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CF Bed Bug Poll - For Those who were Bitten Only

If you were bitten by Bed Bugs on the Camino Frances, what style of accommodation did you mainly use

  • Mainly (70% +) Albergues

    Votes: 34 60.7%
  • Mainly (70% +) Casa Rural or Hotels

    Votes: 11 19.6%
  • Or...A 50 / 50 mix of accommodation types

    Votes: 7 12.5%
  • I only used Albergues a bit and they got me there!

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • I only used Casa Rurals / Hotels a bit and they got me there!

    Votes: 3 5.4%

  • Total voters
    56
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
The subject of bed bugs, where they can be found, how to avoid them and how to treat their bites is a common topic here.

I have not been bitten on my last 2 Caminos and would like to avoid them on my third! I am one of those people who gets bitten 50 times by insects if I walk to our garage after dusk!

Previously, I have stayed in Casa Rural and small Hotels, but for this next Camino, intend sampling some Albergues. It 'might' be logical to assume, that bed bugs are more prevalent in Albergues due to the high bed turnover, close proximity of people and so on.

But of course, as we know, they can be found anywhere! And it's not always obvious in which facility the Pilgrim was bitten, as for some, symptoms take a while to appear.

So I'm curious to see what results we might get from this poll. But some guidelines. To try and get it as accurate as possible.

  1. This Poll only relates to the Camino Frances. Other Caminos have different infrastructure and results may vary.
  2. Only fill in the Poll if YOU were bitten (or a significant other, partner, spouse, child, walking partner etc).
  3. If you walked the CF multiple times and were bitten multiple times, maybe pick the Camino on which the bites were most severe.
  4. Many people 'mix up' the accommodation options. So if you tick that you used Albergues, it means you used Albergues 70% or more of the time. Likewise for CR / Hotels.
  5. I have since added some more options, like 50/50 and maybe you only changed accommodation style a few nights........and they got you then!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I am one of those people who gets bitten 50 times by insects if I walk to our garage after dusk!
I don't know that your generality means anything. The reaction to bedbug bites is a specific allergy and most people are not aware at the time of being bitten.

Yes, the turnover of people in albergues might be higher than that in private accommodations, but those private places still turn over a lot of pilgrims! I actually feel more secure from bedbugs in a sterile albergue with plastic covered mattresses, than I do in a cosy place with bedding. I have been bitten in both.

If I were doing the Camino Frances again, I would do the following:
  • Carry a very light fitted sheet that has been soaked in permethrin.
  • Use a large dry-bag to hold my whole backpack at night.
  • Use a medium size dry-bag to hold all my sleep wear and sleeping bag the next day (waiting to see if any bites emerge).
  • Be orderly in my packing to minimize contamination.
  • Use DEET on the exposed parts of my skin - face, hands, maybe arms.
  • Otherwise stay cocooned in my sleeping bag all night - no feet sticking out, for example.
To try and get it as accurate as possible.
Your poll doesn't allow for people to say if the are approximately 50-50 in the 2 types of accommodation. I have an odd reaction of being forced into one of the more extreme categories, knowing what conclusions you are going to draw!
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
I think the time of year is important. I usually go in May and have never been bitten, and have never met anyone who has.
 
D

Deleted member 29041

Guest
Use a medium size dry-bag to hold all my sleep wear and sleeping bag the next day (waiting to see if any bites emerge).

That's actually a good idea. It doesn't help to keep the bag from the bugs, if you put the bugs in the bag yourself ;)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
In five caminos, over as many years, I have never been bitten (touch wood). My hypothesis is that the time of year I walk may have something to do with this. Read on. I explain...

When albergues, hostals, casa rurals, etc. close in November, they have the opportunity to do maintenance that cannot be done during "the season." This includes fixing broken stuff, making improvements (LOL), painting, and fumigating to eliminate any and all insect infestations. So, when they reopen around Easter / Semana Santa, these places are generally critter-free. That is the first element of my hypothesis.

