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BEDBUG update and Villafranca de Bierzo

Camino(s) past & future
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
There is a scourge of bedbugs on the Camino right now once you pass Astorga and many of the people who have been eaten alive slept in St. Javier!

We actually went to St. Javier and checked in. Then, while resting, a woman came into the room and was checking beds. She found bugs in her bed, so I go up and pulled up the mattress and OH MY GOSH! The bed was FULL of bugs! I took my stuff off the bed, packed up, and spoke with the owner, who gave us back our money sheepishly, but apparently did nothing about the problem.

Joe and I slept in the municipal, which was clean.

Since then, we have seen at least 30 people in just a few days who are covered in bites, and almost all slept at St. Javier! What is sad is that now, those bugs are being spread along the Camino by people who don´t know how to care for themselves once infected. It is a scourge.

What I have resorted to is this. I bought a pump mosquito spray at the Faramacia. When I get to an alburgue, first I lift the mattress and look for signs of bugs. That would be actual bugs hiding in the cracks, or black spots on the wood or mattress. If there is nothing, I give the mattress a light spray and then wait about 10 minutes. If there are bugs, they wll come out. If none, and only then, I put down my sleeping bag.

This morning, I found a bug at Ave Fenix, which is a very clean place. The hospitalera was horrified, but said it was a continuing problem. She moved us to another room and fumigated that room. I felt bad for her, because there is nothing a person can do, really, except resort to the extreme measures the nuns at Leon did... they stopped EVERYBODY, made them empty out and spray their mochilla and all their belongings before admitting them. If they did not want to do that, then they were invited to move on... smart, in my opinion.

Anyway... the way has been warm, sunny, and beautiful.
I´ll update my blog in a few minutes.

Buen Camino!

Annie
 

tohams

Member
Swell. Thanks for the update. I leave for SJPdP a week from tomorrow.

Does anyone know if a Tyvek sheet will keep them away (not counting any that might fall from the top bunk)? I'm thinking of bringing one. It's light and durable enough that it can make a quick picnic throw if needed as well.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Tyvek treated with permethrin will help, particularly if your sleeping bag and back pack also are treated.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Thank you Annie for the up-date! I have been waiting to hear the latest reports and in the meantime bought very light matress covers made out of this flimsy material with little holes in (they call it pelón here) and I think it is called viseline in Europe. It's the material used to slighly reinforce buttonholes on ladies blouses! Now with this latest news, I will definately take ours along! Of course, it won't protect who sleeps in the bottom bunk from the bottom side of the matress above, but I think it's better than nothing. I don't know what a Tyvek sheet is, but in any case, we don't have access to all these wonderful accessories that I read about on the Forum. Anne
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
They´re pretty much everywhere now. We are seeing some horrid bites.

But so far, spraying my bed each night has worked for us.... and keeping my mochilla UP off the floor. Sometimes I hang it from the bed. Sometimes I put it on a chair, but NEVER on the floor. Also, simply refusing to stay where we see them.. .not taking a chance has worked for us. So far the Camino has provided plenty of shelter.

We had to leave Ave Fenix last night because of the bugs. He just closed and fumigated and now he is going to do it again. But I feel so sorry for the hospitaleros because they fumigate and then all it takes is one pilgrim with bedbugs and it all starts over again.

I think if you are vigilant you will be ok.
 
I am in Villoria del Rio and so far have not seen evidence of the dang critters. Might be luck, might not.

Stayed at Roncesvalles, municipal albergue Zubiri, Roncal in CZ, Santiago Apostol PLR, Albergue on the right in Lorca, Hotel Portales Logrono, municipal albergues in Navarette & Najera, fantabulous municipal albergue in Santo Domingo, & now Villoria.

Thanks, Annie, for the update. I will keep an eye out the closer I get to Leon & beyond.

Kelly
 

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:
We bought bed-bug sheets from the Ramblers in the Uk for about £9. They weigh 96g. We didn't see any bugs in June and July on in France, on the Aragones, or on the Ingles and Fistera routes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
Well I am stuck in Rome for a few days and guess what ..... BEDBUGS HERE TOO!

Seems it is a scourge across country lines.

Going to try to get back to Santiago next week and may try to walk some sections.. not sure yet.

Still blue but better.

Hope all are having a nice Camino!

Went to Ivar's place but he was not in.. .met Frank, a very helpful, cool guy!
I highly recommend their services!

