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Insect Alerts!

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s 29 July 2008. An announcement folder for Bug Alerts might be a good idea, eh?
The summer bugs are back, and everyone is itching!

I was in Sahagun today and ran into the Valladolid-based hospitaleros now running the municipal albergue in El Burgo Ranero. They were buying every spray-can of insecticide they could fit in the trolley. Evidently the place is hoppin´ with not just bedbugs, but fleas! ("The pilgrims are arriving with their packs full of insects, and the ones walking with dogs sneak them in at night. And then everyone is angry when we have insects in the albergue!" one man said.)

Hopefully their massive chemical warfare will have the problem under control soon.
Pilgrims beware, and check the seams of your sleeping bags and packs for uninvited guests.

The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Did you know that there are over 9 000 videos on YouTube dealing with bed bugs? Even National Geographic has one.

Warning: X P rating (no pilgrims - they'll never sleep again!)


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Hi All
What exactly is the situation before we travel on 08/08/08 Friday after next? Are we pretty certain to return home suffering from something like the "mange". Dont think that would be funny. The family might not have us back!!! :?
Just watched the horror video from National Geographic, thanks sillydoll I really needed that. Thankfully I didn't meet any of the little darlings when I walked this April and May. I noticed that google has attached an ad for a bed bug product to the YouTube video so if anyone wants to add 24 oz. to their pack you could give this a try:
.... and just to freak Dale out completely ... and in case you don't know what they really look like



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Hike 30 miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino
Oh happy memories of Astorga 2007!!

I think it was a really good idea to publish a photo of the effects of being bitten by bed bugs as I don't think many people are aware of how much more serious bed bug bites can be compared to say fleas.

Forewarned is forearmed as they say so its in all our interests for people to be vigilant and report sightings and bites as quickly as possible.

Mind you the Youtube bed bug video was family viewing compared to the spider bite videos that were listed alongside it.. truly revolting! Thats the trouble with Youtube, once you watch one video you start looking at the other related ones and end up seeing some weird stuff!
I think bedbugs have been on pilgrimage as long as pilgrims. Where ever there are beds and lots of people and less than scrupulous daily cleaning which must be nigh impossible in the larger albergues there will be bed bugs.

For everyone they are horrible and some people ( like me!) are so allergic to bug bites and stings that these little mites would literally stop the pilgrimage in its tracks.

People have given good advice before about being prepared. Here is one helpful posting. I am sure the active ingredients will be available in preparations in countries other than the UK.

JohnnieWalker said:
For everyone they are horrible and some people ( like me!) are so allergic to bug bites and stings that these little mites would literally stop the pilgrimage in its tracks.

You´re quite right! I managed to survive the whole trip along the Camino Francés without succumbing, by carefully insulating my sleeping bag against the bed using my inflatable mattress. On the last night, in the albergue in Finisterre, I didn´t bother. I was tired and somehow - after the farewells at the lighthouse - I seemed to forget my usual routine. I certainly regretted my lack of vigilance.

You can imagine: if there are bed bugs all along the Camino, and some people from all the albergues on the Camino all end up at Finisterre... Well, yes it´s obvious! The albergue at Finisterre is the rendezvous point for all the bedbugs along the Camino. It´s where they have their final get-together, like the pilgrims!

I have been walking down the Camino Inglés recovering from about two hundred bites. I had to take extreme measures with all my equipment, and had it not been for the fact of my flight home being booked for a certain date, that would have been the end: I just wanted OUT!

The bites have now receded: some have left small temporary scars and scabs, but mercifully they have stopped itching. It took about four days to recover.

Even having treated my sleeping bag, I am terrified to use it, and it remains packed up tight and sealed within two plastic bags in my rucsack. I´d rather be cold at night - just using a sleeping bag liner - than risk ten seconds in that goose-down filled nest of micro-biological evil!

Bed bugs are no fun. Take every precaution: you do not know the hour of their coming!

