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How do I appropriately use Permethrin?

erkovar

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
I've been warned by friends who got bed bugs on the camino to prep for bed bugs as they did not. I bought a silk liner + permethrin.

Have any advice on how to use this? Do I just spray the outside of the bag, silk liner sheet and/or clothes?

I've looked at camping sites that say to spray clothes and it lasts various washes, and though it seems toxic, they claim it's not.

If you think I should return the bottle to the store, I also welcome that advice!
 
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D

Deleted member 77020

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I've been warned by friends who got bed bugs on the camino to prep for bed bugs as they did not. I bought a silk liner + permethrin.

Have any advice on how to use this? Do I just spray the outside of the bag, silk liner sheet and/or clothes?

I've looked at camping sites that say to spray clothes and it lasts various washes, and though it seems toxic, they claim it's not.

If you think I should return the bottle to the store, I also welcome that advice!
I have used permethrin for about four years now. I spray my sleeping bag until its wet as the direction tell to do. I also buy a small fitted sheet and spray and put the sleeping and sheet to dry in the sun when I have sprayed them. I have also down the same with my boots. I have been protected from bed bugs and been in a room where others got them and I didn't it's a great product. Just read the instructions. I live in Canada and it's possible for me to purchase it so I go to the US Walmart.
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
You will be saturating the fabric, so spraying outside is also spraying the inside. Handle wet fabric with rubber gloves. Once dry, I think permethrin is safe, as does the science behind it. It kills bed bugs. It is not a repellent.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
You will be saturating the fabric, so spraying outside is also spraying the inside. Handle wet fabric with rubber gloves. Once dry, I think permethrin is safe, as does the science behind it. It kills bed bugs. It is not a repellent.
The problem is that for it to kill bedbugs, it must be sprayed directly on them. It doesn’t kill them after the fact. Since it also isn’t a repellant and it won’t kill them just by the fact that you’ve sprayed your bag, it doesn’t make sense to me to use it, especially since it is toxic. Better to be extra vigilant about where you sleep and where you lay your pack down.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
I have mostly used "Sawyers Premium Insect Repellent"--a pump spray 24 oz for $15 or 12 oz for $9. Small size is enough to treat all your Camino gear. Be sure to read the label before applying--the safety instructions are written with an abundance of caution but this poison is 'safe' only after drying--so be careful when applying. It lasts 6 washings. It is not a repellent and is very slow to kill bedbugs (unless applied directly); they will not hitch a ride on your treated gear. Since it is hard to wet my pack, I do spray the inside seams.
If you really want to avoid bites, check for eggs, blood spots, etc before you bed down. If any signs of BB, tell the hospitalero, get a refund, and find somewhere else.
DEET is a repellent; put it on your exposed skin if you are known allergic to BB bites.
Again, read and follow the label instructions before applying!!
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
I've been warned by friends who got bed bugs on the camino to prep for bed bugs as they did not. I bought a silk liner + permethrin.

Have any advice on how to use this? Do I just spray the outside of the bag, silk liner sheet and/or clothes?

I've looked at camping sites that say to spray clothes and it lasts various washes, and though it seems toxic, they claim it's not.

If you think I should return the bottle to the store, I also welcome that advice!
Premarin is a poison, neurotoxin, no allowed in Canada. Six Caminos no problems I’ll take my chances without.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Premarin is a poison, neurotoxin, no allowed in Canada. Six Caminos no problems I’ll take my chances without.
Yes, permethrin is a poison, but it is not toxic to humans in the quantities one is exposed to through contact if one follows simple precautions. Largely that is not to expose moist parts of the body, ie eyes, nose, mouth and genitals, to direct contact with permethrin treated clothing and equipment. That can be as simple as wearing untreated underwear, not covering one's head with treated bedding, and not kissing one's pack before retiring for the night!

Applying permethrin in solution as a spray or dip requires caution, and one should follow the instructions, both for one's own protection, that of others and of the environment. From what I have read, it is not a persistent pollutant, although it might take some time to degrade. Care needs to be taken to dispose of any residual solution, and in the disposal of gloves or other protective materials used.

Once fabric is treated, the effectiveness of the treatment will be reduced by machine washing. For sprayed items, I have seen figures of as few as six washes being sufficient to make re-treatment necessary. I don't recall ever seeing a figure for the how many hand washes it might take. The product that I use is applied by soaking, and claims to be effective for approximately six months.

As for its use in Canada, much touted by some of the Canadians here as being permethrin free, so far as I can tell it is used in medicines approved by Health Canada for treating lice and scabies, for veterinary use as a pesticide treatment for dogs, and for agricultural use. Other countries might have approved a broader range of uses, such as for treating clothing, that have not been approved in Canada. I would speculate that importing unlicensed products or off-label use of licensed products will be an offence, as one might expect for any poison, not just permethrin. I would also be speculating about the extent to which Canadian Health authorities pursue these matters.

For the OP, in relation to the camino and protection from bed bugs, I would not recommend treating clothing, only one's sleeping bag liner and pack. Alternatively, buy a treated sheet and just treat your pack. My reasoning for this is that bed bugs are not a day-time problem, and treating the clothing one wears during the day and not at night will have no purpose. Treating one's sleeping bag is an option, but I don't do that myself, relying only on having a treated liner.

Of course, choosing not to treat at all is always an option, as is choosing to use less effective insecticides. But if one does, justifying that with the rather forced arguments that regularly get aired here is rarely rational. It's a personal choice - just make it.
 
Last edited:

Scott Mack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
future
Not exactly sure why you want to apply insecticide, but I will assume it is for bed bugs. I would not recommend this ( 35 years of Entomology experience here ) as it will have little benefit and poses a health risk. I would be more inclined to recommend inspecting your sleeping area as bedbugs (BB) love to hide in crevices near their food source, in this case it is us. Metal frame beds/bunkbeds are better as are the albergues that provide mattress covers or pads that are already on the mattress. BB come out at night sensing our body temperature and will not travel far for their blood meal so inspecting bed framing is imperative. If in doubt, leave. Also, I would keep my backpack in a garbage bag with drawstrings at night. I hope this is of use.
 
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Deleted member 77020

Guest
Not exactly sure why you want to apply insecticide, but I will assume it is for bed bugs. I would not recommend this ( 35 years of Entomology experience here ) as it will have little benefit and poses a health risk. I would be more inclined to recommend inspecting your sleeping area as bedbugs (BB) love to hide in crevices near their food source, in this case it is us. Metal frame beds/bunkbeds are better as are the albergues that provide mattress covers or pads that are already on the mattress. BB come out at night sensing our body temperature and will not travel far for their blood meal so inspecting bed framing is imperative. If in doubt, leave. Also, I would keep my backpack in a garbage bag with drawstrings at night. I hope this is of use.
well then scott, if you can find a better solution not to be infested with bed bugs don't use. I have not been infested with these creatures. Yet people around me have had them and myself nothing. That says it all for me.
 
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