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No Permethrin in Canada?!

CaminoMatto

Member
Good day all,

Starting my Camino in April and I have a question regarding bed bugs and preventative sprays. Eye rolls and groans I know I know there have been so many bed bug posts but despite searching the forums I have been unable to find an answer.

My plan is to pre-treat my gear with Permethrin spray but I cannot legally get Permethrin where I live (Canada).

Does anyone know if I can buy a pre-treatment spray once I have arrived in SJPDP? Is there a store in St Jean that sells stuff like this?

Again I apologize if this has been asked dozens of times before me,

Greatly appreciate any info, thanks!!
 
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You used the term "preventative sprays". If that is a reference to it acting to repel a bed bug, Permethrin is not a repellent; it is a pesticide.

In other words, if the bed bug is exposed to the Permethrin, and if it is not resistant to it, it will be killed eventually. But not before it bites and obtains its blood meal.

Many will spray their backpacks so that if they pick up the critter, it will die in the pack.
 

Camino Addict

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugues (2013), Caminho Costa (2013), Frances (2014, 18) Mozarabe (2017), Portugues (2019)
The outfitter in town does not carry Permethrin, but being that you'll be there in April, you can contact them and they may be able to special order it for you. Pharmacies in Europe sell Permethrin but not the stuff that is formulated for clothing, so it's a hit or miss if it will work on your gear. I don't know how close you are to the US border, but you could go to the States, spray your stuff here, and go back to Canada. Another option is that livestock grade Permethrin is available in Canada, and supposedly you can dilute that stuff enough for clothing. Do you know any farmers?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Good day all,

Starting my Camino in April and I have a question regarding bed bugs and preventative sprays. Eye rolls and groans I know I know there have been so many bed bug posts but despite searching the forums I have been unable to find an answer.

My plan is to pre-treat my gear with Permethrin spray but I cannot legally get Permethrin where I live (Canada).

Does anyone know if I can buy a pre-treatment spray once I have arrived in SJPDP? Is there a store in St Jean that sells stuff like this?

Again I apologize if this has been asked dozens of times before me,

Greatly appreciate any info, thanks!!
Where will you be doing your spraying? You need a well ventilated space away from people. Not something you should be doing in an albergue.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
Probably there is a good reason why you cannot buy Permethrin legally in canada. I would not like that all pilgrims would use this stuff
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Read the labels on products on the pesticide shelf at Canadian Tire. You will find it. However you won't find permethrin spray marketed as a clothing-treatment product - possibly because its effectiveness as a bedbug repellent has not been demonstrated. Its effectiveness as a pesticide to kill (some) bedbugs upon contact has been proven, so that usage can be promoted. (There are laws about truth in advertising.)
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Canceled: Primitivo May 2020
I was told (could be just an urban myth of course) that early right after winter the danger of bed bugs is much much lower than at peak season or later. Sounds consistent to me.
Anyway, I am also walking in April and hence not taking any precautions.
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
The best precaution IMO is to take a moment and just check your bed before you settle in. Lift the sheet if there is one, check the seams of the mattress, check under the mattress, if the bed frame is wooden look in the joints, if the bed is metal all the better, use a flashlight (all cell phones have a flashlight app). Know what you are looking for, if there are signs of bedbugs, leave, advising the owner on the way out (in a nice way of course). Having said all of that understand that you can pick up bedbugs on your airplane, train or bus seat on your way to the Camino. Research and prepare how to handle your belongings if you do contact them.
Also know that Permethrin is reported as being highly toxic to cats.
Carry a bottle of education and caution in your backpack, it's light :)
 
Last edited:

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I'm with Dave Bugg on this. I've done a good bit of research online about permethrin. It won't be effective against bedbug bites, it isn't a repellent and as a pesticide bedbugs need long term exposure to it to die. So I would say don't waste your time looking for it. If you do find it use it on the inside of your pack. I would use it only on the outside of a sleeping bag but I wouldn't worry too much if it were on the inside too. Others will worry if they are in the same town as a place that sells it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Good day all,

Starting my Camino in April and I have a question regarding bed bugs and preventative sprays. Eye rolls and groans I know I know there have been so many bed bug posts but despite searching the forums I have been unable to find an answer.