The second element of my hypothesis is that pilgrims bring the bed bugs in with them and their gear. It is a fact of pilgrim life and just happens. So, it follows logically that as the season progresses into May, and through the hot and moist summer, the likelihood of bed bug infestation increases daily. Because the albergues are in constant use for about six-months, the chance to close for a day or two to fumigate is non-existant.

I generally volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago from mid-July through mid-August. While I am there, I identify many cases daily of neat bites in a row, emblematic of bed bug bites. People even come to me and ask what their insect bites are. I refer them to the nearest farmacia for a topical treatment, and tell them not to check into their lodging until they deal with the problem.

My field-expedient method of killing cinches is two stage:

First, I recommend using use solar power. On a typically warm (33-35 degree) day, with bright sun, I advise pilgrims to obtain a large black or dark green bin bag and to empty all soft items, including as much of the clothes on their back as possible into the bag. Seal the bag, then sit the bag in direct sun for as long as they can, but at least three or four hours to use the heat to kill the cinches.

Second, go to and use a coin laundromat that includes both soap and disinfectant automatically injected to the wash load. Wash the clothes and bedding using a hot water cycle, regardless of what the fabric care instructions say.

There are several coin-operated laundromats that do this within a 10-minute walk of Plaza Obradoiro. One is on Rua das Hortas #10, right side leaving the plaza. Another is on Rua de San Clemente #18, again on the right side as you walk away form the Cathedral direction. Both are in the front of former homes. So, you need to look for them. The one on San Clemente had better signage the last time I was there.

There is also a laundry with large machines in the basement of the hostal 'A Casa do Peregrino,' with the ice cream scoop shop out front. It is on Rua da Acibecheria #2, after Plaza Cervantes, but before you arrive at the Cathedral. It is on the right as you walk towards the Cathedral.

So, my assessment is that incidences of bed bug infestation and bites, can be charted on a chronological continuum. The problem likely becomes evident in later May, as temperatures rise steeply. This increases through the season, snowballing, if you will. By August, the annual cinch season has peaked.

Considering all of this, I choose to walk my Caminos in the later half of April, through the end of May time-frame. The bed bug consideration is part of this. The other part is that I prefer the flowers and animals evident in the Spring. Also, I take several medications that make me more sensitive to heat and sunshine. Hence, when life give you lemons...you make lemonade.

I hope this helps.
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
We have been on thiese walks six different times and five different routes. We have been fortunate to never had issues with bed bugs. It happens! And with so many people sharing the same bed day after day you should expect it. I have been bitten by what I believe was a spider one night but check that on the list of things happen.

Maybe the topic will help thin the numbers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
My first Camino was in the month of April and I had no encounters with chinches and thought 'great, it's not a problem'. However, I have been bitten on every Camino since then - including one walk in January. I've been bitten while staying in albergues and also hotels. (I even found a brave chinche living inside my boot one time.) Now I take some antihistamine with me and apart from trying to make sure that they don't hitch hike along with me, I try not to worry about them too much...
I think that, unfortunately, for those of us who suffer from their bites they're pretty inevitable.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I don't get the poll. I slept in albergues 90% of the time on the Frances. Got bitten by bedbugs in a hotel. But if I choose the correct answer, it seems like I have been bitten in an albergue.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Is this poll going to help you make some decision?

If you want to dip your toe into the albergue world, take the precautions suggested, including Deet and dry bags, and then make a point of heat-treating everything the next day to be safe.
 

julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
I stayed mostly in private albergues, with a few hotels along the way. I took a permethrin-sprayed sleeping bag and a bedbug sheet (fine black mesh).

One night I stayed in a private room at Santa Clara in Carrion de los Condes. The room was immaculately clean, the whole place smelled of beeswax polish. Nevertheless I did pull back the sheet and check the mattress edges and corners. It was early October, and rather chilly so I pulled a blanket out of the cupboard and spread it over the bed.