I read somewhere last year that if you can freeze your equipment for 48 hours that will kill both the bugs and the larva. They can live for up to a year without eating but they can't survive below freezing temperatures. So if you have or can use a freezer that your sleeping bag will fit into that should solve the problem. Here in good old Canada we just wait for January and throw it outdoors. :twisted:
At the SPCA bookstore where I work on a Monday, we microwave any books with signs of bookworm. Perhaps you could do the same with your clothes and equipment - nuke the critters!
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.
Gareth, first let me congratulate you on your amazing achievement, what a shame it ended on such an itchy note.

I believe freezing does work - I treated all my kit that way when I got home and had no further problems, thank goodness. However I read that you had to freeze things for 72 hours rather than 48. Although I didn't want to wet my down bag too much I did dampen it slightly so that it would freeze better. I put everything in the freezer including my torch, camera, passport etc and nothing came to any harm. (I was taking NO chances!) I soaked my backpack (which wouldn't fit in my upright freezer) in the bath in Jeyes Fluid. Again no problems but be warned -your backpack will stink afterwards and need to aired forever to disperse the disinfecant smell. Also the Jeyes Fluid stained my acrylic bath a shade of dirty purple that still hasn't quite worn off!

About a week before I arrived home I called my son and said he could eat ANYTHING he wanted out the freezer in order to free up space. You would be amazed how many joints of meat, steaks etc one teenager can eat in a week....cost me a fortune!

The microwave sounds like a really good option for smaller items.

I think it was about two months before my bites disappeared so on a positive note Gareth, it sounds like you recovered quite quickly. Hope you are now having a well-earned and relaxing period of R+R.


P.S. Any fresh-from-the-trail camino ingles info gratefully received...
yes, gareth. Let us know how it went on the Ingles! Did anyone freshen the waymarks yet?

...Also, El Burgo Ranero apparently has its bug problem under control, but I´m told there are some problems in Tardajos and Hornillos. Can´t say exactly which albergues, because the pilgrims complaining were not very clear on where they´d been when! (nasty spots, though.) One said he gets relief by rubbing them with rosemary. Which would at least make him smell nice.

lckgj said:
I believe freezing does work ... The microwave sounds like a really good option for smaller items....

I tried a slightly unorthodox approach but it worked: I fried the blighters by putting my sleeping bag into a tumble drier on the hottest possible setting. I don´t know if that damaged the goose down, but it certainly damaged the bugs. I very tentatively tried my sleeping bag last night, a week after the treatment in the tumble drier, and it was apparently clear.

The problem with microwaving sleeping bags is that a metal zip would damage the microwave. And the problem with the other possibility - freezing - would be finding a willing host to put an infected sleeping bag into their freezer!

Yes, I did recover from the itching quite quickly, but the damaged skin areas are still blotched. Latest update from the Seminario Menor in Santiago. Huge numbers of beds and sweaty people, some of whom are complaining they have been bitten in various places along the Camino Francés. I´m taking no chances here: I´ve paid a bit extra for a single room in the Seminario Menor and I´m sleeping on the floor!


P.S. Regarding the Camino Inglés; when I return to London I´ll provide complete feedback on the new revision of the CSJ guide to that route. The new instructions are easy to follow and I would certainly suggest to anyone doing the Camino Inglés, you should not leave Ferrol without a copy. You will get hopelessly lost without it!
Some people have a very nasty reaction to bed bug bites; see below

"Then just before we left - bless those pilgrim gîtes d'étape - David was besieged by bed bugs and by the time we arrived in London he needed antibiotics, antihistamine and cortisone in multiple doses to offset his allergic reactions. So now it was David's morale that wavered and for a while he questioned whether to carry on." ... chive.html - this is an interesting blog from an English couple, Rachel and David, who are spending a year walking to Santiago with lots of diversions, backtracks and introspection - also lovely photos, including lots of orchids.

