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Mosquitoes and Flies

Jenwalking

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese 2023
Hello everyone, I am a first time question asker here. I attract all creatures, mossies, flys, bees and would like to know if I need to carry repellant on the CF in April/May. Many thanks for your insights. Jen
 
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As far as biting insects are concerned, I am ice-cream. I have had no problems with flies - sure they are there but so are many other irritants (?!) which I can put up with.

Mosquitoes - surprisingly few.

Ticks - none.

Bedbugs - some, mostly in Spain but also once in France. I have experienced bedbugs a few times, but most of my caminos have been bedbug free. My worst ever bedbug experience was in SdC.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Yes, in the section alongside the canal there were lots of mosquitoes and in a couple of other places the nits were so thick around my head that they were going up my nose when I breathed in.

Overall though it was relatively insect free except for this little critter.
 

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As someone that is also a frequent victim to everything that flies and bites, i was quite happy that i had nothing of the sort when walking in May/June. So likely it will also be OK in April.
From what I hear, later in the season those little pests can become a nuisance.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Walked last April and May, no bugs at all.
Autumn was different, tons of flies.
 
Yes, flies can be a problem. The constant fanning to wave them off makes me nuts. I now take a mosquito head net that weighs less than 1.3 oz and keep it readily available in an accessible pocket. A tiny life changer on the Camino.
Additional benefit is the instant comedic effect. 😂 For extra credit, can anyone tell which Camino this picture is from?
 

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Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I walk in April/May and might have seen a few flying insects but in the southern routes if the weather is warmer they could be around 🐝🦗
 
I have walked the Camino Frances several times and I was only bothered by flies once on a walk in the fall, just after the expansive farm fields were 'turned over,' which disturbed the flies nesting in the soil. They were everywhere and it was hard to breathe or speak without ingesting one or 17! Since that experience, I always take a mosquito net that fits over my hat.
 
Yes, flies can be a problem. The constant fanning to wave them off makes me nuts. I now take a mosquito head net that weighs less than 1.3 oz and keep it readily available in an accessible pocket. A tiny life changer on the Camino.
Additional benefit is the instant comedic effect. 😂 For extra credit, can anyone tell which Camino this picture is from?
Which month/s and route did you walk when you encountered so many flies?
I most always walk in April/May and encountered no insects of any kind in Spain; nor June on the Via Podiensis; nor Sept/October on the Via Francigena. Possibly the six legged critters don't prefer my aroma.
 
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Which month/s and route did you walk when you encountered so many flies?
The absolute worst was on the Sanabres in June, the stage after Mosteiro de Oseira. In the above picture, bug net covers hat and neck and is surprisingly see through, was in late September 2022 in one of the roads less traveled. I would now never leave home without it. Works great for the bumblebees and horseflies too.
 
I now take a mosquito head net that weighs less than 1.3 oz and keep it readily available in an accessible pocket. A tiny life changer on the Camino.
Additional benefit is the instant comedic effect. 😂 For extra credit,
Can I get extra credit for having made a mesh bag for bedbug protection of my backpack, and I found that it also fits nicely over my head? However, I haven't put this into practice yet, and I will definitely not be posting a photo! 🤣
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Can I get extra credit for having made a mesh bag for bedbug protection of my backpack, and I found that it also fits nicely over my head? However, I haven't put this into practice yet, and I will definitely not be posting a photo! 🤣
Sounds like a good idea, and a possibility for a multi-use item.
 
Sounds like a good idea, and a possibility for a multi-use item.
Aw, come on, C clearly, it’s almost necessary. I de-double, triple dare you!
OK, I want those marks. And for extra extra credit, speaking of multi-use... I think I have created a very nice filter idea for Photoshop, AND maybe a new avatar for myself. Not to mention bridal apparel, should the need ever arise.
 

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Not to mention bridal apparel, should the need ever arise.
OMG, this is great. It looks more like one of those aldea widows. The black mask is a special touch. 😂
speaking of multi-use...
Everything we carry must have this capability, otherwise it stays home.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Yes, in the section alongside the canal there were lots of mosquitoes and in a couple of other places the nits were so thick around my head that they were going up my nose when I breathed in.

Overall though it was relatively insect free except for this little critter.
And was that also in April/May. Like the questioner I am also a mozzie magnet.
 
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On the Frances in 2021, my brother wore white t-shirts. There were a couple of days that were heavy with flies, but they only swarmed him. It had to be the color of his clothing, we both bathed the same! 😊
My hubby rides E-bikes at home on our many local trails in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. In summer, he insists that whenever he wears red athletic shirts mosquitos are drawn to him like a magnet, so I've donated those shirts to a local charity shop.
Apparently color does matter!
 
For extra credit, can anyone tell which Camino this picture is from?

Why has no one submitted an answer to this question? You should have edited the photo, @El Cascayal, because the lettering tells us the answer. (I think).