My plan is to pre-treat my gear with Permethrin spray but I cannot legally get Permethrin where I live (Canada).

Does anyone know if I can buy a pre-treatment spray once I have arrived in SJPDP? Is there a store in St Jean that sells stuff like this?

Again I apologize if this has been asked dozens of times before me,

Greatly appreciate any info, thanks!!

It’s NOT legally available in many countries except for commercial (pest control) use but I realized that my dog anti-bug spray has permethrin. I’ve used this spray on my sleeping bag and silk liner for 3 Caminos. No bedbugs for me but another pilgrim who stayed at same albergues as me did get bites.
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
Good day all,

Starting my Camino in April and I have a question regarding bed bugs and preventative sprays. Eye rolls and groans I know I know there have been so many bed bug posts but despite searching the forums I have been unable to find an answer.

My plan is to pre-treat my gear with Permethrin spray but I cannot legally get Permethrin where I live (Canada).

Does anyone know if I can buy a pre-treatment spray once I have arrived in SJPDP? Is there a store in St Jean that sells stuff like this?

Again I apologize if this has been asked dozens of times before me,

Greatly appreciate any info, thanks!!

Permethrin spray is legally available, at pet stores, as a flea spray.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Good day all,

Starting my Camino in April and I have a question regarding bed bugs and preventative sprays. Eye rolls and groans I know I know there have been so many bed bug posts but despite searching the forums I have been unable to find an answer.

My plan is to pre-treat my gear with Permethrin spray but I cannot legally get Permethrin where I live (Canada).

Does anyone know if I can buy a pre-treatment spray once I have arrived in SJPDP? Is there a store in St Jean that sells stuff like this?

Again I apologize if this has been asked dozens of times before me,

Greatly appreciate any info, thanks!!

@CaminoMatto
I don't know where this idea came from that Permethrin spray is not available in Canada. I have sprayed my backpack and the outside of my sleeping bag before each camino (I do this outdoors and take sprayed items inside when thoroughly dry), purchasing Permethrin spray in Home Depot in Calgary, on the insect control shelf. My current tin is labelled "Raid Bed Bug Killer" and the label states that it contains .25% Permethrins. For me, this is not just in the hope to prevent getting bitten. Primarily, it is to avoid carrying bed bugs with me, along the caminos or back to my home. Yes, I take additional precautions when I arrive home. The backpack, which cannot be put in the washer or dryer, is emptied and put in a sealed plastic bag sprayed, thoroughly, and left for a month or so. Whatever can safely be dried in a hot dryer is washed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer and whatever clothing would not like this treatment is put in the freezer for a couple of months. More detailed information on avoiding taking bed bugs with you can be found on the forum. Some people may refuse to do anything to avoid bedbugs and even think that, if they cannot avoid themselves getting bit on the camino, there is no point in doing anything. If you are allergic to the spray, I can see why you would want to avoid it. But I have seen a young pilgrim whose throat was grossly swollen after being bitten, as he was sensitive to the bites. Spraying to kill bedbugs is a community control issue. We do what we can to avoid ourselves or others being bitten, and to avoid taking the bugs home with us.
 

John H.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Had the same challenge. Ordered it from the US and it took 6 weeks (after I left for the Camino).

I bought Wilson Home Pest Control (available at Cdn Tire). It is less concentrated (0.25% vs. 0.5%) so I applied it 2-3 times on my sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner. Yes it is chemical but I've probably rubbed against or consumed worse things in higher doses. Used it for 3 Camino trips so far. Peace of mind.
Permethrin.jpg
 
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