BTW, we have almost completed our journal of our camino stage One, home to Reims, and intend to put it on a blog or something before we leave for stage Two in 6 weeks.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Rebekah Scott said:
FYI Latest bedbug outbreak is centered in Fromista.

That's a day's walk from Hontanas, the centre of the bedbug issue I raised here a month ago, which clearly has not been dealt with yet! (The outbreak was in the Municipal refugio in Hontanas, not the private albergue, El Puntido.)

I do wonder if the particular weather this summer - with damp introduced into the heat of the Meseta - might exacerbate the bed bug problem. Remember: insulate! Put something between the mattress and your sleeping bag. Airbed, foil emergency blanket, dustbin liners, groundsheet, anything! Just don't make contact with the mattress. Put the pillow under the bunk - don't even put your hat on it! Any blanket that comes with the bunk should be regarded as if it was a nest of vipers!

Do not treat a bed as a place to relax: be on your guard!


Here is an interesting source of info on them from Wikipedia:

I have never heard of them until the last few years and then only when I began to do research for my upcoming 2005 hike of the Camino Frances and recall a few pilgrims reporting getting them and a tiny few albergues were reporting them. As I recall, it was felt that pilgrims were bringing them in from France. Anyway, it looks like they were all but eradicated in the US and Europe (where they seem to have originated) with the widespread use of DDT. But now, long after that has stopped, they are now making a resurgence. Thankfully, I did not get them either time I walked. I can't even imagine the difficulty in getting rid of them.
Bed bugs don't sound like a lot of fun.

Just curious but are they to be found through out Spain. I am planning on walking the Camino Del Norte and possibly the Camino Primitive and wonder if I should take the suggested precautions there (a plastic sheet separating the bed and my sleeping bag) or whether they are, at least now, a problem to be found mainly on the Camino Francais.


See my post in BED BUGD ALERT topic. I am biten as bad as on the photograph above.

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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.
I am really surprised that there are bed bugs in Granon as they have vinyl mattresses with very little space for bugs to cling to.
For pilgrims just leaving or planning to leave in a few weeks.
There are over 200 refuges on the camino and reports from about 12 that they have bed bugs so don't let this news put you off your planned pilgrimage.
But, it would be wise to consider some precautions.

* Check at each albergue whether or not they have a bed bug problem before you decide to stay there.
* Check the mattress - especially the seams - for bed bugs before you roll out your sleeping bag.
* If you are allergic to insect bites in any way, or have ever been allergic to insect bites, take anti-histamines with you.
* Take an anti-itch or antihistamine cream with you as well, just in case.

Besides having to share your camino with these little pests, I'm sure you are going to have a wonderful walk!
Buen camino a todos,
Just met up with our Czech friend, which stayed in San Juan de Ortega with us. We said, that we had bugs on his face when he woke up.
People on Camino- please give an update on bed bugs if you can.
Re: Insect Alerts - Bed Bugs

Here, in Africa, we use a fabric spray product by BAYER called Bayticol to ward off ticks - also blood sucking insects - which cause tick borne diseases and Congo fever. The active ingredient is pyrethroid (Flumethrin).


I used a product by Sawyer's and sprayed it on the exterior of my bag and pack. At my wife's suggestion, I also took some lavender essential oil to dab on me before sleeping (it also negated undesirable refugio smells). I had no problems with the critters in 2007. I don't want this to seem like an advertisement, but I will include a little write up on the Sawyers product below. It is not for direct skin contact, only for clothes.

Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Military, government agencies, universities, and others; this Sawyer Clothing repellent offers protection from disease-carrying biting insects. The active ingredient, Permethrin, is a synthetic molecule similar to those found in natural pyrethrum which is taken from the Chrysanthemum flower. Not only does this product repel insect, but will actually kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites and more than 55 other kinds of insects. Sawyer Permethrin insect repellents are for use with clothing, tents, and other gear. A single application lasts 6 washings. Permethrin is odorless when dry, and during the drying process, it tightly bonds with the fibers of the treated garment. It will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or any of your outdoor gear.
Last year, when I was making plans to walk the Camino this past spring, I found an English company on the Internet that sold a net mattress cover impregnated with pyrethroid, to stop bed bugs. I assumed it was similar to a mosquito netting only designed to cover a mattress . Sounded like a good idea but unfortunately I didn't buy one and I just checked the company again and they no longer sell the item. There are several companies selling mattress covers to prevent bed bugs from the mattress from getting on you but they don't talk about anything on them which would actually kill the bugs. This is a link to one of these mattress covers:
I got a dose of bedbugs when I was on the Camino and a couple of Portuguesas told me what to do and it WORKED!

First, I had to take EVERYTHING out of my backpack.
Turn the backpack INSIDE OUT.
They said to turn ALL the pockets of my clothing inside out.
This is where the little buggers hide in the day - all along the seams and inside pockets.

Then I laid it all out in the sun and sprayed it ALL with bugspray.
Be sure to spray inside all the pockets and along all the seams.

Then after letting it sun and soak in bugspray for about an hour, I washed it all.

No more bedbugs that trip.

The key was the POCKETS and the SEAMS - I had done the spraying before but didn't get them all.

I'm so afraid of bedbugs I am seriously considering just sleeping outside next camino. I have a hammock and a lightweight tarp and it may be my home next trek.
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
In Zubiri, where I was privy to a governmental inspection for bedbugs, I was told by one of the inspectors, that bedbugs are not going to go away, ever.... that the way they get into the albergues is from people trekking through the woods, where they live, and hitchhiking aboard your shoes, socks, pants, whatever you place on the ground, and then make themselves a new home in the albergue.
So sleeping outside, where they live, might not prevent them..... oh well.
But sleeping outside would be cool.
I cannot find an information source that bedbugs can be picked up in the field and brought inside.

This information is from a source specifically for bedbugs:

"Bed bugs do not enter homes from the natural outdoor environment; instead they must be introduced into the home from a previously infested environment. This can occur by picking them up during travel, bringing them in on rented or used furniture, introduction by guests or visitors, or other means. Often the exact source of the infestation is unknown. Once in the home bed bugs will seek small, protected areas to hide. Although called bed bugs, they can live in almost any area of the home such as beds, couches, picture frames, night stands, wall voids, under carpeting, or virtually any available small crack or crevice."

It appears that you do not have to worry about picking up bedbugs outdoors. They will be found in infected abodes, and you can become the unwitting carrier. Insecticide treatment of packs, stuff sacks, sleeping bags, etc. before you leave home can keep bedbugs from entering your equipment while you are in an albergue.
I have never heard of bedbugs being picked up outdoors either.
They are introduced by someone who HAS picked them up in another place, often a dirty place that has not been cleaned enough. HOWEVER, they are happy to live in a CLEAN place too, once they arrive, and to travel in your clothes, pockets, bedding, and bag from one bed to another.
I am curious, with each new year what do the Albergue do to rid themselves of bedbugs? Do they get new mattresses (must be expensive) or use chemicals or both? :?:
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.
The albergue Jacques DeMolay in Terradillos de Templarios has been closed now for ages, first for the holidays, and now for "disinfection." They are scrubbing down the rooms and bedframes with something that smells like carbolic acid, but I don´t know what all else they have going on in there. I wish they´d hurry up, though... they´re sending all their traffic here! :lol:
Although it does not seem comfortable, I think one thing the Alburgues should/could do is switch from regular mattresses to plastic covered mattresses. That way they could be hosed down, sprayed, and hosed down again to get rid of the bugs. This is what worked for us, and as much as I hate chemicals, I have to say "it worked."

When I walk next time, I'll look for places with those little pads instead of "mattresses" where the bugs hide. They tend to lay their eggs on the UNDERside of the mattresses, in that little "roll" of a seam. That's also where they hide.

