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Blankets and Bedbugs

Raybert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015
Hi all, I'm a newbie and plan on trekking SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre starting on 9 September, easing in with an overnight at Orrison. Thanks to all you peregrinos and peregrinas for the valuable wisdom and experience you have shared with me.

My question (and concern) is about avoiding nighttime visits from bedbugs. I've been pretty well convinced that I won't need a sleeping bag for a Sept-mid-Oct trek--that I can depend (generally) upon albergue blankets to keep me warm. But I am wondering if bedbugs inhabit some of those blankets, negating my plan to sleep on a permethrin sheet for protection.

Any experience or thoughts on the issue? Would I be better off carrying a light sleeping bag, so as to avoid the need for blankets and their potential visitors?

Ray
 
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Ian Afloat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF July 25th 2017 from SJPDP
The bugs are more likely to hang out in the matresses than the blankets. If you are worried, then the minimum I would suggest is a bag liner which has been treated with bug spray.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2015
Hi all, I'm a newbie and plan on trekking SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre starting on 9 September, easing in with an overnight at Orrison. Thanks to all you peregrinos and peregrinas for the valuable wisdom and experience you have shared with me.

My question (and concern) is about avoiding nighttime visits from bedbugs. I've been pretty well convinced that I won't need a sleeping bag for a Sept-mid-Oct trek--that I can depend (generally) upon albergue blankets to keep me warm. But I am wondering if bedbugs inhabit some of those blankets, negating my plan to sleep on a permethrin sheet for protection.

Any experience or thoughts on the issue? Would I be better off carrying a light sleeping bag, so as to avoid the need for blankets and their potential visitors?

Ray


My wife and I did the last 112Km from Sarria to Santiago in the first part of May 2015 and we found our silk sleeping sacks and the blankets provided by the abergues to be more than adequate. All of the abergues we stayed in also provided paper mattress and pillow covers. We had treated our silk sleeping sacs with permethrin. All-in-all we had no bed guest.
Buen Camino
 

Dave2525

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
I used the blankets in some albergues and I am convinced those are the places that I got bit. When I just used my treated sleeping bag I was fine
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
My wife and I did the last 112Km from Sarria to Santiago in the first part of May 2015 and we found our silk sleeping sacks and the blankets provided by the abergues to be more than adequate. All of the abergues we stayed in also provided paper mattress and pillow covers. We had treated our silk sleeping sacs with permethrin. All-in-all we had no bed guest.
Buen Camino
The Albergues IN GALICIA provide those disposable mattress covers. That is not the case for the majority of the rest of the Camino Francés.
Blankets could be rather dirty come September!
As you walk further West and the days become shorter, you could experience many fresh nights ( and frost on the ground in the morning)!
This year, we tried an experiment, by using lightweight fleece blankets, which I added some Velcro tape along the bottom and up part of the side, to make into a sleeping bag if necessary. They saved more than 500 grams weight, compared to our sleeping bags and took up less space in our backpacks too! And were perfectly adequate.
 
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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
Yeah. It really is the luck of the draw.
I've slept in a top bunk and not been touched while the guy below me was eaten alive.
Also slept in an albergue and was not bitten and two days later ran into a pilgrim who slept there the next night and had bites all over him.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
Probably a lot of you have seen the youtube video of bedbugs on permethrin treated material. If it takes close to an hour to kill the critters, don't they have plenty of time to bite you? I bought a mattress cover that was recommended on this forum but now am rethinking taking it.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Probably a lot of you have seen the youtube video of bedbugs on permethrin treated material. If it takes close to an hour to kill the critters, don't they have plenty of time to bite you? I bought a mattress cover that was recommended on this forum but now am rethinking taking it
That's exactly what (and why) I am still undecided. Organizing my things for simple cleanup with heat treatment is now my main strategy.
 
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ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
So far what I've read is that permethrin is not harmful to humans. But if it doesn't really help with bedbugs why take the risk that a few years from now, as is often the case, you find out they are toxic.
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
So far what I've read is that permethrin is not harmful to humans. But if it doesn't really help with bedbugs why take the risk that a few years from now, as is often the case, you find out they are toxic.
That is the choice, but I think it does help against bed bugs. Permethrin has been around for a long while. It is used extensively on livestock.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
The choice I am wrestling with is whether to carry the treated sheet. Don't want to bother unless there is reason to believe it is at least effective!
 
