A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

No pilgrims, but I think I have bedbugs

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So you don't need to be on a camino with a lot of pilgrims to get bitten.

I can't figure out how to search the forum with my phone -- if I could I would not be adding the millionth thread on bedbugs. I woke up this morning to see a curly line of about seven red bites up my thigh and torso. I'm guessing the culprit is bedbugs.

I am walking into Zaragoza today so that's a good thing. Can some kind soul repeat the steps I should follow?

Thanks much. Laurie
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I can empathize! :( Those guys were waiting, starving for pilgrims, when you finally arrived!

Carefully shake each item of clothing out (preferably outside), placing as much as you can into a dryer. A modestly hot dryer for 30-40 minutes should be fine, if the things are dry when they go in. (You'll have to isolate the clothes you are wearing, for later treatment.) Examine everything else and put aside into a clean area. Inspect your backpack and maybe spray the folds with some insect repellent (Deet or permethrin) to scare out any hiding insects, before putting things back inside. I'd recommend putting your pack into a plastic garbage bag every night.

Then at the end of your trip, follow SYates's good instructions on one of the links provided above. Here is the original thread, in case you have trouble downloading and reading the PDF file on your phone.

Once that is all done, Buen camino! Try not to scratch! :p
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Hi Laurie, that's bad luck. @C clearly has given the advice I would also give. Throw your dry clothes into a hot air dryer. All bedbugs and their eggs die after 7 minutes at 46 degrees Celsius/115 degrees Fahrenheit.
The other way to achieve it is to put everything in a black plastic bin liner outside in direct hot sun - but everything has to reach the critical temperature so this is not as certain a method as the hot air dryer. You would probably need to sheke the bag every now and then to ensure heat distribution, and it just may not be hot enough.
Pyrethrum and permethrin sprays are usually available from garden stores, as ant killer or similar. I'd be spraying everything as well as using heat!
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Oh, dear, Laurie...bummer. I'm sorry.
Well, if anyone knows what to do about bedbugs, @Cclearly does. So I'm very happy to see that she's replied.
No need to repeat what she, Kanga and Koilife have said. The itching is a challenge, but I've found the strong Tiger Balm works, to a certain extent--or something like Absorbine. Anything that creates a sensation of heat seems to dull the itch. Super-hot water provides temporary relief, too, but I'm guessing long hot showers are in short supply. And once in Zaragoza, get thee to a pharmacia...thy'll have something...hydrocortisone or antihistamine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
So you don't need to be on a camino with a lot of pilgrims to get bitten.

I can't figure out how to search the forum with my phone -- if I could I would not be adding the millionth thread on bedbugs. I woke up this morning to see a curly line of about seven red bites up my thigh and torso. I'm guessing the culprit is bedbugs.

I am walking into Zaragoza today so that's a good thing. Can some kind soul repeat the steps I should follow?

Thanks much. Laurie
An addition to the advice already given. Get to a pharmacy for a tube of hydrocortisone cream or ointment and rub on the bitten area as the bites will itch like hell.apply about 4 times a day.This will help to heal. Lord help you, I'm itching as I write. Annette
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Ok thanks so much. You guys are great. Things are progressing. I bought a 10€ dress and some underwear and have showered. I now have a big plastic bag with pack and all clothes. I'm going to the laundromat and will stick the pack in the dryer for ten or twenty minutes.

My question now is what about toiletries bag, small plastic bag with charger and first aid kit.

When I get back from the laundromat I'm going to the hotel terrace to spray the outside of pack and outside of sleeping bag. Anything else?

What would I do without the forum?!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
My question now is what about toiletries bag, small plastic bag with charger and first aid kit.

When I get back from the laundromat I'm going to the hotel terrace to spray the outside of pack and outside of sleeping bag. Anything else? !
First of all, so sorry to read your news this morning.... Have you been to a chemist for cream and anti-histamines?
The toiletries , 1st aid kit etc.... Should be easy to spot any bb, take the lot outside on the terrace and shake them....
Make sure you check your shoes oh and your hat if you wear one.