Next morning I woke with an assortment of bites (in the typical cluster formation of 3 in a row) on my left arm, shoulder, neck and cheek - I sleep on my right, so these were the body parts in close proximity to that blanket. Six clusters in total.

I was taking a bus to Palencia that morning, en route back to the UK, and called into a farmacia there.
They told me 'cinches' for sure, and gave me antihistamine cream, I already had tablets with me.

When I got home I washed/dried as much as possible at a high temperature, and was really careful about bringing my pack into the house, but I really don't think the bugs got into my stuff. I am convinced they were in that blanket.

Other than that, in 5 visits to the Camino, I've never had any issue with bedbugs at all. And like you, I am usually very attractive to insects etc and come up in huge itchy bites at the slightest exposure.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
......SNIP....One night I stayed in a private room at Santa Clara in Carrion de los Condes. The room was immaculately clean, the whole place smelled of beeswax polish. Nevertheless I did pull back the sheet and check the mattress edges and corners. It was early October, and rather chilly so I pulled a blanket out of the cupboard and spread it over the bed.....SNIP
..snip...
.

I would also be very suspect of the blankets in albergues. Most are heavy wool and have been in use for many years.

I worked as a hospitalaro at Santa Maria albergue (not Santa Clara) in Carrion de los Condes. One of the major jobs that came up was treating the many blankets in the storage chest. This involved taking all of the heavy blankets down the stairs and out to the patio where they were treated one by one with a powder. A nasty and heavy job. Fortunately for me there were a couple of young men from Madrid also serving as hospitalaros...and they got the job.

The sisters said they did this twice a season as they were aware that the blankets were a very likely place for BB infestation.

They were kept in the chest rather than on the beds or in the dormitory to try to keep the bugs from the dorm out of the unused blankets and any bugs from the blankets out of the dorm. They realized this was probably rather unworkable....but thought it better to try then just throw up their hands and give up.

I doubt if many albergues ever do this. It just was too big a job.

Neither my wife or I have been bitten on 11 Caminos. We always treat our sleeping bag outside and pack inside and out.
We have only seen bedbugs twice in all that time of walking. Both were, surprisingly, in early February. Once in Rabanal in a private albergue and next in a very nice hotel in Samos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I don't get the poll. I slept in albergues 90% of the time on the Frances. Got bitten by bedbugs in a hotel. But if I choose the correct answer, it seems like I have been bitten in an albergue.

I'll see if I can add a couple more options @Luka
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Is this poll going to help you make some decision?

If you want to dip your toe into the albergue world, take the precautions suggested, including Deet and dry bags, and then make a point of heat-treating everything the next day to be safe.

No not a decision making guide.
We're trying Albergues anyway.
Just curiosity. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Considering all of this, I choose to walk my Caminos in the later half of April, through the end of May time-frame. The bed bug consideration is part of this. The other part is that I prefer the flowers and animals evident in the Spring. Also, I take several medications that make me more sensitive to heat and sunshine. Hence, when life give you lemons...you make lemonade.

I hope this helps.

The time of year is probably a key point @t2andreo !

Merry Christmas by the way! It's 8am Christmas day here :)

Better go get the Turkey in the oven........:oops:
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I've never once been bitten, so I can't vote.
Nor do I treat any of my gear.
But I use common sense...and check the mattress/bed, no matter how immaculate the place is. It's peregrinos who bring the bugs...and the bugs can be a problem even in posh hotels. If someone has unknowingly brought six-legged visitors, the hotel or albergue may not yet be aware of it.
I really feel for the owners and hospis who have to deal with this issue over and over again.