The other thing I know will work is diatamaceous earth, but I don't know where you'd get it in Spain (except at pool companies) and it can be expensive and it can bother people with allergies.

Dang, I'm starting to itch just thinking about those bedbugs! ::scratching!::: :lol:

I did a google search on Getting Rid of Bedbugs and there is a LOT of information out there.
If it's summer, you can put the mattresses in black plastic bags in the sun for a few hours to kill them, but then you have the problem of the eggs in the carpet, boxsprings, etc. They're hardy little buggers!
Here's what I found to insure MY bed had no bed bugs:

1. Before I put my gear down (which may have picked up a hitchhiker along the Way), I took the mattress off the bed and checked it thoroughly. In most cases, the albergues had noisy plastic mattresses...that's a good thing. I checked the seams of the mattress, the underside and...if I was early enough...did the same to the mattress above me.

2. A good indication of the bed bug situation was the wash rooms and the toilets. If these were assumption was that the other areas were also below standard.

3. In many albergues, I noted that they aired out their mattresses after the last guest departed..a good practice.

So, take the time to check...and DON"T put your pack on your bed..if you did pick up a've just deposited it on your bunk. Rather, put your pack on the bunk to the other side of yours....JUST KIDDING!

Buen scratching free Camino

As an aside that Arn brought up: DON´T put your pack on the bed anyway.
The bottom of your pack is probably very dirty, and you´re putting that road-dirt right onto the bed surface where someone is probably going to sleep.

And puh-LEEZ when you change the bandages and Compeed on your feet, put the bits of paper and gauze and messy old dressings and tape IN THE TRASH BIN. It´s just not nice to leave that scattered about for someone else to clean up.

Sweetly yours
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I have carried a piece of Tyvek as a ground cover--very light and washable. (I crumpled it up and ran it through the washing machine and quickly in the dryer to take all the "crinkle" out of it. That way I can roll it up tightly.) You can often find a piece of sufficient size near some construction sites. Otherwise you can get it at Home Depot or Lowes in the US. Would something like this treated with premethrin work as an effective barrier? Especially if I carried it in a ziploc? I think the piece I carried on the AT weighed less than 4 oz. ... ef=opinion

Complaints about bed bugs in New York City are rising steadily. In Boston, officials began giving out fluorescent orange stickers — with a picture of the dreaded bed bug — to warn against taking home overstuffed trash. Other cities have established bed bug task forces to help fight invasions in homes, hotels and hospitals.
There was a suggestion (round about August/September) of last year, that there would be a massive fumigation of all hostels - all at the same moment, obviously in the "low season". Since then, I haven't read about this happening, so I suppose that it hasn't been done! Obviously closing ALL hostels for some days, even in the Winter doesn't seem fair to the Pilgrims who do choose to walk at that time of the year.
Question: do these critters go into hibernation? Or rather, can they survive for some months without our blood? Seems to me that the problem always starts in earnest by about July, once there are loads of Pilgrims on the move. I dread to think what the situation is like by September/October, which is when we plan to walk this year. By then they have been given ample time to multiply! Personally, I don't like the idea of spraying myself or the contents of my pack with insecticide.
Mass fumigation is not the panacea to eradicate the bed bug situation. Even if they did it on the same day pilgrims are enroute and may be carrying the bugs between albergues...heck, many of the bed bug that are introduced into the hostels are travelers from abroad in the packs of the pilgrims. Not to say the pilgrims come from a bed bug infested clime or place...but they did share an aircraft compartment with others that may have provided cheap travel arrangements for bed bugs.

The key remains:

1. Check all your gear before you depart for the Camino.
2. Check all your equipment after you arrive at your chosen point of departure.
3. Check all your gear upon arrival at your new destination and, once there
4. Don't put your gear on the bed. Before you put your sleeping bag or other sleep sack on the bed;
5. Check the mattress by taking it off the bed...searching all the linings and the bed proper for creatures. This includes the mattress above you if no one has arrived to check it.
6. If the albergue provides blankets or mattress covers...check these before you put them on your bed...the blankets are warm and bed bugs like warmth!

