Bug bites


2018 edition Camino Guides

Advertisment

Lmsundaze

Active Member
#2
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I was bitten also. I hope this isn't the wrong place for this, but I am very allergic to insect bites and carry some strong oral antihistamines "just in case."
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
#3
@Anne DR were they bed bug bites? If so, you should to take additional precautions to eradicate them from yourself and your kit! You may want to solicit the help of the hospitalero. They need to know anyway, so that they can stop the next peregrinos from the fate that has befallen you. Everything washed and dryed at a high temperature to kill them. Maybe a visit to the farmacia for some topicals and antihistamines as suggested.

Buena Suerte
 

Advertisment

#6
I machine washed and machine dried everything I could at next stop. Bought topical allergy cream today. Any suggestions on how to protect myself? Counted 50+ bites on one leg alone!
 

Advertisment

Saint Mike II

Vetran Member
Donating Member
#12
Hola @Anne DR - real bummer. You have so far done the right thing in washing and dry (at high temps - 60C) all your clothes.

Did you report your event to the Albergue you were staying at when you discovered the bites?? Its a good idea to do so, so that they can then really clean the bed/bunk you used.

I & my "Camino Daughter" has a similar painful experience - and we usually do a thorough inspection of the bunks before putting any of our gear near them. We ended up spending around Euro30 on washing and drying all our gear - as well as spraying our backpacks (inside & out) and left them in the sun for 2 or 3 hours. I really treated ALL my gear before leaving Oz so you can never be 100% protected. Hopefully the rest of your Camino will be a success. Cheers
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#13
It is sad to hear this. I think most of this has been said already, but there are three things to think about:
  1. treat yourself, which might involve getting to a doctor or hospital if the bites are extensive and become infected.
  2. protect yourself from this happening again, which might include using an insect repellent (DEET has already been mentioned), checking beds and bedding before you sleep in any particular bed, getting a barrier sheet - typically a large sheet treated with permethrin if you can find one, and treating clothing and gear with an insecticide such as pyrethrum or permethrin, using a heat treatment, or some other combination of these.
  3. protect others - let the hospitaleros know at the places you stayed over the previous few days that you have been bitten. I have seen references to bite marks taking a few days to appear. Let them know which bed you used if you can remember, which will help them target their own inspection and treatment to a particular room or area.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#14
As I have now had this problem a few times, I do the following:

1. Treat all my sleeping gear with permethrin before I leave home, and spray my backpack inside and out with permethrin spray.
2. Carry a large plastic garbage bad into which I put my backpack before putting it down - and seal it every night.
3. Carefully inspect the bed before putting anything on it, including pulling up the mattress and looking at the bed frame/slats and underside of the mattress (seams particularly).
4. Put a permethrin treated layer between myself and the bed and pillow, and sleep inside a permethrin treated silk sleeping bag liner.
5. Anything not in the backpack keep in a permethrin treated rolled and sealed dry bag (e.g. passport, wallet, smartphone that I keep beside myself in bed)
6. Choose a top bunk.
7. Cover myself in Deet before going to sleep. Yuk, and unless you are paranoid like me avoid if you can.

Doing all that, so far I have not been bitten again, but I have not tested it on a long camino.
 

markmcilroy

Member
Donating Member
#15
As I have now had this problem a few times, I do the following:

1. Treat all my sleeping gear with permethrin before I leave home, and spray my backpack inside and out with permethrin spray.
2. Carry a large plastic garbage bad into which I put my backpack before putting it down - and seal it every night.
3. Carefully inspect the bed before putting anything on it, including pulling up the mattress and looking at the bed frame/slats and underside of the mattress (seams particularly).
4. Put a permethrin treated layer between myself and the bed and pillow, and sleep inside a permethrin treated silk sleeping bag liner.
5. Anything not in the backpack keep in a permethrin treated rolled and sealed dry bag (e.g. passport, wallet, smartphone that I keep beside myself in bed)
6. Choose a top bunk.
7. Cover myself in Deet before going to sleep. Yuk, and unless you are paranoid like me avoid if you can.

Doing all that, so far I have not been bitten again, but I have not tested it on a long camino.
Hi Kanga...point 3..a permethrin treated layer, what do you actually use as the layer?
 