That said, do pay attention to the pilgrim grapevine, because some (fortunately very few) albergues have a 'reputation' for being BB hotspots. So obviously to avoid these - and also to be more vigilant 'downstream,' and follow the good advice above, in order to not become a BB taxi.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
40+ bites in an albergue in Ages. Bitten twice in a hotel. Both incidences happened in the month so September.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
...
First: ... solar power. On a typically warm (33-35 degree) day, with bright sun, I advise pilgrims to obtain a large black or dark green...
Second, go to and use a coin laundromat that includes both soap and disinfectant automatically injected to the wash load. Wash the clothes and bedding using a hot water cycle, regardless of what the fabric care instructions say.
...

I thought the recommended way would be a laundry dryer.
If the dryer is not available, then the solar-power recommondation.

Do you think, the solar power + special coin laundromat is better than the dryer-solution?
Or is it just another possibility?

I would also be very suspect of the blankets in albergues. Most are heavy wool and have been in use for many years.
...
If I examine the blanket for e. g. 3 minutes before using it, should not I be able to see a bed bug on the blanket?
Or do you think the bed bugs hide somewhere inside the blanket woolen material so that you cannot see them from the outside?
 
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TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
My sister and I were attacked FIVE times on the CF last year and we were super careful with how we treated and got rid of them each time. The worst was 60+ bites ( including a cluster over my right eye that made me look like I'd been punched). That was in Molinaseca. We walked August through to September. Next year my partner and I are starting late march and walking into April. We are taking precautions, pretreating all our gear and I'm doing the dry sack thing with my sleeping bag etc.
 
D

Deleted member 29041

Guest
First, I recommend using use solar power. On a typically warm (33-35 degree) day, with bright sun, I advise pilgrims to obtain a large black or dark green bin bag and to empty all soft items, including as much of the clothes on their back as possible into the bag. Seal the bag, then sit the bag in direct sun for as long as they can, but at least three or four hours to use the heat to kill the cinches.

Nice! Simple, cheap, effective, and everyone can do it. But, and this is a fairly big butt (pun intended), the backpack itself should be heat treated as well.

The most important personal point for all of us, may be how we treat our gear when we get home. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation at home, can not only be rater cumbersome, but also pretty expensive.

Last time, after having been bitten, I asked my wife to bring two large trash bags when she picked me up. Before getting into the car, I placed just about my entire pack (save my electronics, a few other things, and the boxers I was wearing) into one bag, which I then tied of and placed within the second bag, which was also tied off. Back home, the bag spent the next nine days in the freezer.
Those body shy Americans among us :p could use a rest room to change into one of those cheap Tyvek painters coveralls.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
typically warm (33-35 degree) day, with bright sun
Nice! Simple, cheap, effective, and everyone can do it.
This is a good method if you happen to be bitten the night before a hot sunny day when you have 3-4 hours free at mid-day. Otherwise, go straight to the nearest clothes dryer with your carefully isolated bag of sleeping gear.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
The subject of bed bugs, where they can be found, how to avoid them and how to treat their bites is a common topic here.

I have not been bitten on my last 2 Caminos and would like to avoid them on my third! I am one of those people who gets bitten 50 times by insects if I walk to our garage after dusk!

Previously, I have stayed in Casa Rural and small Hotels, but for this next Camino, intend sampling some Albergues. It 'might' be logical to assume, that bed bugs are more prevalent in Albergues due to the high bed turnover, close proximity of people and so on.

But of course, as we know, they can be found anywhere! And it's not always obvious in which facility the Pilgrim was bitten, as for some, symptoms take a while to appear.

So I'm curious to see what results we might get from this poll. But some guidelines. To try and get it as accurate as ....

G’day mate, my walking partner was infected on one occasion, west of Leon. The crazy thing was that we had adjoining bunks she was bitten half a dozen marks, whilst I had none. We both used the blankets supplied, so cannot understand the selectivity. All I know is I don’t want to go through the washing of clothes & gear we did in Astorga again. Good idea for this post! Happy Christmas!

Post Script _ I should add that I had thoroughly treated my sleeping bag; silk liner and my backpack before leaving Oz which may have contributed to my not being attacked. My walking partner is from an EU country and the stuff I used is not available to her!!
 