I would be interested in hearing from any Forum member that personally suffered from a bed bug infestation. Not that they heard someone else did, but they, themselves did. And, if they did...what they did about it!

Buen never bit...but did some bitting Camino,
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.
Thanks for the advice Arn!
I've just checked in wikipedia a question that I made "do these critters go into hibernation"?
Well, according to wikipedia, the little b.........s and live for up to 18 months without nutrition (in other words, our blood)!
I only met one person last year who had been bitten, and that was on her last night before arriving at Santiago.
I think I did everything wrong to encourage them, because I always took all my things out of the pack and then nicely folded them and left them all night on my bunk!!
Maybe a good strategy in the morning, would be to shake out our sleeping bags outside, before rolling them up. This is not always practical, depending on the layout of the albergue, but it might just help. This year I will definately take a couple of large zip-lock bags for the clothes.
Anne mentioned:large zip-lock bags

These are one of the most practical items you can carry on the Camino. I put ALL of my things in them:

- clothing (not much)
- toiletries (just enough)
- medicine (cuz I got to)
- Socks (dry and ready)
- food (sausage, cheese, etc)

This allows you to pack in compartments rather than as singular items...when you take something stays together, rahter than causing a pack explosion. And,

For when you take a can put your valuables on a bench, or shelf and not worry of getting it wet, or someone lifting it from you.

Buen Zip locks R us Camino,
I used to use the plastic zip-locks, mainly to keep things dry should the backpack cover fail in a heavy downpour. Since investing in the ALTUS raincape, I have been using see through mesh mags rather than plastic zip-lock bags. No more rustling of plastic bags, no more musty, backpack smell and with a drawstring on top they can hang anywhere.
I notice mention is made throughout this topic of: Pyrethrum, Permethrin, Pyrethroid, Flumethrin & Bayticol etc.

1) Has any one used this type of product on Sleeping Bags/Liners & Clothes?
2) What was your method, spraying or soaking items etc?
3) Did it have any adverse effect on your equipment?
4) Do you think it was efective, would you do the same again?

The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Any chemical you spray on the sleeping bag you spend 8 hours sleeping in is going to end up in your kidneys and liver.

So your choice is finding a different way of controlling the bugs or poisoning yourself for comfort.

Hmmmmm... not a difficult choice to make for me, anyway... :roll:
Permethrin is the synthetic verison of Pyrethrin - It is in the Pyrethroids family. Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemums. The flowers are dried and the oils are extracted.

Natural pyrethrins are contact poisons which quickly penetrate the nerve system of the insect. Permethrin offers good residual action on inert surfaces. Keep in mind that Permethrin is an insecticide that kills on contact. Human toxicity is low once permethrin is dry, but avoid contact with the liquid. If you wear bed clothes, then you will not be in contact with much permethrin. Naturally, if you are sensitive or allergic, settle for the bed bug bites (unless you have an histamine reaction and need a trip to the hospital).
Hi Col, (and others from OZ)

I got the Insect repellent - can't remember it's name - one of those you have listed above - (it is a very small jar) from Paddy Palin in Melbourne, but noticed that it is also available in Anaconda, Snowgum and Anapurna here in Adelaide, and so there should be plenty of places where you can buy it in your city. I soaked my silk inner sheet in it prior to leaving, and refrained from washing it - thought it was better for it to be a bit smelly than have me bitten! Just follow the directions on the bottle. I also soaked another piece of fabric (sarong) that I used as a top sheet, pillow case among other things. I didn't bother with things like shirts because of the constant washing - it would have been washed out after a week or two. Happy preparations, Janet
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
There are many pages on this toxin.
Here is but one: ... ain_ID=279

Here are some of the Health Issues:

Health Effects

Skin and eye irritation, skin rashes, inflammation, numbing, tingling, burning sensation.