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
A treated sheet will work - just make it a light piece such as a sheer curtain fabric - they will not crawl up onto it and they do not fly.
Can you not spray the outside of your sleeping bag?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Yes I can spray my bag and will probably do so. I am just trying to find any credible reports than give real evidence that a sprayed sheet/netting will actually deter bedbugs in the short term. The only reported experiment I can find concludes that it doesn't.

I'm simply trying to distinguish between "proven fact" and "educated guess." (And I am aware of the uncertainties of "facts.")
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
For Canadians worried about bed bugs on the camino, I have recently acquired a bed bug control spray called Blaze Pro crawling insect destroyer. It contains both pyrethrin and permethrin and is available at Canadian Tire. I intend to treat the outside of my sleeping bag and backpack shortly before I leave, as the residual effects are said to last for sixty days. I cannot guarantee either the effectiveness or the long-term safety, but I am willing to try it to help avoid getting bitten while away and bringing the critters home with me. Thanks to all who have suggested various ways of clearing one's gear and clothing of bed bugs. I am planning on freezing my merino wool garments, as very hot wash or dry does not seem like a good idea. Good luck to everyone on avoiding the little menaces.
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
That is the choice, but I think it does help against bed bugs. Permethrin has been around for a long while. It is used extensively on livestock.
Yep, just have to take all the opinions in and make a decision. Maybe I'm just ready to be done with all my obsessing about every aspect of my camino preparation. I may be posting in November how I regretted not taking a treated sheet. So be it.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
The treated sheet only weighs 100g... I used it in albergues and it made me feel better, but not before having thoroughly inspected the mattress and bed surrounds....
 
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
Yes I can spray my bag and will probably do so. I am just trying to find any credible reports than give real evidence that a sprayed sheet/netting will actually deter bedbugs in the short term. The only reported experiment I can find concludes that it doesn't.

I'm simply trying to distinguish between "proven fact" and "educated guess." (And I am aware of the uncertainties of "facts.")

I'm really sort of confused about why you think a sprayed sheet won't work?

I'm afraid if you become TOO obsessed with bedbugs that you'll call them in your sleep.
"Come bite me! Come biiiiiiiiiite me! "
A lot of very experienced pilgrims have reported in this forum that they spray the outside of their pack and the outside of their sleeping bag and they don't get bit.
I'd only listen to the experiment reports if the person reporting had walked the Camino, myself. :D
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I'm afraid if you become TOO obsessed with bedbugs...
It's OK. I am not obsessed or afraid. I have faced the enemy and survived. I have only been insistent with my questions/comments because I think there is a lot of mix-up of fact, educated guess and pure speculation about the bedbugs and how they might be avoided.
 
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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
It's OK. I am not obsessed or afraid. I have faced the enemy and survived. I have only been insistent with my questions/comments because I think there is a lot of mix-up of fact, educated guess and pure speculation about the bedbugs and how they might be avoided.

Interesting.
I haven't heard a lot of educated guess or speculation.
What I have heard is a lot of experienced pilgrims who have given advice based on their personal experience.

Some like Brierley.
Some hate his book.
Some like boots.
Some like shoes.
Some like big packs.
Some are minimalists.
Some wear ALTUS ponchos.
Some wear other types of raingear.
Some use DEET.
Some use essential oils.
Some use a bedbug sheet.
Some don't bother.
Some get eaten alive by bedbugs.
Some never see one.

And from this wealth of experience, forum members can choose.

As always, in the end, in Camino matters, everyone should do whatever works for them. ;)
 

LisaWalker

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino France (2015) September 2nd
The Albergues IN GALICIA provide those disposable mattress covers. That is not the case for the majority of the rest of the Camino Francés.
Blankets could be rather dirty come September!
As you walk further West and the days become shorter, you could experience many fresh nights ( and frost on the ground in the morning)!
This year, we tried an experiment, by using lightweight fleece blankets, which I added some Velcro tape along the bottom and up part of the side, to make into a sleeping bag if necessary. They saved more than 500 grams weight, compared to our sleeping bags and took up less space in our backpacks too! And were perfectly adequate.
Wow. what a great idea.
 