Ok.. ciao!
Skeeters, bedbugs, and futbol, O MY!
 
Came across several people who got eaten alive at Ave Fenix....seems no matter how much fumigation goes on, the damn bugs keep on coming.....then in Sarria was in the same room as some German girls who got chomped on at Fonfria the night before. They made them wash all their stuff & after they left the next day, the hospitalero asked me which beds they were in & he sprayed the whole room, then went after it in the other rooms as well. Haven´t seen bugs since, but I´ve been spraying myself with repellent each night before I go to bed.

Kelly
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
All good reasons to take The Roads Less Traveled. If you haven´t been bitten yet, cut your losses and hang a right at Leon and go north to Oviedo on the Camino San Salvador. From there you can join the Camino del Norte, or go left and walk the spectacular Primitivo. They all have plenty of challenges, but bedbugs are not among the gripes I´ve heard about... and they all lead to the same place eventually!

Reb.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
Reb, how long are the stages on the Primitivo and Norte... about the same as the Frances?

I am thinking about going back to Santiago and bussing to somewhere to walk another month before I fly home. I am having shoe problems this trip and 20 km is about my limit.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Just met a woman in Portomarin with horrible bedbug bites. She has had an allergic reation and the pustules which cover much of her body are the size of your thumb. She says she was bitten in a small albergue in Burgos after being turned away from the municiple because they said she looked like she was coming down with something. She stayed in another albergue in Leon for two days and said the woman left after locking up and came back at 1 to open. It looked fairly clean but the woman had done nothing since the morning pilgrims had left. Very frustrating to hear these reports. So far I have been lucky but the woman today was third person I have met with bites. One from San Juan de Ortega and the other from Villafrance de Bierzo.
 
That sounds rare, Portia. I have seen hospitalero/as start cleaning even before the previous ones leave. And I just bet the person who turned that other lady away was Little Napoleon, all the more reason to dig deep & spring for a pensione or hostal in the larger cities.....

Have been lucky since Sarria, only have 3 more nights on the camino. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Kelly
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Portia is in Portomarin... Kelly has three more nights on the Camino.... you two ladies must be awfully close together on the Camino!!!!!
Margaret
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
I met one of our fellow Aussie forum members on the LePuy route late August and she was covered by bed bug bites. So they are there as well. I took pictures of her and maybe when she is able she will post them. It is quite the sight.
Lillian
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
I just wonder what the Spanish Government is going to do (if anything) before ALL those people walk fo Holy Year? YIKES!

It seems that the only solution is for every single alburgue to clean and spray the same day.

Also, I still like what the nuns were doing in Leon last year! As each pilgrim arrived, they were instructed to empty their packs, spray everything, then wash everything in hot water. If they complained, they were invited to go elsewhere.

I can not think of a solution, honestly. As long as there are people to carry the bedbugs from place to place, I do not see how they can be controlled... :cry:
 

Pacharan

Member
There are definitely bed bugs in Granon. We stayed in a casa rural there, but several people staying in the church tower were badly bitten that night. Otherwise, I have not (fingers crossed and touch wood for continued good luck) encountered the wee beasties yet. I am currently at Boadilla del Camino in lovely sunshine, got a few (healing) blisters but apart from that having a great time.
 

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:
There was talk of closing all the albergues on the camino for 2 weeks in winter for a massive, collaborative spray attack. Don't know if they will ever achieve that. Imagine every albergue owner agreeing to close at the same time to spray their premises!
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Although there must always have been bed bugs on the Camino since the earliest times these year on year widespread outbreaks are becoming a real health hazard. Let's hope that given the numbers expected next year there will be a systematic fumigation - if they don't do this the results are too horrible to contemplate.
 
The responsibility is two-fold. The hospitaleros need to be vigilant & keep the bugs out or from spreading if they get in, & on the pilgrim, once bitten, to clean all their things & do what they can to de-infest themselves. I know I spent way more on washers & dryers this time around because everytime I got clean, a few nights´later, I was in an albergue with someone who had them, did nothing about it, & spread the joy. And yet another fun night of laundry & sudoku for me.....Including last night at Monte de Gozo.... :evil: :evil: :evil:

Kelly
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
WolverineDG said:
And yet another fun night of laundry & sudoku for me.....Including last night at Monte de Gozo.... :evil: :evil: :evil: Kelly
At least there is a really good laundry at Monte de Gozo! I washed my light blue shirt there for the last time and when it still came up dirty, I decided it was time to biff it in the rubbish bin in the MdG laundry!
You will have arrived in Santiago by now I guess Kelly....enjoy!!
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I see Permethrin mentioned as the insecticide of choice for spraying sleeping bags and mattresses.
But I don't think it is to be used on skin.

