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How many bites is typical?

ElAines

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Muxía-Finisterre May 2015
Inglés & Finisterre Sept 2018
#1
Hi everyone,

I’ve been home since Wednesday afternoon and woke up this morning covered in bites: 85 after counting while applying Antihistan cream.

I’m really hoping that we don’t have them in the flat; and instead I’m someone who doesn’t show the reaction for many days.

So, in tying to understand the scale of this problem

- any insights into how many bugs would take to cause that many bites?

- how likely is it to be delayed reaction vs they’re here, and transported eggs have hatched / the critters have bred?

There’s no evidence of them in the bedroom or elsewhere (is it too early to see?), I was the only one bitten (husband also in bed, and toddler came in overnight).

We’ve started high temperature drier, then washing at 60 then drier again. And isolating ‘treated’ items.

Problem is, bags went back in the wardrobe and Camino laundry was only washed at 40 then air dried...

Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

Advice, readings, and any other tips much appreciated.

Thanks
El
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#2
mmmmm

Since husband and child wasn't bit, possible hives? allergic reaction? both may give symptoms of multi bites.

Other Pest's Bites Mistaken for Bed Bugs
  • Dont think it is: Mosquitoes: Mosquito bites are very itchy and can sometimes transmit diseases.Mosquitoes bite mostly during the dusk and dawn in the summer months.
  • mmm possible: Head, body, and pubic lice: ...
  • mmm normally only bite once: Ticks: ...
  • Oh yes.. multi bites from: Fleas: ...
  • Ditto: Mites: ...
  • Normally only bite once or twice. So dont think it is: Spiders: ...
  • Possible: Carpet Beetle Larvae: ...
  • Got me: Psocids:
Check out this page for bites mistaken for bed bugs

https://www.chicagobedbugexperts.com/other-pests.html

Never heard of that many bites like you have.

Guess would be fleas? Mites? Ants?

or allergic reaction to something that caused that many bites.

With that many bites may be best to see a doctor??
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#3
I’d show your bites to a doctor as mentioned in previous post, no way I can guess what it could be... The multitude of bites makes me think of fleas, though.
Do you have pets at home? Cat, dog? Especially if they weren’t in your house whilst you were away.
Sending you all my best wishes!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#4
It could also be an allergic reaction. I think I had one when I had approx.200 bites (stopped counting).

Interestingly the second time I got bitten I did everything needed about the gear but also kind of deal with it in my head (because the first time it was so stressful) and in a week all the bites were gone. And I didn't do anything differently with treating my gear as the first time.

I hope it will be soon just a bit awkward memory :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
#5
Unfortunately I am speaking from experience. For me the only way to be certain that these are bed bugs is blood stains on the sheets. Some people have a reaction and others don't but everyone bleeds from the bite. I am interested in hearing from others with similar experience.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#6
I also would love to know what you find out.

IMHO, I dont think it is bed bugs.
They normally bite a few bites in a single row. Get their meal and then take a nap per say.

Ticks bite one time. Normally do not itch.

Fleas are the multi bitters.
Fleas are not picky who they bite. So since hubby and child didnt get bit brings me to think not a bug bite at all.
Or could, as mentioned in earlier post above, be hives or allergic reaction to something...got me what.

That many bites... mmmm ????
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#8
Can you show us photos of your bites?
Are they in lines?
I would STRONGLY suspect bedbugs and would be taking EVERY precaution.
I would wash everything in the closet where you put the packs.
I'd spray the hell out of the packs and put them out in the sun.
I'd take any clothing I wore on the Camino, including sleeping bags OUT of my flat.

Talk to some people who've had bedbugs in their homes.
It can cost $THOUSANDS to get rid of them.

For those who say it's not bedbugs because only YOU got bitten, tell that to the people who are bitten each year when their bunkmates aren't touched.

Personally, I'd be proactive.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#9
They normally bite a few bites in a single row. Get their meal and then take a nap per say.
You obviously haven't seen the poor pilgrims in line at the pilgrim office with hundreds of swollen bites all over their bodies! That they only leave a few bites is just not true. They MIGHT, or a person's body might be covered. I've seen it both ways.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#10
I would assume they are bedbugs and act accordingly. There is simply no way to prove from the bites. (The "lines", and 3-in-a-row patterns are not at all definitive.) I probably wouldn't call an exterminator quite yet, but I would be agressively treating everything with heat, freezing, isolation, permethrin, vacuuming and changing the bag. And I would be checking my body and the bed daily for evidence.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#11
I’d be doing what @Anniesantiago suggests. Assume the worst. It can’t do any harm and if you don’t and you are wrong you have a major problem. It is very hard to tell if they are bedbug bites just from looking at them - mine were once misdiagnosed by a doctor as mosquito bites. They weren’t.