EL Guapo

EL Guapo
Year of past OR future Camino
(1983 - 1985-1990-1995-1999-2003-2008-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017) CF, etc.
Bed bugs are such a pain to deal with as they are persistent little vampires looking for their next meal. For me , it is not so much as being bitten, as it is transporting them to their next destination. That is why I keep my clothing to a bare minimum , less to keep up with. I always keep my pack closed and hung up when when I could. Not to be too festidious or over zealous in worrying about it, just aware of the possibilities of their presence. They are real good at getting in to clothing and material etc. A good inspection of your gear from time to time will give you peace of mind. If you find one of them deal with the eradication or toss the clothes. When I was a kid hanging around the hobo camps,they had a way of dealing with lice and bed bugs that seemed to work OK. They would put their old infected coats in an ant hill and retrieve the garment the next day free of any bugs. Not that I recommend the hobo cure. But it worked and was totally organic in nature. No pun intended .
Buen Camino
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Walked april, May and into early June....used albergue blankets and my own silk liner ...no permethrin...and didn't get bitten at all..had top bunk mostly but also bottom bunks...I eat marmite....you love it or you hate it....maybe true for bed bugs too...:D
 
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
Walked april, May and into early June....used albergue blankets and my own silk liner ...no permethrin...and didn't get bitten at all..had top bunk mostly but also bottom bunks...I eat marmite....you love it or you hate it....maybe true for bed bugs too...:D

This made me laugh!
Marmite? I believe it! ::laughing::
Congratulations on no bug bites!
 
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fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
This made me laugh!
Marmite? I believe it! ::laughing::
Congratulations on no bug bites!
It seems to work on the Scottish midges too.....my friend was bitten to death ...almost......me once....and then I think they spat it out.....:eek:
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
It seems to work on the Scottish midges too.....my friend was bitten to death ...almost......me once....and then I think they spat it out.....:eek:
Makes you wonder what the secret ingredients might be....!!!!!
 

Griffin57

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
October 2013 StJPdP to Burgos
September 2014 Burgos to SdC
Setember 2015 StJPdP to Burgos
Makes you wonder what the secret ingredients might be....!!!!!

I was advised to eat it in Cuba where the mosquitos carry Dengue Fever and was told told it contains Vitamin B12 that the mosquitos hate??? Maybe the same for bedbugs??? It didn't work in Cuba or Mexico perhaps I wasn't having enough?
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
I was advised to eat it in Cuba where the mosquitos carry Dengue Fever and was told told it contains Vitamin B12 that the mosquitos hate??? Maybe the same for bedbugs??? It didn't work in Cuba or Mexico perhaps I wasn't having enough?
Have been eating excessive quantities all my life.....so am probably super strength by now......would be willing to travel to Cuba or Mexico to undertake further research......sponsorship gratefully received....:cool::cool::cool:
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Have been eating excessive quantities all my life.....so am probably super strength by now......would be willing to travel to Cuba or Mexico to undertake further research......sponsorship gratefully received....:cool::cool::cool:
Joking apart I think I have heard similar sort of thing in past....but kind of didn't believe it.
 
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fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
I now have a vision of the pilgrim office handing out a jar of marmite with the pilgrim passports.....mmmmm
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2015: Via de la Plata
Marmite-- now that's a substance I could go for. My daughter turned me on to the benefits of it for vegans. Will up my intake of it and report back after my camino.
 

JuliusG

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Leaving Saint Jean August 30 (2015) with a stop at Orisson.
So far what I've read is that permethrin is not harmful to humans. But if it doesn't really help with bedbugs why take the risk that a few years from now, as is often the case, you find out they are toxic.

Hello Ricitosdeplata: I think your concern is very appropriate, I think you are using great logic; like you said you could write a volume about products that are touted to be "safe", only to be debunked a few years thence. On the other hand, it is like everything else; everyone's risk tolerance is different. Personally I neither completely trust or distrust the safety of Permethrin, nor totally distrust the efficacy, after all there are many great positive testimonials. So here is what works for me: 1. I check the matrass thoroughly, or as best as I can. If it is infested, I move on. If it appears to be OK, I will do a quick spray of the matrass cover anyway, long before I sleep on it. I realize that it is a bit of a hassle after a long days hike, but that's my risk tolerance. 2. In any event, I will have my Sleeping Pad pre-treated on both sides and my Sleeping Bag on the bottom and the sides, so my skin does not directly touches the chemical, dry or not. 3. Once I did all that, I am going to forget about bugs, just relax and sleep. The only caveat is that the matrass cover spraying needs to be done when I do not subject other people breathing it in, respecting others rights not to have to breath it in. All in all, just a very little time and effort spent on caution, so that the other 99.9% of the time I can think of more worthy things than bed-bugs.
 