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camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
Touch wood,I have not been bitten on my 12 Caminos. I stay in a variety of places,normally walk in April/May or Sept/Oct
Don't think bedbugs like me which is good.
 

TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
G’day mate, my walking partner was infected on one occasion, west of Leon. The crazy thing was that we had adjoining bunks she was bitten half a dozen marks, whilst I had none. We both used the blankets supplied, so cannot understand the selectivity. All I know is I don’t want to go through the washing of clothes & gear we did in Astorga again. Good idea for this post! Happy Christmas!

You may be one of those lucky people who don't (or barely) react the The bites. The first time I was bitten was in Greece 10 years ago, my then partner and I were sharing a bed and the only place where he got any bites at all was where I was lying on him! I was bitten on the face, hands, arms and love handles. It sucked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
You may be one of those lucky people who don't (or barely) react the The bites. The first time I was bitten was in Greece 10 years ago, my then partner and I were sharing a bed and the only place where he got any bites at all was where I was lying on him! I was bitten on the face, hands, arms and love handles. It sucked.
See my post script to original reply!!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Sorry all! I neglected to specifically mention the use of a secadora / dryer after washing clothes in a coin laundromat. In my effort to be concise (LOL) I assumed one would dry the wet clothes in the adjacent dryers...:cool:

In any event, the omission is mine. Using the high heat setting to dry the treated, washed clothes is an equally important step in eradicating these persistent little buggers. Just remember that not all synthetic fibers tolerate high heat equally well. Caveat emptor! That is why their fabric care labels typically state "Do not use a dryer" or "Air dry only.";)

I regret the oversight, and hope this addition, and the above comments from others helps the dialog.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi Robo, I also couldn’t answer your poll, but just for the record:

I stay in albergues 95% of the time and have been bitten three times.
Once in a poorly-managed municipal albergue with old wooden bunk beds.
And twice in old-fashioned budget-style hotels with old wooden furniture.

I now try and stay in albergues with metal bunks and the new-style rubbery-coated mattresses. Gronze usually has photos of the dorms to help decide which albergue to head for.

Incidentally, there were a few bed-bug bites amongst the 16-member group of my Sep camino. Every bite was on those members who always slept in a bottom bunk (they just refused point-blank to take a top bunk :rolleyes:).

Those of us who took top bunks never got any bites. I believe you are safer in a top bunk because fewer people sleep in them, and therefore the bed bugs are living near the bottom beds.

And bed bugs can’t fall on you if you are in a top bunk :D.
Jill
 

Dave2525

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I'm pretty sure the times I was bitten was when I used the albergue blankets.

My sleeping bag was treated so that wasn't the issue and luckily they stayed where they were. To be on the safe side I washed and dried everything and put my pack in a garbage bag and lay it in the sun. The nice hospitaleros at Refugio Gaucelmo at Rabanal were very helpful.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I think that without a control group, your poll is unlikely to reveal much. Say, for example, the poll shows that of people who got bit 57% mainly stayed in albergues vs. 33% mainly stayed in CR/hotels. Does that mean you are more likely to get bit in albergues? It certainly sounds that way. People in albergues are getting bitten twice as much as people in CR/hotels. But it is not so if 90% of pilgrims overall stayed mainly in albergues. In that case, you are less likely to get bit in albergues, since the proportion of bitten is less than the proportion of pilgrims. By the same token, the 10% of pilgrims in CR/hotels are getting 33% of the bites. Stay away from CR/hotels!

Note: the numbers above are made up. I don't know how many pilgrims stay in each kind of accommodation and I don't know how many get bitten. I am just using them to illustrate that you need both pieces of information to have anything of use.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I think that without a control group, your poll is unlikely to reveal much. Say, for example, the poll shows that of people who got bit 57% mainly stayed in albergues vs. 33% mainly stayed in CR/hotels. Does that mean you are more likely to get bit in albergues? It certainly sounds that way. People in albergues are getting bitten twice as much as people in CR/hotels. But it is not so if 90% of pilgrims overall stayed mainly in albergues. In that case, you are less likely to get bit in albergues, since the proportion of bitten is less than the proportion of pilgrims. By the same token, the 10% of pilgrims in CR/hotels are getting 33% of the bites. Stay away from CR/hotels!