Advertisment

HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#16
I have my fingers in my ears and am humming loudly, really loudly. I've been lucky on two caminos but them little bug...s is scary.
Sorry you got bitten and especially so badly but well done you for doing all the right things.
PS Also thanks for all the good advice in posts above.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#17
@markmcilroy the last camino I used a large size microfibre towel, that I'd treated with permethrin before leaving home, it happened to be what I had with me. Now I have a Lifesystems bed bug sheet (see this link). It is very light and I'd use that next time. A note of caution, the single sheet is not really big enough - hard to tuck in - so I purchased the double.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#19
Yes, I found it comfortable although I sleep inside my silk sleeping bag liner, so not directly on top. It is some kind of net. I am able to tuck it well in under the mattress. I can see how the single size might pull out. I purchased the double on advice from those who had the single size.

I have to say that the most comfortable I've ever been on camino was the year I took a single silk fitted sheet, and slept on that and under my down quilt. Luxury. Unfortunately I also got bitten by beg bugs. So I'm back in a cocoon.
 

Advertisment

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#20
@Kanga, do you think a plastic bag is more effective for overnight protection than an Osprey Airporter, in addition to being 99.7% less expensive?
To be effective, it needs to have no entry points for bugs, or complex seams for them to hide. A plastic bag, tied at the top, would work as long as it doesn't have any holes! Beware the noise, though. I use a large fold-top dry bag.
 

Advertisment

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#20
I looked online at the Osprey Airporter, when thinking about checking in my pack for flying, but decided they were an expensive option, and unnecessary weight. I think the same for bed bug protection. Large plastic garbage bags work fine - @Tigger found some good ones, slightly thicker than the normal garbage bags, bright red.
 

Advertisment

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#22
@C clearly is right - I wanted to use a dry bag but my Aarn pack is quite "fat" with the front balance packs, and does not fit easily inside even the largest (lightweight) one. Length is OK, the width is the problem. So the red garbage bag it is. I don't think the thicker bags are too much of a noise problem (the pack only goes in and out), and they seemed to last pretty well. We had a few extra incase.

I use something similar to the Ikea bag for the flight - but I don't know if it is is bug proof - if yes, then that would be an option.
 
#26
The number of bites could suggest noseeums? No seeums are an almost invisible fly that bite often 10 or more places. They can cause a huge welt and reaction. I am not personally aware of wether they have them in that area, however, if you had 50 plus on one leg that would probably suggest an infestation of bed bugs, or perhaps noseeums.

In any case, if the welts are very itchy and swollen you can try Benadryl at night and a non drowsy antihistamine in the day. These would probably be more effective and better than steroid creams, which can increase the risk of infections.

PM me the name of the host am if you are up for that. I will be going through in 3 weeks... better safe than sorry.

Thanks.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
#29
I think that avoiding this particular albergue would give you a false sense of security. Hopefully she told the hospitalera/os and they have treated the place by now. Anne, I'm curious if you checked out the bed/under the mattress, etc and didn't see any signs of bedbugs?

I certainly don't want to get bit by bedbugs on the Camino and will be spraying my bag liner and pack with Permethrin. Gonna carry those travel wipes with DEET. I'll also do a cursory look around the bed before I lie down.

That being said, I've been bitten by different kinds of bugs all over the world and have survived so far. I didn't think I would, after being stung by a poisonous caterpillar in Trinidad and Tobago that hurt worse than anything I've ever felt, and the pain traveled into my joints and affected my heart rhythm. I got lice in Central America (as well as Hepatitis A), horrific noseeums in Mexico, mosquitos of course a lot of places (and those may actually be the most dangerous, with the diseases they can carry). And, I hate to tell you, but, even with the Permethrin, I came home from the Camino last year with scabies.

I'm meaning to reassure you here, really I am. I don't regret a single adventure I've ever had (except for the one with a guy named Marc, which I won't go into here).
 
Last edited:
#30
Yes the bugs drive us nuts, but Hep A and B are much bigger health risks. Two vaccine injections, initial and a booster at three months can provide immunity, on of which is spread through food, especially ice.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#33
Is it ok to post name of albergue?
I think that you need to contemplate that you might not have been bitten in the place where you first detected the bites. Second, if you have already informed the hospitaleros in the places you stayed in the days before you detected the bites, they should have already treated the problem if it was in their albergue, and be watching for any recurrence. It would then be unnecessary for others to avoid staying in these places. Overall, I think it does more harm than good if you have already advised the albergues themselves.
 