Swede

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I and my wife have walked the CF 2011,2012,2013 and now in the end of August and Sept 2015
Hi all, I'm a newbie and plan on trekking SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre starting on 9 September, easing in with an overnight at Orrison. Thanks to all you peregrinos and peregrinas for the valuable wisdom and experience you have shared with me.

My question (and concern) is about avoiding nighttime visits from bedbugs. I've been pretty well convinced that I won't need a sleeping bag for a Sept-mid-Oct trek--that I can depend (generally) upon albergue blankets to keep me warm. But I am wondering if bedbugs inhabit some of those blankets, negating my plan to sleep on a permethrin sheet for protection.

Any experience or thoughts on the issue? Would I be better off carrying a light sleeping bag, so as to avoid the need for blankets and their potential visitors?

Ray
Hello Ray!
I have walked with a thin sleeping bag two times and one time without sleeping bag, just using silk sheets. At that time I arriwed at a Albergue and when it was my turn they had no more blankets to give me. The night temperature was very low that night and I had to dress up before I went to bed. Some blankets are in a terrible shape and not fresh. This time when I start in the end of August I will carry a thicker sleeping bag (about 900 gr). Remember that you walk at rather high altitude and the nights can be cold. When you reach Galicia it will rain a lot and there are no heating in the Albergues. Stonehouses with open windows mostly. But as you see every person has his own opinion. I have never experienced bedbugs.
I can also tell you that I have completly changed all gear and almost all clothing since the first Camino although I thought I was well prepared the first time. But you will be walking through rather big cities along the CF so you can buy what you need.
Good Luck!
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
Google the safety concerns regarding Permethrin before you use it.
My wife had a reaction to bed bug bites (open sores). The pharmacist (chemist, druggist) on the Camino recomended Tea tree oil as a gentle repellent. We were never bitten again
 
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timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Four caminos and counting, no special measures, used my own sleeping bag (with untreated sheet sleeping bag) or just untreated sheet sleeping bag and blanket in albergue, never inspected bed, mattress or blanket. No bites ever.
Likewise, drank water from all sorts of places, never worried too much about potablity. No ill effects. I am a physician, who has lived long in Africa and I do NOT understimate the possibilties of infestations or water-borne infections. I always have innoculations and make efforts not to be bitten by mosquitoes (in Africa). But my experience (and I can only speak for myself) is that Spain is a benevolent and beneficent environment! I hugely respect people who are more careful than I am, but they have not swayed me!
I did once in Kenya, while mainly resident in my own house, get bedbugs living in my Birkenstock (statement of fact, but no blame intended) sandals, below the leather strap, as it passes through the buckle, on both right and left feet. It took me a while (more than a week) to catch on and realise why my always sockless feet were so symmetrically itchy. I was in a classroom when I looked closely at the sandals one day and the students thought it immensely funny when I showed them. They took the sandals away for half an hour, did something to them with kerosene, and gave them back. I wore them henceforth with no difficulty, once the smell had faded.
I propose to call one volume of my memoirs "Bedbugs in my Birkenstocks", but all I have to date is the title.....
 
Last edited:
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Like it has been said already on this forum on numerous threads, the ever so slight prospect of having a bedbug encounter while walking the CF is not even worth thinking about. I'll never understand why it is so much the topic of discussion on here. There is nothing primitive or hostile about living conditions while walking the Camino. I drank gallons of the fountain water. No ill effects. I ate all manner of food. No ill effects. I slept in every kind of albergue there was, on their blankets when I could. No bedbugs. Saw no mosquitoes while walking, let alone bitten by any. Never had any local dogs bother me. Saw no snakes and somehow managed to avoid being attacked by wild boars, bears, wolves or even the deadly Iberian lynx, which has been discussed on this forum lately. ;)
Walk freely and fearlessly and as we say, don't sweat the small stuff.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
You sure had a boring Camino. :rolleyes:

Ondo Ibili !
"Boring"? Nah, not boring. Quite enjoyable actually. So much so I did it twice. ;)
Besides, if that's boring I'll take it. Had enough of the non-boring living in Afghanistan for five years. :cool:
 