A lot of bites suggests a lot of bedbugs. When you take your stuff outside, check it through - if you find bugs you have your answer.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#12
Unfortunately I am speaking from experience. For me the only way to be certain that these are bed bugs is blood stains on the sheets. Some people have a reaction and others don't but everyone bleeds from the bite. I am interested in hearing from others with similar experience.
Last year I was badly bitten by bedbugs in Finisterre. Literally hundreds of bites. all over me in little lines of bites everywhere, except thankfully my face. The sheets, when I checked, were completely flecked with blood spots.
They weren't initially that itchy until I swam in the sea, then they started to itch like crazy.
I had cream, and oral antihistamines, and after a few days they faded and stopped driving me so crazy.
So I got off lightly I think.
I washed and put everything through the dryer, and didn't bring any home, so I was thankful for that.
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#14
Mmm thanks to all who have commented.

Interesting.

Learned much from you.

Thanks to all who commented! Wow such a learning experience from all. Thanks

I hope OP will inform us what the bites are from.

Hope OP is doing better now.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#15
I don't think this is true, any more than, say, mosquito bites.
I had as already said approx. 200 bites and didn't bleed from any of them. Actually all this time I was thinking that those small blood dots on the linen were left by bedbugs and not directly from humans.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#16
Bedbugs typically bite in a pattern of three, like a triangular shape. I had them on our Camino, and I had about four spots of three on my body, and some straggler bites too. I took some Benedryl and treated everything in my pack (including my pack, passport, etc....everything) with cinchos spray and washed and dried everything at high heat. I do believe they have a delayed reaction on everyone, so it's hard to pinpoint where you may have gotten them from. Here in Canada, you can hire dogs to sniff them out, so you may want to do that just to be sure you didn't bring any hitchhikers home with you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#17
Bedbugs typically bite in a pattern of three, like a triangular shape.
Not really true, except that if you happen to have 3 bites, you can always draw a triangle.

Typically there will be several bites or more, but there are just as many cases of 2 bites, 4 bites, 5 etc. "Three bites" or "breakfast, lunch and dinner" is just a way of saying that people often get multiple bites, as is the case with fleas.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#18
There's really no "typical" number -- some people are bitten very infrequently just generally (I am one of them), whilst others will attract swarms of hungry critters.

One rather amusing incident took place back in 1993 -- the five of us were walking (somewhere near Moratinos IIRC) next to some irrigation canals, and there were many small flies breeding there.

They all swarmed around one person, leaving we four others completely alone (he said he just attracts them and always has).

Would have been FAR less comical if these had been biting mosquitoes ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#19
You obviously haven't seen the poor pilgrims in line at the pilgrim office with hundreds of swollen bites all over their bodies! That they only leave a few bites is just not true. They MIGHT, or a person's body might be covered. I've seen it both ways.
As have I and, have photos of my own face which shows multiple, swollen, horribly allergic reaction which required anti-histamine injections. This has happened on four dIfferent occasions and in entirely different countries, including on the Camino. Yes, sometimes the bites are in lines, but, it very much depends on how many bugs are at the same feasting spot....:)
 

L B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
the french way
#20
My bedbug bites from Santiago this summer only showed up 5 days later and some kept showing for 4 more days. Delayed reactions are possible if you are a person who isn't allergic to anything in general. I'd suggest taking all the possible precautions, looking for any bedbug signs in your bedroom but not stressing out too much yet because as I said: delayed reactions are possible.
 

ElAines

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Muxía-Finisterre May 2015
Inglés & Finisterre Sept 2018
#21
Hi everyone. Firstly, thank you so much for the well wishes and suggestions. And sorry for my days of absence in responding; due to many things coming at once it has been a difficult and stressful week.

I’ve spoken to 2 Drs, and sent photos to a family member who is a nurse, who showed them to her ward Professor. Verdict: bites. Non-specific origin. So I have no answers there I’m afraid. But was taking an anti-histamine and using steroid cream and an anti-itch cream to deal with the symptoms.

The bites were a variety of appearances - some groups (3s, 4s, 5s, 6s...) and some singles. Some with bullseye/halo, some domed and white when touched, some snall and red lick gnat/ants.

I’ve been inspecting with a torch, laundering at high temperature and tumble drying for minimum 30 mins. Old things have been thrown out (needed to de-clutter a bit anyway). There is none of the evidence of bed bugs we’re advised to look out for. Justbites.