#35
This all sounds scary but I don't want to dwell on it too much, having been on the Camino a few times with no problems. Questions: how does a protective sheet help if they can hide in bed frame? What is the difference between permethrin and deet and which should you use? ( both as prevention and treatment). Where do you buy permethrin in the UK?
Sorry to hear about poor Ann. How are you getting on?
 
#36
I didn't know all the correct procedures about informing albergue. I tried calling today but my call keeps dropping. It was Padres Reparadores where I felt bitten. I was in room 5 first lower bed on left. If someone can please let them know. I'll try to call again.
 
#37
I didn't know all the correct procedures about informing albergue. I tried calling today but my call keeps dropping. It was Padres Reparadores where I felt bitten. I was in room 5 first lower bed on left. If someone can please let them know. I'll try to call again.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#38
What is the difference between permethrin and deet and which should you use?
Pyrethrum and permethrin are both insecticides, and kill insects, but have very little repellent effect. Pyrethrum is a plant extract, but does no persist very long. Permethrin is a manufactured chemical with long persistance.
DEET is an insect repellent, and won't kill insects. It is applied to the skin or to clothing where there are entry points - collars, cuffs, waistbands, etc.
how does a protective sheet help if they can hide in bed frame?
They need to eat, and come out in the dark to feed on suitable hosts - people. A protective sheet is designed to create a lethal barrier where the bed bug will accumulate a lethal dose of insecticide before it reaches you. Any bed bug who stays home won't be affected, but those that wander out for a meal will be.
Will they accumulate a lethal dose from the sheet. Clearly that is the plan, but there is evidence that some have higher levels of tolerance than others. Will they die before they reach you. That seems less certain - perhaps they will have their last meal, but not live to enjoy it!!

Where do you buy permethrin in the UK?
Someone else will have to answer this question.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
#39

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#40
I didn't know all the correct procedures about informing albergue. I tried calling today but my call keeps dropping. It was Padres Reparadores where I felt bitten. I was in room 5 first lower bed on left. If someone can please let them know. I'll try to call again.
@Anne DR, I have emailed them a link to this thread. I obtained the email address from www.gronze.com. It was the second link that came up when I searched for albergue padres rapadores. The first was trip advisor, which didn't give me an email address. It was not hard to find with access to the web, which clearly you do.
 
#41
Thanks Doug. But if a bug walks up the bed frame and onto me a sheet won't make any difference. .I'm thinking ' do I really want to carry extra weight?'. What about if I spray my sleeping bag with deet?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#42
Thanks Doug. But if a bug walks up the bed frame and onto me a sheet won't make any difference. .I'm thinking ' do I really want to carry extra weight?'. What about if I spray my sleeping bag with deet?
I'm not tall enough or wide enough to come in regular contact with the bed frame. You would be better off treating your sleeping bag liner with permethrin in my view, and using that even when you don't need your sleeping bag. Its really your call on how much you want to do to protect yourself.

Also, if you have walked several times before without problems, it is possible that you have been bitten without reacting to the bites, or even not bitten at all.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
#43
Here is a hyperlink to the Camino Podcast by Dave Winston Episode 24 - Round Trip (and Bed Bugs).
  • "This episode also features an interview with Dr. Michael Potter from the University of Kentucky--an entomologist with great expertise in the realm of bed bugs. He corrects some common misunderstandings about bed bug prevention techniques and offers some strategies that all pilgrims can employ to keep themselves bite-free."

Potter says that permethrin has not been proven to be effective for bed bugs. I have used permethrin on every wilderness trip for mosquitoes and ticks. I have never used it in a communal sleeping facility.

Here is a hyperlink to the Permethrin Soak Method Guide. I use the soak method on clothing, silk sleeping bag liner, and spray other items pack, sleeping bags, etc.
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#46
Permethrin is not a repellent, it is an insecticide. @falcon269 specifically spoke of DEET as an insect repellent.
Thanks, Doug. I wonder if they both work equally, or which one is potentially more harmful to humans with the chemicals being used.
OOPS! I just noticed all the prior discussion on this topic. I failed to read them all before I asked my question, but then I'm not fully awake yet this morning.o_O
 
Last edited:

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#47
Thanks, Doug. I wonder if they both work equally, or which one is potentially more harmful to humans with the chemicals being used.
They do different things! Plenty of articles, scholarly and otherwise, on the web. Noting that there will always be issues with any insecticide or repellent, DEET and permethrin are considered safe when used in accordance with a manufacturers MSDS.
 