Cooperplus

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015
Hello Ray!
I have walked with a thin sleeping bag two times and one time without sleeping bag, just using silk sheets. At that time I arriwed at a Albergue and when it was my turn they had no more blankets to give me. The night temperature was very low that night and I had to dress up before I went to bed. Some blankets are in a terrible shape and not fresh. This time when I start in the end of August I will carry a thicker sleeping bag (about 900 gr). Remember that you walk at rather high altitude and the nights can be cold. When you reach Galicia it will rain a lot and there are no heating in the Albergues. Stonehouses with open windows mostly. But as you see every person has his own opinion. I have never experienced bedbugs.
I can also tell you that I have completly changed all gear and almost all clothing since the first Camino although I thought I was well prepared the first time. But you will be walking through rather big cities along the CF so you can buy what you need.
Good Luck!
Hi Swede, Woukd you be willing to share some information about how your gear has changed, based on your experience?
 
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Swede

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I and my wife have walked the CF 2011,2012,2013 and now in the end of August and Sept 2015
Hi Swede, Woukd you be willing to share some information about how your gear has changed, based on your experience?
Hi Cooperplus!
Sorry for my late reply but I´m in a period of lot of working.
I have changed my backpack from 35 l to Osprey Kestrel 58. I found out that the bigger backpacks have better harness´s and hipbelts and over all are more stabile. You can also pack your gear tight to your back which increases the carrying comfort. When you have smaller backpacks they are growing backwards. I have used three pair of boots, different models all of them and are now using Hanwag Tatra Wide. Light and steady boots. The sole is in my opinion very important. I´m using Sole made in Canada I think. I have always used this brand. Steady soles that keep your feets in place. I have returned to sleeping bag, North Face, a three season bag ( 900 gr.). I have changed from Gore-Tex jacket for rain to a lightweight poncho from Fjallraven. A poncho gives the best ventilation when walking. It also covers your backpack. I have now fast drying trousers that you can zip and a windjacket, softshell, Salomon which have the windbreaker in the front and is very breathable on your back. You have your backpack there so there is no need for windbreaker there. I have changed to Merino wool underwear (boxershorts and T-shirt). They will keep you in the comfortzone whether it´s warm, cold or rainy and the don´t smell. I have left the poles at home no need for them, think of how many times will you be liftning these poles.
Sometimes you can need a larger pole to balance better through a tricky passage but you will manage anyhow. As I recall the poles came into the market to increases the training effects when walking because when you uses your arms the heart beats more. I want to use so little effort as possible when walking.
Now I have to leave for work. I have mentioned the brands here so you can read more about them. There are many other brands you can choose from.
This is just a summary there are more to say about this. Remember, this is my personal opinion.
All the Best!
 

Mamasong

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015
Hi all, I'm a newbie and plan on trekking SJPP-Muxia-Finisterre starting on 9 September, easing in with an overnight at Orrison. Thanks to all you peregrinos and peregrinas for the valuable wisdom and experience you have shared with me.

My question (and concern) is about avoiding nighttime visits from bedbugs. I've been pretty well convinced that I won't need a sleeping bag for a Sept-mid-Oct trek--that I can depend (generally) upon albergue blankets to keep me warm. But I am wondering if bedbugs inhabit some of those blankets, negating my plan to sleep on a permethrin sheet for protection.

Any experience or thoughts on the issue? Would I be better off carrying a light sleeping bag, so as to avoid the need for blankets and their potential visitors?

Ray

Dear Ray,
My husband Michael and I (also newbies) will be starting your exact trek on Sept 9 from SJPDP and overnighting in Orrison as well. We hope to see you along the path! I will be the one celebrating my birthday from the terrace in Orrison :). See you soon!! Margaret & Michael
 

Draganban

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 2015)
Hi Cooperplus!
I have changed my backpack from 35 l to Osprey Kestrel 58. I found out that the bigger backpacks have better harness´s and hipbelts and over all are more stabile.

I'm happy to hear that - I bought an osprey Atmos 50L and was told it was too big, but it is unquestionably the most comfortable pack I tried. As for bed bugs - I think I would prefer the bites to the pesticides that might or might not prevent them.
 

wendyrose

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 2015)
Some interesting suggestions here, using essential oils in various ways, and putting petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the legs of the bed - has anyone come across that?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-whitehurst/7-holistic-ways-to-keep-y_b_782695.html

I'm preparing my gear for my first Camino, starting early September. I'm planning to use permethrin spray on the outside of my sleeping bag and backpack, and will probably give some of the essential oil ideas a try, too.