Note: the numbers above are made up. I don't know how many pilgrims stay in each kind of accommodation and I don't know how many get bitten. I am just using them to illustrate that you need both pieces of information to have anything of use.

Good point.....
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
My Camino taught me not to fear. I took reasonable precautions and didn’t worry any more. I walked in May and June without being bitten. Don’t let fear dominate your Camino. Be cautious, be safe, and enjoy the experience. I know people that have refused to walk because of fear of bedbugs. So sad.
 
D

Deleted member 73892

Guest
I brought BB's home with me too - I checked my gear and clothes regularly, but the little buggers tuck themselves into such tight little gaps so well. Hanging out my sleeping bag and rucksak on a line in the sun helped, they hate heat, and putting stuff in the deep freeze at home over night (if you've space for it), kills them off. I'm not put-off with the BB nuisance, and found 99% of Alberques clean, hospitable and (as far as I could tell when checking), BB free. There's no difference between private or council accomodation, they're all vulnerable, and I have slight reactions to all insect bites, especialy mosquitos and BB's. I carry an excellent camomile antiseptic cream at all times. Happy New Year to you all - einen guten Rutsch ;-) Buen Camino.
Love Light & Nature (even bedb bugs), to you all.
Keith
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Hanging out my sleeping bag and rucksak on a line in the sun helped, they hate heat, and putting stuff in the deep freeze at home over night
Hanging on a line might help, but to be sure of killing bedbugs, larvae and eggs, you need to heat the bugs to 55°C for 20 minutes. That won't happen on a line although it might in a black plastic bag in the sun on a hot day.

Cold works too, but needs more time. I do a week in a good home freezer (about -17°C).
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Via de la Plata planned for May 2019.
It is known that many people simply do not react all to bed bug bites - they are not allergic to the bedbug stuff. They may have been bitten.

Merry Bug-Free Christmas!
I'm sure this is the case. I've known couples who always sleep in the same bed or a twin in the same room. They never stay in albergues. One has been attacked with multiple bites many times on her various caminos and the other "never". I once was woken up in the middle of the night by a tickling sensation around the neck, in Palas do Rei to see the bedding covered in bedbugs of all sizes. Obviously I had been bitten, but no reaction the next day whatsoever. I'm sure this is the situation for many.
 

Bonzai_Buddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (03, 09, 14, 18) Portuguese (17)
Francigena (16) Ingles (10) and more
I am a bedbug magnet. They love my alcohol (beer, wine and a sidra natural now and again) soaked blood. Choff choff. I just get up and go and get on with it until I get to my end point, my goal. Then I throw all of my stuff (bar any small things) and buy 2 sets of new clothes from a cheap place. Then I can get home completely bug free. Yay -choffing it
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I am a bedbug magnet. They love my alcohol (beer, wine and a sidra natural now and again) soaked blood. Choff choff. I just get up and go and get on with it until I get to my end point, my goal. Then I throw all of my stuff (bar any small things) and buy 2 sets of new clothes from a cheap place. Then I can get home completely bug free. Yay -choffing it

Depositing a trail of bed bugs behind you? :confused:
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am a bedbug magnet. They love my alcohol (beer, wine and a sidra natural now and again) soaked blood. Choff choff. I just get up and go and get on with it until I get to my end point, my goal. Then I throw all of my stuff (bar any small things) and buy 2 sets of new clothes from a cheap place. Then I can get home completely bug free. Yay -choffing it
Depositing a trail of bed bugs behind you? :confused:
My thought exactly!
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Depositing a trail of bed bugs behind you? :confused:

I thought the same thing. I tend to think that the responsible thing to do, if you have evidence of a bedbug interaction, is to do what is necessary to assure, as much as is reasonable, that you are NOT going to accidentally infest the lodgings (albergues, etc) that you inhabit :)
 

Bonzai_Buddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (03, 09, 14, 18) Portuguese (17)
Francigena (16) Ingles (10) and more
I thought the same thing. I tend to think that the responsible thing to do, if you have evidence of a bedbug interaction, is to do what is necessary to assure, as much as is reasonable, that you are NOT going to accidentally infest the lodgings (albergues, etc) that you inhabit :)

To be honest, when I get to an albergue I just want to take my shower, change and get out in search of a long relaxing menu del dia / peregrino followed by a few drinks before everyone toddles off to Mass before a couple more drinks to set up a nice deep sleep. Most albergues / hostals get these little things anyway and so I'm not going to sweat about them. They're just a fact of the Camino.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Most albergues / hostals get these little things anyway and so I'm not going to sweat about them. They're just a fact of the Camino.

Disagree. They are only around because sometimes, pilgrims carry them unknowingly. Reading that you carry them around aware of their existence and does not care if you will spread them is, to say the least, disturbing.

According to your profile list, you are a seasoned camino walker. Surely you've seen how the pilgrim community cares about it, right?
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
To be honest, when I get to an albergue I just want to take my shower, change and get out in search of a long relaxing menu del dia / peregrino followed by a few drinks before everyone toddles off to Mass before a couple more drinks to set up a nice deep sleep. Most albergues / hostals get these little things anyway and so I'm not going to sweat about them. They're just a fact of the Camino.

I get the End of the Day need to get some good downtime and relax. IF someone knows that they have been bitten and have a possibility of transporting hitchhiking bedbugs, the responsible thing to do is to reduce the potential of being part of the cycle of infestation(s). The reason why bedbugs are ". . a fact of the Camino" is because pilgrims drag them along and then deposit them into albergues where they stay.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
To be honest, when I get to an albergue I just want to take my shower, change and get out in search of a long relaxing menu del dia / peregrino followed by a few drinks before everyone toddles off to Mass before a couple more drinks to set up a nice deep sleep. Most albergues / hostals get these little things anyway and so I'm not going to sweat about them. They're just a fact of the Camino.

If we all help to do our best to reduce them, there would be far less bed bugs spreading over the Camino(s). So, please, if you, or anybody else, has even the slightest suspicion that they might be carrying bed bugs in their backpack do your best (wash/dry on highest heat possible) to get rid of them and to prevent that yet another albergue gets (re)infested.

That is not only courtesy to your fellow pilgrims but also consideration to those that run albergues, especially to the Donativo ones that normally operate on a very tight budget - Professional bed bug removal is expensive!

BC SY
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
To be honest, when I get to an albergue I just want to take my shower, change and get out in search of a long relaxing menu del dia / peregrino followed by a few drinks before everyone toddles off to Mass before a couple more drinks to set up a nice deep sleep. Most albergues / hostals get these little things anyway and so I'm not going to sweat about them. They're just a fact of the Camino.

Could I timidly suggest that this is a good example of why the “it’s your camino” mantra is perhaps in need of rethinking.

 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have been bitten four times on the CF. Three times in September and once iin early March on an Alsa bus. I am quite allergic so the bites come out within an hours time. I take a antihistimine while on the camino to reduce my physical response to the bites.

First encounter with BBs was Mid September 2015.
Albergue (private room in Ages). 40+bites.
I had permethrined all clothing except undergarments and clothing. Was in a plastic bags in backback. Bugs were coming from holes in the ceiling/wall!


September
Two bites in a hotel....they changed rooms and we were OK
Now, I only permetrin the backpacks. If we send a backpack ahead in the Fall, we deet it daily!