#48
That was good, thanks for re-posting it.

Short version: Check the bed, seal up your stuff at night.

Longer: He's very skeptical about the spraying - his studies found one permethrin product completely ineffective when sprayed on suitcases. What he does recommend:
  1. Check for bedbugs, especially around the head of the bed (they are attracted to CO2, so they can leave more signs there).
  2. Close your backpack up at night with all your stuff inside, and, if you can, hang it on a hook or elevate it off the floor on a hard surface. Don't create a "bridge" from the bed to the pack. Do NOT put your pack on another bed or leave stuff thrown loosely around on the floor or another bed.
  3. Optionally, carry a trash bag and put your stuff in it and close it up at night.
@linkster also posted this link to Winston's bedbug information pages. He's got a Spanish version and someone contributed a Portuguese version.

If you suspect you are infested, give your stuff a 15-minute run in a clothes dryer (best when dry - the items will heat up faster - and with enough room to tumble in the dryer). In the summer, sometimes leaving things open in the sun or in a closed car can be sufficient. The killing temperature for pretty much all insects is 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

We should start a program to contribute the "ClimbUp" devices to albergues. These devices trap bedbugs trying to climb up the bed legs. I wonder if the folks would welcome them or see them as a sign of a past problem.
 

MiB

New Member
#50
Hi Anne,
Can you please let me know which Albergue you were in, so that I can avoid that one, in Sep/Oct? Grateful
Perhaps the last two or three places you stayed when you discovered these bites. I really wish to avoid such an inconvenience and painful experience. Worse even, is that these creatures can be passed on to the next place and/or come home with you!
Good luck, Marilyn
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#52
I didn't know all the correct procedures about informing albergue. I tried calling today but my call keeps dropping. It was Padres Reparadores where I felt bitten. I was in room 5 first lower bed on left. If someone can please let them know. I'll try to call again.
You may have come in contact with the bedbugs before Puente La Reina, as it can sometimes take 24-48 hours for the bites to appear. Contact the albergues you were at before PLR as well.
 

oldman

oldman
Donating Member
#53
@markmcilroy the last Camino I used a large size microfiber towel, that I'd treated with permethrin before leaving home, it happened to be what I had with me. Now I have a Lifesystems bed bug sheet (see this link). It is very light and I'd use that next time. A note of caution, the single sheet is not really big enough - hard to tuck in - so I purchased the double.
I use a divan mattress cover a very deep one , the type with the plastic cover ( with the plastic cover removed ) you are left with a very light stretchy sheet that goes over the pillow and the mattress and then the silk liner on top ,all treated with permethrin.
In 5 Camino's I have never had any problems.
 
#56
The issues with bed bugs during the Camino have been covered by various people. However a major issue is that post camino any bed bug larvae that have survived the various methods dicussed can infect your home and prove very difficult to erradicate. Since bed bugs don't survive extremes of heat and cold there are two recommendations that should be followed when you arrive home. 1) If you have a large enough freezer, place your pack and contents into a double bin bag an place in the freezer for 24 hours - 100% kill rate with no chemicals. 2) Alternatively wash all clothes on a hot cycle. Place your pack in a double bin bag and spray contents in permethrin and seal the bag and leave in your garage for a week.
 
#57
Sorry you're dealing with that problem, bed bugs are so, so annoying!

From my experience you'll have a hard time not to end up in an albergue with bed bugs at least once on the Francés in summer. The little vampires seemed to be everywhere this year, difficult to avoid.

All you can do is learn how to reduce the risk of being bitten and what to do so you won't take them to another place or even home. Others have given advice on that already. Good info out in the net also, do some research, know your enemy, so to speak.