I agree that it's not worth stressing about bedbugs too much, but I was bitten by them many years ago and it's definitely something I'd prefer to avoid if possible.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Essential oils don't rate highly with me as a bedbug prevention. I would not waste my pack weight.
 
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wendyrose

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 2015)
I don't think essential oils are enough prevention on their own, but might help a little as an extra. I'm taking tea tree oil with me as a useful antiseptic anyway, and maybe a bit of lavender oil could sneak into the weight allowance as well!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'd go for essential oil made from chrysanthemum - it's called pyrethrum. Pure, natural, and effective.
 
A

AJ

Guest
Honestly, you can't overthink this.

Whether or not you encounter the bugs is a toss-up.

This is my experience. From 2011 until this year I have been bitten every year. Betwenn 2008 and 2011 and this year (so far) I have not been bitten.

I prefer to use albergue blankets where possible because I believe that the bugs will take residence in my sleeping bag and hitch a ride with me, whereas if I use blankets they will stay in the albergue.

I have only taken hitchhikers with me once and that was when I used my own sleeping bag.

As for permethrin treatment, I have used it on a liner and it was ineffective- Maybe a bad batch?
 

Swede

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I and my wife have walked the CF 2011,2012,2013 and now in the end of August and Sept 2015
I'm happy to hear that - I bought an osprey Atmos 50L and was told it was too big, but it is unquestionably the most comfortable pack I tried. As for bed bugs - I think I would prefer the bites to the pesticides that might or might not prevent them.
You did a very good choice when you bought Atmos 50L. Congratulations. You will enjoy it for many years to come. It´s much easier to have a larger backpack. There are more pockets so you can reach your gear from "outside" and the comfort is much better. I have my poncho in a pocket så I can grab it without unpacking or open anything.
I will give you another tip that increases your walking comfort a lot and that is the soles from Sole Company. They are very good. I have the sole called Softec Response. You can put the soles in a owen and then direct in your boots and they will be formed after your feets. You can read about them here.
https://secure.yoursole.com/us/mens/footbeds/softec-response/
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
After waking up with numerous bites on my back in Muxia two nights before returning home from the Camino, I think it's a worthwhile discussion topic, especially because the aftermath of dealing with them at home, despite my best efforts to avoid hitch hikers, is something I neither wish to repeat nor would wish on anyone else. (I met another pilgrim who had ended up with his back completely covered with bites but I don't recall where he told me that had happened).

Last year I had no problems with bed bugs on the Camino Francés and used a Permethrin-treated Tyvek sheet (á la Falcon) and Permethrin-treated sleeping bag every night.

This year I was using the same newly-treated Tyvek sheet and an untreated silk liner (as it was much too hot for the sleeping bag). The other difference is that the night that I got the bites as well as for the three nights before, I used the albergue blankets.

The problem, of course, is that correlation does not necessarily signify causation so it's impossible to say whether having the Perm-treated bedding last year was why I didn't have bedbug problems and/or that using the blankets was why I ended up with the bedbugs. That having been said, coincidence or not, next time, I will avoid the albergue blankets and use my permethrin-treated bedding.
 
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Dutch

Straightforward
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Uhhh, there is no such thing as bed bug prevention. Either they come when around or not. Nothing you can do to scare them away.

Permethrin is good to kill them, but it wont keep them away.

They also dont discriminate between a donativo albergue or a five star Ritz or Four Seasons, so why this is always such a HOT topic here, i just dont get.
 

Shalaw

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
When we did our camino, I was the one who got all bit up and my fiancé did not. And I'm sure I got bit up in a couple of different albergues. It's just the luck of the draw. I even had a silk liner but it obviously didn't work. So, we went to the local ferreteria (hardware store) and bought a HUGE can of bed bug spray and at the next albergue, we washed all of my clothing in super hot water and then dried them well, and sprayed my backpack and the contents that I could and it cleared up the problem. I don't believe I transported them anywhere else but I did feel dirty and gross, even though I'm not. Lol. Oh yes, and because the bites were swollen and soooooo itchy, we also made a stop in the local farmacia and got some anti-histamine tablets which not only took away the itch immediately, but it also helped me to sleep.
 

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