Has anybody on the Camino used a DEET based repellant on their skin at bed time?
And has it been effective in keeping the little beggars away?

The thought of being bitten, then the bites becoming infected is really revolting.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Better to spray yourself, but keep the Deet away from nylon I am told. Not sure if it is the Deet or the propellant that is said to melt nylon.
I posted earlier (Camino Frances- Bed Bug thread) about concern for those who are allergic to sprays, and whether folk should be spraying chemicals inside the albergues etc.
On reflection I would have another concern too. By partial spraying with these toxins (rather than true fumigation) are pilgrims helping to breed a super bedbug that will be resistant to the sprays. If so then that will be real trouble. Worrying :?: Yes.
Tia Valeria
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Permethrin is an insecticide and DEET is an insect repellant. Both should keep bedbugs from biting you, but if you stick an arm or leg outside of a peremthrin-treated sleeping bag, the bugs will get you, so DEET can be useful. Wet DEET will soften nylon, so let it dry well before touching nylon. Also, it will dissolve all the painted markings on your watch, so remove your watch before applying.

DEET does not keep the gnats from flying around your face as you walk the fields!
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
No bedbugs since Jaca

Haven´t seen one bedbug since Jaca. Got into Pamplona tonight.
 

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:
Well done Annie. Did you walk to Pamplona? We decided to sleep over at Eunate and walked to Pamplona the following day. We were like fish against the stream! The Alto del Perdon is steeper on the down side than the up side - and has more river boulders and rocks.
Where to now Annie?
 

pos

New Member
All this bed bug stuff is pretty scary - enough to put one off the Camino forever. Just to add my own experience - I have just spent 2 weeks walking from Astorga to Santiago. I have never seen a bedbug - I have never been bitten - I have never met or seen any pilgrim with bites. I have never even heard anyone mention the subject. So do not worry, as far as I can see, the chances of being bitten by insects other than bedbugs are greater - bring some insect repellant.

Buen Camino
 

Pacharan

Member
Hi Paul - I am really pleased for you that you avoided the little pests. However, my experience has been that there are enough BBs around to cause quite a nuisance. The refuge in the church tower in Granon was badly infested (I heard the stories and saw the bites), I had one fall on my hand from an upper bunk in the refuge in Reliegos and I found quite a few of them in a private albergue in Arzua (hiding in wooden framework of bunks). The owner was very shocked - I think she had no idea at all that they were lurking there. I doubt there are any there now as she intended to close and thoroughly deal with them (having already closed off and sprayed the room they were inhabiting). This albergue was otherwise spotlessly clean.
I also saw many other pilgrims with bites who were not certain where they acquired them.
The main problem is one of information. Most hospitaleros and pilgrims are not aware what BBs look like, how they behave and how to deal with them. Without this forum I would have gone unprepared, instead I was lucky enough to have time to treat my bedding with permethrin. Now, I just have to clean my kit properly when I get home....
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
No bedbugs at all on the Camino Levante. A few mosquitos was the only insect problem.

Andy
 

Lynn52

New Member
Hey MermaidLilli,
I was just writing a reply to you and it disappeared! anyway I was saying that I think you took the more comprehensive photos of my bedbug bites (Its Lynn the Aussie woman). I only took photos of the back of one leg then became distracted by onlookers. I was bitten several more times annoyingly .... but I think it important that people realise that only about 20-30% of people react to bbb (bed bug bites) so that most are bitten and carrying bugs without realising it. I met many people who because they didnt evidence a bite disregarded the possibility of infestation. Also the bites are not always immediately evident - sometimes they can take days to become inflamed! One place i stayed the owners refused to admit bb even though several people were bitten there - or if previously they still needed to do something but instead they just kept stating they had done the required fumigation showing that they did not understand the problem or its treatment.

btw - I have a photo of you that I will send on - I think its from Aumont-Aubrac but not sure.
I finished the camino on the 26th Nov!! took my time lol
cyu
Lynn
 

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