Anyway... don't forget to enjoy your Camino, even with bed bugs :) - especially while you're sitting half naked in the laundry room, wrapped in a borrowed rain poncho or towel only, while all your stuff is doing rounds in the washing machine for hours! It's fun, at least for the others who are watching... especially for those who at that moment still claim you're just being paranoid (that is, until they get bitten themselves a few days later :D)!





Happy bug-free Camino!
 
#58
Yes, I found it comfortable although I sleep inside my silk sleeping bag liner, so not directly on top. It is some kind of net. I am able to tuck it well in under the mattress. I can see how the single size might pull out. I purchased the double on advice from those who had the single size.

I have to say that the most comfortable I've ever been on camino was the year I took a single silk fitted sheet, and slept on that and under my down quilt. Luxury. Unfortunately I also got bitten by beg bugs. So I'm back in a cocoon.
What does the bug cover weigh. Trying to keep my weight at 11lbs.

Thanks
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
#60
Anyway... don't forget to enjoy your Camino, even with bed bugs :) - especially while you're sitting half naked in the laundry room, wrapped in a borrowed rain poncho or towel only, while all your stuff is doing rounds in the washing machine for hours! It's fun, at least for the others who are watching... especially for those who at that moment still claim you're just being paranoid (that is, until they get bitten themselves a few days later :D)!Happy bug-free Camino!
Just don't ask to borrow *my* towel...
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#62
I think that you need to contemplate that you might not have been bitten in the place where you first detected the bites. Second, if you have already informed the hospitaleros in the places you stayed in the days before you detected the bites, they should have already treated the problem if it was in their albergue, and be watching for any recurrence. It would then be unnecessary for others to avoid staying in these places. Overall, I think it does more harm than good if you have already advised the albergues themselves.
In an ideal world that is definitely how it would work but in my experience the reality is some hospitaleros do not want to know about bedbugs.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
#64
Hi Anne,
Can you please let me know which Albergue you were in, so that I can avoid that one, in Sep/Oct? Grateful
Perhaps the last two or three places you stayed when you discovered these bites. I really wish to avoid such an inconvenience and painful experience. Worse even, is that these creatures can be passed on to the next place and/or come home with you!
Good luck, Marilyn
Maybe you would want to read all the posts as the OP already posted the answer to your question.

And I can answer to your sub-questions: yes and yes!
 
#66
... What he does recommend:
  1. Check for bedbugs, especially around the head of the bed (they are attracted to CO2, so they can leave more signs there).
  2. Close your backpack up at night with all your stuff inside, and, if you can, hang it on a hook or elevate it off the floor on a hard surface. Don't create a "bridge" from the bed to the pack. Do NOT put your pack on another bed or leave stuff thrown loosely around on the floor or another bed.
  3. Optionally, carry a trash bag and put your stuff in it and close it up at night.
....
Check for bedbugs... images for example here:
https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636
or
http://caminosantiago2.blogspot.de/2011/06/dont-let-bedbugs-bite.html

As far as I understand this, only point 1 (Check for bedbugs) is for avoiding bed bugs (Point 2 and 3 is for avoiding taking bed bugs to the next albergue).
As I do not want to use DEET or permethrin if I can avoid it...

Who got bug bites in spite of the fact that he or she has checked for bedbugs before using a bed ?
Do you feel "safe enough" if you only check for bedbugs (and follow point 2 and 3 for the other albergues)?
 
Last edited:
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#67
Who got bug bites in spite of the fact that he or she has checked for bedbugs before using a bed ?
Do you feel "safe enough" if you only check for bedbugs (and follow point 2 and 3 for the other albergues)?
You don't need to be in the presence of a full blown infestation to be bitten. All you need is to come in fontact with the bugs brought in the day before. As well, it's not because there was once an infestation that left traces that the place has not been fumigated since, leaving all bb dead by the time you arrive.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#68
Who got bug bites in spite of the fact that he or she has checked for bedbugs before using a bed ?
I did. As @Anemone del Camino says, there might only be a few bugs (or even one) that arrived the day before. You are not likely to see evidence. I have several times received 2 or 3 or 4 bites after having inspected. (I would guess that 50 bites would not come from a single bug.)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#69
I now have three bug episodes under my camino belt. The first one, on the Vdlp long ago, was clearly bed bugs I know this because I was walking with a member of the Spanish army who had a lot of experience. He took care of me and my things while I spent a lovely afternoon sitting in a bathrobe on the roof terrace of the Casa Perin in Villafranca dos Barros.