Allergy-like and respiratory reactions, such as coughing, sneezing, nasal stuffiness, breathing difficulties, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). (More likely among those who are allergic to ragweed and pollens.)

Salivation, headache, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea at high doses.

Nerve damage, seizures, twitching, incoordination, irritability to sound and touch at extremely high doses

Enlargement of liver.

Newborns may be more sensitive than adults to permethrin, based on results from animal studies.

Just because it's made from Chrysanthemums doesn't make it safe.
Cinnamon is nice on my oatmeal, but I wouldn't suggest you slather cinnamon oil on your skin. :twisted:

There are many toxins made from "safe" plants...

The bottom line is that everyone should do what they feel comfortable doing.
Personally, I would no more sleep in or on a sheet permeated with such a toxin than I would spray myself with RAID!

As far as dealing the bedbugs, yup... a person has to do that.
I'm choosing a net and sleeping mostly outdoors.
To each his/her own :)
Hi Janet & All

Yes, I saw some "stuff" in Paddy Pallin, Sydney. Most of the trekking shops seem to have some variation. I notice Sea to Summit have a treated silk liner "Traveller - Permethrin". I also noticed that it is not seemingly available at the US/UK online stores, not sure if this is related to preference or laws relating to product content etc.

hi Col, I work on the theory that why pay for it when it will only stay treated for so many washes (if it stays for longer then I don't want it) - that is why I do it myslef. Cheers, Janet
I will be leaving my newborns at home for the Camino, so the effect of pyrethrin on them does not concern me. Almost everything we use has a side effect. Tylenol was the drug used by Bruce Ivins, the alleged anthrax perpetrator, to commit suicide. He had been taking Celexa for depression. Quite a chain of toxins in that man's life. Chemicals in sunblock have side effects, but so does exposure to the sun (some of which is necessary for Vitamin D). Since no one but me will be in my sleep sack, I plan on treating it with anything I want. Informed consent certainly is useful, but I am not going to be eaten by bed bugs, and I am not one of those with a histamine reaction to bug bites. A search of the internet will show almost-leprosy reactions to bed bug bites. I personally will take the minor risk from properly used pyrethrin and let the bed bugs eat the purists.
Is there agreement yet that chemicals are necessary to combat bedbugs?
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.
Came across this manufacturer of sleeping bags that have a treatment for bed bugs and mozzies.The company is Lifeventure

"Sleeplight 750 Sleeping Bag Our lightest synthetic sleeping bag, this is perfect for indoor or outdoor use when travelling in warm climates. It contains a small security pocket for your wallet, passport etc ... or alarm clock if you need an early start! If you’re staying in hostels we all know how clean bedding may not be what it is at home so we have treated our Sleeplight range with Ex3 which protects your sleeping bag against bed bugs, mosquitoes and the build up of bacteria. Comes with a waterproof compression stuff sack".
Does anyone know if there a fire ants in Spain and Potugual? I am very allergic and should I bring my epi pen?
They are there:
Anaphylaxis caused by imported red fire ant stings in Málaga, Spain.
Fernández-Meléndez S, Miranda A, García-González JJ, Barber D, Lombardero M.

Allergy Service, Carlos Haya University Regional Hospital, Málaga, Spain.

A 27-year-old woman suffered from anaphylaxis after being stung by Solenopsis invicta ants while she was handling wood from South America. The patient reported no previous adverse reactions to stings by other hymenopteran species. Intradermal skin tests with hymenoptera venom (Vespula vulgaris, Polistes species, Apis melifera) were negative. Serum specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E yielded positive results for S invicta (5.28 kU/L) and negative results for A melifera, Ves v 5 and Pol a 5. Immunodetection assays showed the presence of serum IgE against the Sol i 2 allergen. The patient had probably been stung previously although inadvertently by red fire ants while she handled infested wood from South America, and precautionary measures are thus advisable when this material is to be handled. To our knowledge this is the first case of anaphylaxis from red fire ant stings reported in Europe.

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