but not so.

When we did our Camino in '08, there were plenty of questions/reports of...so we got a product called Permanone, and sprayed it on the fleece sleeping bags, and had narry a bite. This stuff is ONLY to be sprayed on clothing or equipment...NOT on the skin. It also last thru a few washings, so no need to retreat constantly. My next go I'll probably treat my Backpack and my sleeping equipment too.

Buen camino, Karin
 
D

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Maybe the stylish pilgrims bought them at Abercrombie and Fitch and brought them to the Camino ...
 
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Portia1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Article this morning either in the Washington Post or the WSJ that bedbugs are now suspected as transporting MRSA. This is truly scary. They have been looking at MRSA outbreaks in highly congested locations (apart from hospitals, nursing homes where it has been a significant problem) and discovered the common element is bedbug infestation.
 

viajero

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008
I also read this article. Perhaps if bed looks are looked at as a health risk, rather than a nuisance, more will be done to eliminate them.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I don't like bedbugs much, but keep in mind that the study was very small, conducted in Canada on a population that was entirely in an environment with lots of bacteria, and found the bacteria in crushed bedbugs, which gave no indication how they got the bacteria or if they could transmit it. It might have been surface bacteria. The study is not a peer-reviewed scientific study, so there needs to be a lot more analysis.

I am not sure that panic is required. I know how disappointed the U.S. media was that Japan did not panic after the tsunami and radioactivity release, so perhaps we can disappoint them again on dangerous bedbugs.

Take your normal precautions, and you probably will be OK. By the way, those free disposable sheets provided in some albergues don't do much except give you a clean surface to lay on. They are not treated, bedbugs can get a great foothold on them, and they typically come off in the middle of the night. It is a nice touch though, giving an air of concern that may not be entirely accurate. I watched two bedbugs in Jesus y Maria in Pamplona climb merrily along the sheet right after I put it on (or I presume they were merrily anticipating a meal). They arrived so promptly, they may have been in the sheets when I was given them!
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05 ... c=fb&cc=fp

NPR is carrying the story now. This whole study is BS. I can't even believe it got published. It was a sample of FIVE bedbugs. FIVE. How the heck does that even warrant the paper it was written on?

FYI, staph is present on the human skin normally. Yeah. It's a part of our normal flora. However, due to overuse of antibiotics in the US and elsewhere, MRSA and VRE have developed. There are also two kinds. Community Acquired and Hospital Acquired. I could go on....I see it ALL the time in the ER.

Inflammatory studies like this drive me nuts......
 

johnnyman

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June/July 2011 and 2013
If I drape a treated sheet over the bed, then sleep in a treated sleeping bag liner, am I fairly safe from these stupid bugs?
 
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D

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Treated sheets are usually treated with permethrin, which is an insecticide rather than a repellant, so it works to kill bedbugs. If you are not allergic, you can put on DEET, a repellant, and improve your situation (exposed skin only; don't do a whole-body application). DEET will remove the paint on your watch, and tends to melt quite a number of plastics, but it works. Avon Skin So Soft has a reputation as a repellant, but all scientific tests have indicated that it is useless.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
I´m sure I read last year of a massive outbreak of bedbugs in New York. Did they come from the Iberian Peninsula (by Extraordinary Rendition and thus untraceable?) or did they come from NY to Iberia?

I think we should be told.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Caminando, I cannot answer your most current question, but I can say that when the bedbugs first flared up here in Spain a few years ago, everyone agreed they started in France! :D
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Bed bugs are everywhere, not just the Camino. Check out the Bed Bug Registry, http://www.bedbugregistry.com to see where all the outbreaks are in the US and UK. Seems to be all over and in larger cities with bigger populations. I always check before I book a hotel.
 
D

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All-natural bedbug sprays have little bite
Products such as Rest Easy and Bed Bug Bully claim to be highly effective at controlling the insects, but researchers say there aren't yet any consumer products proven to keep bedbugs away.
Bedbugs combine all of the bloodsucking annoyance of mosquitoes with the survival instinct of cockroaches. No bigger than apple seeds, the adult bugs hide in ingenious places — inside electrical outlets, behind baseboards, deep in carpet fibers — during the day and attack their victims during the night. You may never know that you have a bedbug problem until bites start showing up on your skin. Bedbugs don't spread any illnesses, but still. Ick.

The bugs are tough, they're devious and they're gaining new ground in homes and hotel rooms across the country, says Susan Jones, an entomologist at Ohio State University in Columbus. "They are the worst insects that we've ever had to deal with in an urban environment."