But the other two were more uncertain. Both last year (Ruta del Ebro) and this year (Norte), I woke up one morning with a lot of bites on my body. In both cases I dealt with them as though they were bedbugs, but it's been suggested to me that they were probably fleas -- in part because of the time of year (early in the season). Any tips on how to make a more certain diagnosis?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#70
My understanding is that you cannot make a certain diagnosis. Every individual reacts differently, as for any allergic reaction. You have only circumstantial evidence to go on.

When I get 2 or 3 bites that are unique to my Camino experience (I could go into detail about them) and similar to the one time I actually saw bedbugs, I believe they are bedbugs and I treat my things accordingly.

However, I find it difficult to report to an albergue that "I have 3 bites that I think are bedbugs and that I might have received last night or the night before."

So, I continue general precautions and accept a few bites as a fact of the Camino. It almost doesn't matter if those bites really were bedbugs or something else, as long as I treat my things as if they were.
 
#71
Last edited:

susanawee

Active Member
#74
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I was bitten also. I hope this isn't the wrong place for this, but I am very allergic to insect bites and carry some strong oral antihistamines "just in case."
I also carry strong anti-histamine these days and find that this DOES help with the very painful allergic reaction I have to these little creatures, also helps with sandfly and midgie bites which also give me so much painful grief. ....:) susanawee.
 

Marbe2

Active member
#75
While it is true that it is possible that one can pick up a bedbug at an earlier albergue, I think, there are times when places are infested with bed bugs!! I was bitten severely in a place in Ages, two years ago with multiple bites! There were no clues on the bed! The bugs, many..were coming from a crack in the wall! I had read a few reviews, previously that did not mention them. When I got home, I found older reviews with mention of infestation there!If you want to know the name of the place, go to Trip advisor under the Camino and you will find the name of the place! I know it is possible for any establishment to get them no matter what the quality, but when I find a place that repeatedly has large numbers of them, I will not go there! BTW permethrin did not help me! All my clothes were sprayed well before leaving. Our back packs too! We started deeting our back backs every day but I did not wish to spray deet on myself everyday! IMO, if a place repeatedly has many bedbugs it should be known! Owners too need to be motivated to fix the problem!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#76
@markmcilroy the last camino I used a large size microfibre towel, that I'd treated with permethrin before leaving home, it happened to be what I had with me. Now I have a Lifesystems bed bug sheet (see this link). It is very light and I'd use that next time. A note of caution, the single sheet is not really big enough - hard to tuck in - so I purchased the double.
Hi @Kanga. I'm looking at the sheet you have used.
Dumb question maybe, but is there a danger that bugs will infest the sheet?
And you end up packing them along with you? :eek:
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#77
Hi @Kanga. I'm looking at the sheet you have used.
Dumb question maybe, but is there a danger that bugs will infest the sheet?
And you end up packing them along with you? :eek:
Bedbugs are not tiny microscopic insects. In the morning you should isolate your sleeping things (sheet, sleeping bag and clothes) in a dry bag that goes inside your backpack. Then, during the day, if some suspicious bites emerge on your skin, you will know that you should find a clothes dryer and treat the contents of your isolated bag. If no bites emerge, assume you are OK, and use the gear again. Sure, you could have a slow reaction that doesn't show up until 2 days later, but if you continue to isolate your gear, you are less likely to spread them around and it easier to manage cleanup. Besides, you can only do what you reasonably can do.

(I don't dismiss the bedbug concerns as trivial, as some people do, because I know how unpleasant it is to find yourself bitten. However, I remind myself occasionally that this is not ebola virus.)
 
Last edited:
#78
@markmcilroy the last camino I used a large size microfibre towel, that I'd treated with permethrin before leaving home, it happened to be what I had with me. Now I have a Lifesystems bed bug sheet (see this link). It is very light and I'd use that next time. A note of caution, the single sheet is not really big enough - hard to tuck in - so I purchased the double.
Kanga May I ask what total pack weight do you carry? I notice the bedbugs sheet you mention is 220gm. Thanks.
 