But as for the original question about biting insects, I too am a bug magnet. I have occasionally been bitten by mosquitos, but never enough to make me wish I had brought repellent.

I don’t think I have been bitten by those annoying gnats that make a cloud and follow you, but I hate walking in them. I’ve experienced them most frequently on the Primitivo, Olvidado, Salvador, and Castellano-Aragonés. Every year I swear that next year I will bring one of those nifty mosquito nets that @El Cascayal described but I always let it slide. My workaround in 2021 and 2022 was that when the gnats/small flies/whatever they are started following me, I put on my sunglasses and my covid mask. That kept them out of my eyes,nose and mouth enough to make it bearable.

I have also been bitten on the camino by fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and ticks. Though usually the person inspecting cannot tell me with certainty what they are, I treat all multiple raised red splotches bug bites as if they were bed bugs.

But for ticks, there is no confusion. I now carry a tick key, which I HIGHLY recommend for removing ticks. I have not had any on the camino since I started carrying it, but I have removed ticks from others and it works like a charm.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Well, with twenty-plus Caminos under your belt, I can see how you have encountered all of those annoying, biting insects over the years.
What month/s do you typically walk in, and do you think it makes much difference, or is it like the weather; a gamble and hope for the best?
 
You should have edited the photo, @El Cascayal, because the lettering tells us the answer. (I think).
Absolutely, a softball, and yet, no takers? 🥲
I have also been bitten on the camino by fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and ticks.
You are hereby proclaimed a big bug magnet! You earned it!
I now carry a tick key,
I have not had any on the camino since I started carrying it, but I have removed ticks from others and it works like a charm.
Win, win!
 
Well, with twenty-plus Caminos under your belt, I can see how you have encountered all of those annoying, biting insects over the years.
What month/s do you typically walk in, and do you think it makes much difference, or is it like the weather; a gamble and hope for the best?
Except for 2021 and 2022, I have always walked in spring/summer. In 2021 and 2022 I walked in September/October. There were LOTS of little annoying flies on several occasions in both fall 2021 (Salvador Primitivo) and fall 2022 (Torres/Geira). But I had no bug or tick bites on those fall caminos. I have had all those bites during spring summer walking, and have given up trying to figure out what the triggers are or when they are more likely to occur. I’m just resigned to my fate and figure it is one of the very few downsides of doing something I love!
 
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I’m just resigned to my fate and figure it is one of the very few downsides of doing something I love!
This is an example of your cheerful and positive attitude about "all things Camino". You are always kind and tactful when replying to posts, even if ocassionally disagreeing, or stepping in to mediate. Meeting you in person was a highlight for me a few years ago; your upbeat personality is pure Camino magic.🙂
I am aware I have digressed a bit.🙄
 
My husband wore a yellow shirt one day in May on the CF - never again. ALL kinds of bugs covered his shirt but no one else in our walking group was bothered. He saved the shirt for our last days in urban Madrid.

I am severely sensitive to scented products and unfortunately several of our pre- arranged lodging for a private room were using air fresheners, scented cleaners, stick atomizers, and plug-in atomizers (even though I had specifically mentioned the problem in emails.). I HAD to leave the windows open to breathe - huge numbers of flies came in because there are no window screens in most places. I bought a fly swatter! (Had some difficulty translating fly swatter into Spanish at the hardware store.) :)
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Why has no one submitted an answer to this question? You should have edited the photo, @El Cascayal, because the lettering tells us the answer. (I think).
Absolutely, a softball, and yet, no takers?
That is the reason no one has answered. I didn't want to be the person who fell for the obvious trick if I was wrong.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Yes, flies can be a problem. The constant fanning to wave them off makes me nuts. I now take a mosquito head net that weighs less than 1.3 oz and keep it readily available in an accessible pocket. A tiny life changer on the Camino.
Additional benefit is the instant comedic effect. 😂 For extra credit, can anyone tell which Camino this picture is from?
I agree about the head net. Used mine in 2018 and 2022 and was glad I had it! Here's a photo of me last year, near Lunas on the Chemin d'Arles:
 

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A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
I agree about the head net. Used mine in 2018 and 2022 and was glad I had it! Here's a photo of me last year, near Lunas on the Chemin d'Arles

I have had no problems with any insects on the Camino Frances during April through early June. Yes, I've seen some houseflies here and there -- nothing that required special protection though. Not sure I'd add any extra weight to my pack, although a Benvo brand head net that goes over a brimmed hat is only about 36 grams (I carry one in my vest when [somewhat ironically] fly fishing).

Arles later in the year is a whole different story. I was there in September this year and I took a beating from some sort of small biting flies, almost too small to see, when waiting for dinner at an outside cafe. The restaurant moved me indoors when I asked, but not before my legs and ankles were peppered with some incredibly itchy bites. I was told that they are common in the evening at that time of year in Arles, especially after wet weather.
 

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