As worry about bedbugs grows, it's no surprise that many people are taking pest control into their own hands. Do-it-yourself exterminators can choose from many different sprays that claim to kill the bugs and prevent infestations.

Some products, like Rest Easy Bed Bug Spray, are sold as all-natural alternatives to traditional pesticides. Rest Easy, manufactured by the RMB Group, contains essential oils from cinnamon and lemon grass, among other ingredients. Bed Bug Bully, produced by a company called My Cleaning Products, claims to be 100% natural. The company website doesn't list any ingredients, but a sales manager reached by phone said that the spray ingredients include tea tree oil and lavender. The company didn't respond to a request for more information.

A 16-ounce spray bottle of Rest Easy — sold at many Walgreens, Ace Hardware and other stores — costs about $16. The company website instructs users to spray Rest Easy on "dressers drawers, closets, along baseboards, behind headboards, and around any other furniture you want treated." The site advises against spraying the bed directly. "If bed bugs are present in the bed," the site says, "call a professional for extermination."

A 32-ounce bottle of Bed Bug Bully, available at many drugstores, retails for about $50. A video tutorial on the company website encourages users to spray "wherever you think bedbugs may be."

If you want a little more punch in your spray, you might consider buying a product that contains an EPA-registered pesticide. Steri-Fab, a spray from Noble Pine Products, contains alcohol with a small amount of d-phenothrin, a common pesticide often found in flea and tick products. It's sold online — Amazon is one option — and at many professional cleaning supply outlets. On Amazon.com, a 1-gallon bottle sells for a little more than $40. According to the company site, a gallon is enough to cover eight to 10 pieces of upholstered furniture or six to seven mattress sets.

The claims

The Rest Easy website says that its "optimized blend of natural ingredients has been universally recognized for thousands of years as a means for controlling insects." In a phone interview, company President Howard Brenner said, "We are all-natural and highly effective." He also said that people who have a serious and obvious infestation should call an exterminator. "Our product is for people who think they might have bedbugs or are paranoid that they might get them."

The Bed Bug Bully site says the product is "by far the best bed bug treatment you can get on the market today." It also promises "the same results delivered by pest service without evacuation."

The Steri-Fab website says that, "unlike any other product available in the U.S. and the world," Steri-Fab kills bedbugs, fleas, ticks and lice along with bacteria and viruses. The site also says it "dries in 15-20 minutes and leaves no residue." The FAQ section explains that the product kills bugs on contact but becomes essentially inactive once it dries. In a phone interview, company Vice President Eric Bryan said his product "isn't a panacea" but does have a proven ability to kill bugs. "Those all-natural botanical products" are baloney, he added.

The bottom line

Gail Getty, a research entomologist at UC Berkeley, says she'd love to see a day when people could quickly solve their bedbug problems on their own. "I want to encourage new research. It would be great if there was something that was safe and effective."

Unfortunately, she says, no consumer products on the market today have been proved to completely remove bedbugs from the home. Because bedbugs are so adept at hiding, and because any bugs you can target with a spray are going to just be the tip of the infestation, it really takes a professional exterminator to get rid of the bugs, she says.

Jones, the Ohio State University entomologist, is especially leery of "all-natural" products. "If you think that using these sprays is going to get rid of your bedbugs, you are sorely mistaken." Jones points out that pesticide-free products such as Bed Bug Bully or Rest Easy aren't required by the Environmental Protection Agency to prove that they are actually effective against bugs — all that matters is that they are considered safe.

And while d-phenothrin, the pesticide in Steri-Fab, definitely has some killing power, Jones says many populations of bedbugs are developing a resistance to that chemical.

Jones adds that even professional exterminators armed with industrial-strength chemicals generally need several hours to clean out an infestation. "If somebody goes in and out in 15 minutes, you just wasted your money."
 
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Abbeydore

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bedbug-epidemic.jpg

images

:evil: :p :twisted: :evil: :p :twisted: :evil: :evil:
 

SandraF

New Member
we were on the Camino April/ May 2012 and did not come across any bed bugs ... or hear of any problems. We could also see that most alburgues had covers on mattresses/ pillows and seemed to be having regular pest treatments.
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
well they are there now, my books are in the owen and all my luggage double bagged in the trunk of my car awaiting further treatment as I write

as for my bites, antihistamine seems to provide the best releif
 
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