All the best peregrina, thinking of you :)
 

LizC-S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2016
Ok thanks so much. You guys are great. Things are progressing. I bought a 10€ dress and some underwear and have showered. I now have a big plastic bag with pack and all clothes. I'm going to the laundromat and will stick the pack in the dryer for ten or twenty minutes.

My question now is what about toiletries bag, small plastic bag with charger and first aid kit.

When I get back from the laundromat I'm going to the hotel terrace to spray the outside of pack and outside of sleeping bag. Anything else?

What would I do without the forum?!
Get some zip lock bags and put your stuff in there. Bugs do not live in plastic. Where did you get bitten? Did you tell the owner?

Sprays that you buy in shops are pretty useless. They will help, BUT will not kill bugs completely. There is a spray that can be bought online - it is highly toxic, but works.

If you can afford it, before you go home ditch everything that has fabric in it and buy something cheap to go home in. Feel free to message me with any questions ☺ Buen Camino!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Dang! (so glad it was you and not me, he thought selfishly) - bedbug bites are dome shaped and translucent .. if they are not then they most likely won't be bedbug bites ... plenty of other insects out there ... mosquito bites can appear similar but they are not translucent, looking like they are filled with liquid ...
good that you are taking all the precautions but I do hope something else bit you!
 

Jenn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time planning
Oh no. I'm a tad paranoid about bed bugs. Are the hotels generally safer to sleep in? I will be travelling in June and I believe they like the warm weather.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well my bites are not translucent but now that I've done the whole treatment I guess I'll never know. My pack, sleeping bag and shoes are sitting out in the hotel cargo area drying from the spray. Not exactly how I had planned to spend a day in this lovely city but oh well.

I will inspect all my toiletries , etc.

I'll tell you, though, there's nothing like the thought of bedbugs to put pep in your step. I walked the 32 km from Fuentes in record time!
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
If you are itchy--if the bites from whatever-it-was (Voldemort? Oops, I mean He Who Should Not Be Named?) are itchy, you can rub the area with an ice cube, put a paste of baking soda and water or a paste of an Aspirin and water (unless you are allergic to Aspirin), place a piece of onion or garlic over the spots (raw onion and garlic seem to have anti-inflammatory properties)... Dip your finger in sugar and place that over the bite areas, use a drop of Tea Tree oil on the spots or a dab or two of lavender oil or peppermint oil, or dab on some toothpaste over the spots.

All of these may help to keep the itching at bay. I've tried the baking soda, the ice cube trick and the toothpaste one; they all work.

Good luck, Laurie!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
bedbug bites are dome shaped and translucent .. if they are not then they most likely won't be bedbug bites ... plenty of other insects out there ... mosquito bites can appear similar but they are not translucent, looking like they are filled with liquid ...
good that you are taking all the precautions but I do hope something else bit you!
Bedbug bites are not always the same and people react differently. The fluid filled look is one good indicator but they don't all react like that and it may take a few days for that to happen.

But yes, it could be something else. Bedbugs usually bite me on areas that were exposed outside the sleeping bag (not torso). I've had flea bites on the torso from sitting on the lawn (yes, fleas live in grass. Google it!)

Plastic bags don't kill bedbugs - they just contain them. But that is helpful because every time you open it, you can re-inspect.

Just sort through everything, take the opportunity to do some housekeeping and organization, and carry on.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Oh no. I'm a tad paranoid about bed bugs. Are the hotels generally safer to sleep in? I will be travelling in June and I believe they like the warm weather.
There's no guarantee in hotels. There's no guarantee in the weather either! Bedbugs are very versatile. But they aren't dangerous except maybe to your mental health. Some people cannot tolerate the risk and therefore stay home, others prefer to take a "head in the sand" approach and hope for the best, while I like to have knowledge and be prepared to face the enemy. (And I have had to do so a number of times.) :mad:

As you can see from this thread, @peregrina2000 is doing what needs to be done, and will be back walking happily tomorrow! :)
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Laurie, I too am wondering if the culprit is a bed bug! They usually bite in a line of 3 (breakfast, lunch and dinner)!
Anyway, for now, simply keep all your loose articles that could not go into the dryer, in zip lock bags. Actually, we keep just about everything in various sizes of zip lock bags and, in dubious places, we keep the back pack when in the Albergue in a large black plastic bag.
Try and enjoy Zaragoza
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
And it happens to the most experienced apparently. So sorry.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
... - bedbug bites are dome shaped and translucent .. ...
Sorry, that is not entirely correct. The look of bed bug bites depends on the strength of the allergic reaction of the bitten person. That is the reason why some people claim they have been "never bitten" when everybody around them was. Perhaps they really haven't been bitten, but equally perhaps they didn't have any allergic reaction to the bites. Bed bug bites can take on all shapes and forms, from translucent domes to huge welds and all in between. For more info (including photos) than you ever wanted to have about bed bugs see http://bedbugger.com

As for spider bites, possible, but they would rarely been in a line like the bites described, also not sure that spiders in Spain have sufficiently strong mandible (spelling?) to get through the skin of an adult human. At least not the spiders that can be found in houses.

Buen Camino, SY
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
I'll tell you, though, there's nothing like the thought of bedbugs to put pep in your step. I walked the 32 km from Fuentes in record time!
As if you were slow before, Laurie?:D
Well, I hope you can soon be on your way comfortably--and that you've had a few tapas to make up for whatever it was that bit you.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Annie and I are having our farewell tapas in Zaragoza after having gone to El Pilar and the Goya Museum.

All precautions have been taken and I will carry the can of poison with me to leave at the next albergue. (Apparently, albergues start after Zaragoza).

Annie is leaving tomorrow to head for Santiago and who knows where she will go next. I will miss her, but that's how the Camino goes. I will keep plodding along and hope to be in Soria in a week. Tomorrow either Torres de something or Alagon. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Helen from Montreal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia, July 2017

SJPP-Santiago de Compostela, September-October (2016)
So you don't need to be on a camino with a lot of pilgrims to get bitten.

I can't figure out how to search the forum with my phone -- if I could I would not be adding the millionth thread on bedbugs. I woke up this morning to see a curly line of about seven red bites up my thigh and torso. I'm guessing the culprit is bedbugs.

I am walking into Zaragoza today so that's a good thing. Can some kind soul repeat the steps I should follow?

Thanks much. Laurie
So you don't need to be on a camino with a lot of pilgrims to get bitten.

I can't figure out how to search the forum with my phone -- if I could I would not be adding the millionth thread on bedbugs. I woke up this morning to see a curly line of about seven red bites up my thigh and torso. I'm guessing the culprit is bedbugs.

I am walking into Zaragoza today so that's a good thing. Can some kind soul repeat the steps I should follow?

Thanks much. Laurie
Could be a flea. I am very allergic so I notice right away when I've been bitten. I am not on the Camino yet, but "training" in the town where I live. Last week I had a series of bites that ran from my ankle up to my waistline. Tea tree oil helps!
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
ok, tell you if they only bite breakfast,lunch and dinner, they had a frathouse party on my arms and midrift last August. I needed medical attention, not because I had an allergic reaction... well maybe just a bit, the pharmacist was a bid worried about the welts I had developed, I just was so covered I needed a bit more then the usual antihistamine and cream.

I sterilized my gear 3 times, because I just did not want to have ANYTHING travelling with me. Including my mochilla went into the dryer. I did not use any chemicals myself, but the kind people of the pilgrim house took care of one of the sterilization process and I don't know what they used... but I felt safe again.

Sounds dramatic, but boy I looked like I had the chickenpox.

I hope you feel better soon. Oh and btw, my silkliner was not deterrent... one big fat momma had found a little hide away in one of the corners. :eek:
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztan, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués. Future: Madrid (2019)
Poor you Laurie, that's not a nice experience. Cuatrodrerm cream is fantastic for all kinds of bites. It's so good that it's worth bringing an extra tube home with you. Good luck!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well the treatment is done and I'll be heading out of Zaragoza soon. I'm going to carry the spray with me to give to the albergue where I'll be staying tonight. And my little green dress will stay behind.

Annie and I had a farewell toast last night and couldn't resist the urge to modify the Spanish "chinchín" :).
 

OLDER threads on this topic


Book your lodging here

Booking.com


Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 37 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 132 15.5%
  • May

    Votes: 204 24.0%
  • June

    Votes: 60 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 254 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 100 11.8%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top