I did have a thought whether they were psychosomatic... Which isn’t impossible

We’ve bought bed foot things, and put the light linen on - going to monitoring phase, and fingers crossed....
 

patk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, De la Plata, Norte, Portugal, Primitivo, Ebro, Madrileno, Norte again (2016)
#22
I’d be doing what @Anniesantiago suggests. Assume the worst. It can’t do any harm and if you don’t and you are wrong you have a major problem. It is very hard to tell if they are bedbug bites just from looking at them - mine were once misdiagnosed by a doctor as mosquito bites. They weren’t.

A lot of bites suggests a lot of bedbugs. When you take your stuff outside, check it through - if you find bugs you have your answer.
Agree! Bed bug bites seem to be smaller and many many! Flea bites tend to be in little groups of 2 or 3. I got them in a private albergue in Puente la Reina and in the church one in Leon!
They look terrible and feel worse!
I hope yours resolve soon but see a doctor just in case!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2015 & 2016. Hoping to do Frances to Leon, San Salvador, Primitivo, Muxia next.
#23
My family has 7 Compestellas between us never once did we get nailed by bed bugs on the Camino. It truly seems to be a random thing. 6 months after our last Camino we brought them home from a hotel here in our home state. They did not ever bite my wife only me. The most effective treatment for your home is food grade diatomaceous earth. You can read a number of websites about applying it. Pull back your wood trim and sprinkle some back there as well, that is where I finally spotted them. I wish you well it is a miserable experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#25
Bed bug bites seem to be smaller and many many!
No. For many people, the bite reaction is often a large welt - an inch (over 2 cm) across.
Incest bites bed bugs you build up immunity so after 3 or 4 caminos
I think the opposite is true for bedbug bites, since the reaction is an allergic one, rather than a toxic one.

The following is a good description of how it is impossible to know if it is a bedbug bite, simply from a description of a "typical" reaction. The experts can't do it. However, I would suspect bedbugs as the most likely cause of multiple bites on the camino, unless you knew you had been exposed to fleas.
I’ve spoken to 2 Drs, and sent photos to a family member who is a nurse, who showed them to her ward Professor. Verdict: bites. Non-specific origin...
The bites were a variety of appearances - some groups (3s, 4s, 5s, 6s...) and some singles. Some with bullseye/halo, some domed and white when touched, some small and red like gnat/ants.
 

gml

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago, Sept/Oct 2012
Le Puy to Roncesvalles, Oct/Nov 2014
#28
...The most effective treatment for your home is food grade diatomaceous earth. You can read a number of websites about applying it. Pull back your wood trim and sprinkle some back there as well, that is where I finally spotted them. I wish you well it is a miserable experience.
This is a very good suggestion, worth trying. I had a flea infestation in a bedroom, and after reading about non-toxic remedies, I sprinkled diatomaceous earth all over the carpet and along the baseboards, let it sit for about 10 days or so, and then vacuumed it up. There has been no evidence of fleas since then.
 

ElAines

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Muxía-Finisterre May 2015
Inglés & Finisterre Sept 2018
#29
...Pull back your wood trim and sprinkle some back there as well
Thank you for the suggestion - we have box skirting boards to hide pipes, and although I’ve still seen no evidence, that’s certainly somewhere they could hide undisturbed.......
 

ElAines

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Muxía-Finisterre May 2015
Inglés & Finisterre Sept 2018
#30
... Delayed reactions are possible if you are a person who isn't allergic to anything in general. I'd suggest taking all the possible precautions, looking for any bedbug signs in your bedroom but not stressing out too much yet because as I said: delayed reactions are possible.
Thank you for this big reminder. With the hub and I each having a very different emotional response to the possible news, I would reiterate staying pragmatic and as unemotional as possible is the way through it.

I’d say I’m very likely a delayed reaction, and so I have a bit longer to see if I’m re-bitten at home. But fingers crossed - the cleaning and checking continues (I broke the hoover actually, it never worked so hard before!)
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
#31
Here is a link to a very good set of photo galleries on what the signs of bedbugs look like, and other things which can be mistaken for bedbugs but aren't. It really helped me to feel confident that I know exactly what bug signs are and what is just my paranoia talking.

When he mentions 'loop' he means magnifying glass.
https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/signs-of-bed-bugs/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#33
Here is a link to a very good set of photo galleries on what the signs of bedbugs look like, and other things which can be mistaken for bedbugs but aren't. It really helped me to feel confident that I know exactly what bug signs are and what is just my paranoia talking.
When he mentions 'loop' he means magnifying glass.
https://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/signs-of-bed-bugs/
Thanks for that very good source of information. The linked site http://www.bedbugfoundation.org/en/home/ has good description of Bedbug Biology.
 
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Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
Anne DR Bed Bugs 93
jeffrey r aitken Bed Bugs 70

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