Late September. “Hotel” above Restaurant in Palas de Rei. Got bit twice, Luckily, woke up - there were three crawling in the bed and one on the celing. I now am experienced and know quickly if I have been bitten...🧐🧐😆😆

Have never gotten bitten in Feb.or March in an albergue or hotel.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
There hasn't been a Camino that I have not been bitten. They just loooove my blood.

So I want to add my own little theory especially for pilgrims using pilgrim transport....cincha heaven if they are in just one backpack. ... easy to crawl from one to another and we have a chincha convention. ;)
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
I don't know that your generality means anything. The reaction to bedbug bites is a specific allergy and most people are not aware at the time of being bitten.

Yes, the turnover of people in albergues might be higher than that in private accommodations, but those private places still turn over a lot of pilgrims! I actually feel more secure from bedbugs in a sterile albergue with plastic covered mattresses, than I do in a cosy place with bedding. I have been bitten in both.

If I were doing the Camino Frances again, I would do the following:
  • Carry a very light fitted sheet that has been soaked in permethrin.
  • Use a large dry-bag to hold my whole backpack at night.
  • Use a medium size dry-bag to hold all my sleep wear and sleeping bag the next day (waiting to see if any bites emerge).
  • Be orderly in my packing to minimize contamination.
  • Use DEET on the exposed parts of my skin - face, hands, maybe arms.
  • Otherwise stay cocooned in my sleeping bag all night - no feet sticking out, for example.

Your poll doesn't allow for people to say if the are approximately 50-50 in the 2 types of accommodation. I have an odd reaction of being forced into one of the more extreme categories, knowing what conclusions you are going to draw!
I don't know that your generality means anything. The reaction to bedbug bites is a specific allergy and most people are not aware at the time of being bitten.

Yes, the turnover of people in albergues might be higher than that in private accommodations, but those private places still turn over a lot of pilgrims! I actually feel more secure from bedbugs in a sterile albergue with plastic covered mattresses, than I do in a cosy place with bedding. I have been bitten in both.

If I were doing the Camino Frances again, I would do the following:
  • Carry a very light fitted sheet that has been soaked in permethrin.
  • Use a large dry-bag to hold my whole backpack at night.
  • Use a medium size dry-bag to hold all my sleep wear and sleeping bag the next day (waiting to see if any bites emerge).
  • Be orderly in my packing to minimize contamination.
  • Use DEET on the exposed parts of my skin - face, hands, maybe arms.
  • Otherwise stay cocooned in my sleeping bag all night - no feet sticking out, for example.

Your poll doesn't allow for people to say if the are approximately 50-50 in the 2 types of accommodation. I have an odd reaction of being forced into one of the more extreme categories, knowing what conclusions you are going to draw!
Be aware that both permethrin and Deet pose some health risk. Unless you are one of those who has a reaction to insect bites, given the small chance of bedbug contact, it would be healthier not to use toxins. Those who use them believe that Tea tree oil and lavender provide some protection.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I was bitten once on my second Camino francés, just a day or so before reaching SdC. (Sorry if I repeat myself, haven’t re-read the whole thread as it is an old one...)

This year I was bitten a second time - on the Aragonés, again just before reaching the end 🙄 (ie Puente la Reina). Probably my fault as for once I didn’t check the beds and the albergue itself was spotless.... We were all so elated to have done it ... 😎
Fortunately I knew by then how to deal with it - I was going back home to Spain in a small flat without a dryer 😱
I am one of those unfortunate who react badly to the bites. We were all bitten that night - 5 of us - but only 2 of us had a strong reaction.
Please, please, if you know you have been bitten or if other people that night were bitten, take measures so as not to spread.
(Plenty of info on this forum as to what to do).
Ultreia!
 
D

Deleted member 73892

Guest
One came home with me in October. I can't catch it. I am bitten every few weeks. I'm sure its just one. I'm normally expert at stopping / catching them. Are they getting smarter, or is it me?
 

Dave2525

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I was bitten on 2 separate occasions and both times were when I used albergue blankets. Maybe they were hiding out
 

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