HalfDomeOrBust

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#80
As I have now had this problem a few times, I do the following:

1. Treat all my sleeping gear with permethrin before I leave home, and spray my backpack inside and out with permethrin spray.
2. Carry a large plastic garbage bad into which I put my backpack before putting it down - and seal it every night.
3. Carefully inspect the bed before putting anything on it, including pulling up the mattress and looking at the bed frame/slats and underside of the mattress (seams particularly).
4. Put a permethrin treated layer between myself and the bed and pillow, and sleep inside a permethrin treated silk sleeping bag liner.
5. Anything not in the backpack keep in a permethrin treated rolled and sealed dry bag (e.g. passport, wallet, smartphone that I keep beside myself in bed)
6. Choose a top bunk.
7. Cover myself in Deet before going to sleep. Yuk, and unless you are paranoid like me avoid if you can.

Doing all that, so far I have not been bitten again, but I have not tested it on a long camino.

I've been doing everything that you have been doing Kanga (exactly) and have had great success!! The item I put on the bed and lay on is "Tulle". I get it a local material/fabric store. I buy an eight foot section and that works great since I am over 6 feet tall giving me some extra material when I roll at night in the bunk. Everything. Yes everything gets sprayed with permethrin before I leave my home headed for the Camino. 4 Caminos and no bites but I have found dead bugs in my pack, on the Tulle and under the insoles of my boots!!!! This works!!!!

PS--Actually, I do not use any DEET as that stuff is nasty (no. 7 on your list)......
 
#81
I've been doing everything that you have been doing Kanga (exactly) and have had great success!! The item I put on the bed and lay on is "Tulle". I get it a local material/fabric store. I buy an eight foot section and that works great since I am over 6 feet tall giving me some extra material when I roll at night in the bunk. Everything. Yes everything gets sprayed with permethrin before I leave my home headed for the Camino. 4 Caminos and no bites but I have found dead bugs in my pack, on the Tulle and under the insoles of my boots!!!! This works!!!!

PS--Actually, I do not use any DEET as that stuff is nasty (no. 7 on your list)......
Hi, re the TULLE, do you buy the silk, nylon, rayon ? Such a great DIY. Do you also use in addition to the Tulle sheet a silk liner and sleepingbbag ? Thanks
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#82
Hi, re the TULLE, do you buy the silk, nylon, rayon ? Such a great DIY. Do you also use in addition to the Tulle sheet a silk liner and sleepingbbag ? Thanks
I don't understand what purpose the tulle has for the bunk. It sounds like it would be scratchy, slippery and wad up. I buy a $5 twin sheet set from the Dollar Store and spray the fitted bottom sheet with permathrin. The cheap fabric it is made of is super lightweight. I bring the fitted sheet and pillowcase; takes up very little room in my pack, which is sprayed, too. And as a bonus, they come in many patterns/colors, making your bunk look like a fun designer, one of a kind bed. :)
 

HalfDomeOrBust

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#83
Hi, re the TULLE, do you buy the silk, nylon, rayon ? Such a great DIY. Do you also use in addition to the Tulle sheet a silk liner and sleepingbbag ? Thanks
It is none of that I guess. Not Sure though Colette...... It is just Tulle. Go to Walmart here in the USA and ask for Tulle and they have it. I put it on bunk/mat first then my -55F sleeping bag (very thin and small/light to carry), then I put my silk liner in it (if needed) and crawl into it. The liner has a piece that goes up for my head so that is off the Thule as well. Sometimes I just sleep in the silk liner and some times with the very light sleeping bag---or both. Depends on the temperature. I sleep hot so I am always opening my bag at night when I toss and eventually wake up cold then climb back in the bag. :) . If it's cold I sleep in both the liner and the bag...This arrangement gives me a range of temperatures for me to keep me warm. However, in all cases, the Tulle goes down first and yes it is scratchy so you need something between you and it. Hope this helps!! Buen Camino... Oh PS. Yes I do spray the Tulle with Permethyrn as well. This WORKS for me......

Oh PSS again. The tool takes the place of the linen fitted sheet or whatever else you may lay down first. Thule is very, very light and scrunches up to take hardly any space in your pack....
 
#84
It is none of that I guess. Not Sure though Colette...... It is just Tulle. Go to Walmart here in the USA and ask for Tulle and they have it. I put it on bunk/mat first then my -55F sleeping bag (very thin and small/light to carry), then I put my silk liner in it (if needed) and crawl into it. The liner has a piece that goes up for my head so that is off the Thule as well. Sometimes I just sleep in the silk liner and some times with the very light sleeping bag---or both. Depends on the temperature. I sleep hot so I am always opening my bag at night when I toss and eventually wake up cold then climb back in the bag. :) . If it's cold I sleep in both the liner and the bag...This arrangement gives me a range of temperatures for me to keep me warm. However, in all cases, the Tulle goes down first and yes it is scratchy so you need something between you and it. Hope this helps!! Buen Camino... Oh PS. Yes I do spray the Tulle with Permethyrn as well. This WORKS for me......

Oh PSS again. The tool takes the place of the linen fitted sheet or whatever else you may lay down first. Thule is very, very light and scrunches up to take hardly any space in your pack....
Thanks, I’m in Slovakia so will check out fabric stores. I like the idea because so lightweight and packable. I walked in March - April 2017 CF and will do El Norte March 2018. I use a summer sleeping bag and also liner inside as you do depending on temps. I wonder if you can put the Tulle on the mattress then the sheet they give you (if they give one) then sleeping bag on top?

On the CF a couple of walking mates got bed bug bites but not me, I figure like someone else mentioned, the cooler temps in March and lower volume of pilgrims reduces risk of bugs vs May onwards. Thanks again.
 

Momonne

Active Member
#85
I don't understand what purpose the tulle has for the bunk. It sounds like it would be scratchy, slippery and wad up. I buy a $5 twin sheet set from the Dollar Store and spray the fitted bottom sheet with permathrin. The cheap fabric it is made of is super lightweight. I bring the fitted sheet and pillowcase; takes up very little room in my pack, which is sprayed, too. And as a bonus, they come in many patterns/colors, making your bunk look like a fun designer, one of a kind bed. :)
I suppose it’s a matter of finding a bed sheet that fits Spanish mattresses and is super light. I have never found one, so tule it is, but it’s a much larger size than a bedsheet would be, because it does slip and slide a bit, bit as it is light and compact I don’t mind. (I was once asked if I was carrying my wedding veil. And i do carry a real pillowcase, open at both ends, and not sprayed.
 
#86
I suppose it’s a matter of finding a bed sheet that fits Spanish mattresses and is super light. I have never found one, so tule it is, but it’s a much larger size than a bedsheet would be, because it does slip and slide a bit, bit as it is light and compact I don’t mind. (I was once asked if I was carrying my wedding veil. And i do carry a real pillowcase, open at both ends, and not sprayed.
Heck maybe doubling as a veil might come in handy LOL. THANKS for the tip. Now my challenge is to buy permethrin....not sold in Slovakia (or Canada)....none available at Amazon UK.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
#89
I’m currently in Slovakia not sold to non-commercial persons but good idea to contact an exterminator company. Thanks
If I walked into my local hardware store and asked for permethrin, they would ask "what's that." Go to the shelves that have with various household insect repellents and pesticides, and read the labels. Many will contain permethrin or other related compounds. This is true in Canada, even though people keep saying it is "not available," and it might be true in Slovakia too.
 
#91
If I walked into my local hardware store and asked for permethrin, they would ask "what's that." Go to the shelves that have with various household insect repellents and pesticides, and read the labels. Many will contain permethrin or other related compounds. This is true in Canada, even though people keep saying it is "not available," and it might be true in Slovakia too.
In Slovakia I only found an aerosol spray made in Austria with 0.1% permethrim vs what is sold in US, UK has 0.5% so probably not strong enough to be effective. Hardware stores don’t carry pesticides or similar chemicals here....they are really just hardware. I’ll keep looking. Thanks
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#92
I suppose it’s a matter of finding a bed sheet that fits Spanish mattresses and is super light. I have never found one, so tule it is, but it’s a much larger size than a bedsheet would be, because it does slip and slide a bit, bit as it is light and compact I don’t mind. (I was once asked if I was carrying my wedding veil. And i do carry a real pillowcase, open at both ends, and not sprayed.
Whatever size our USA twin sheets sets are, the fitted sheet works really well on the albergue bunks, maybe a tad roomier, but they stay put with the stretchy corners and don't slide around.
 

Most viewed threads

Most liked threads