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Not that I'm concerned but how many got bit by BED BUGS on the Camino

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
I'm not concerned for myself because I've slept on known bug infested beds and have never gotten bit. But would really like to see if it is a problem or are people just panicky and obsessed..
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I got bitten (and saw the critters, at one of the more expensive private accommodations I stayed in) and I talked to others who encountered them, in November. I did my best to sterilize all my stuff, and had no more contact. I was VERY careful when I got home to put everything straight into the washer/dryer or into the freezer. Yes, they DO exist and you should expect them, but not worry.
 

burritobear9

Member
Camino(s) past & future
june (2013)
I got bites a few days before Santiago.
I didn't see any evidence of bed bugs before or after the bites.
I stayed in private accommodations.
I bagged my backpack in a garbage bag and left it in the hot sun for about two weeks when I got home.
Was never bit again after that one incident.

Good luck

Buen Camino

Cheryl




Sent from my iPad using Camino de Santiago Forum mobile app
 

Sraaen

Steven Raaen
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis (Le Puy - Pamplona) [2013]
Via Turonensis (Tours - SJPdP) [2013]
Camino Frances (SJPdP - SdC) [2013]
Via Tolosana (Montpellier - Pau) [2015]
Camino del Norte (Irun - SdC) [2015]
I got bitten (and saw the critters, at one of the more expensive private accommodations I stayed in) and I talked to others who encountered them, in November. I did my best to sterilize all my stuff, and had no more contact. I was VERY careful when I got home to put everything straight into the washer/dryer or into the freezer. Yes, they DO exist and you should expect them, but not worry.
I'm with C. I had the the classic 3 bite "breakfast, lunch and dinner" line that was very swollen for a coupe of days but it didn't detract from the experience.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
These are some of our bites after treating them for a couple of days with teatree and lavender oil - we just wish we'd thought to take photos when they looked nasty! Excuse the grime on the arms - this was pre-shower. Spain Sept 12 Cacabelos (36).JPG Spain Sept 12 Cacabelos (35).JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
Oh my im sorry for that what a bummer.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I love Clako! Have no idea what is in it; probably highly carcinogenic, but it's worked for me and it smells nice.

Price is a serious ripoff - I considered importing an industrial size drum and decanting it ....
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
I can probably suffer the bites but have a fear of bringing them home. Hopefully if I pre-treat all my gear I'll exterminate them.
 

homa_bird

Member
I got em pretty bad. Somewhere in Galicia. So did three friends. One young woman was pretty scarred up.

I got rid of them very fast. I paid to stay in a room alone, bought a change of clothes, showered, put on the new clothes, carefully put everything I owned in a washing machine and hot hot dryer, no more problems.

They are troublesome, itchy, but aren't that big of a deal. i was more concerned about spreading them, being part of the problem. Thought carefully how to stop the bedbugs with me, and carried that through the best way I could.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I'm sure chemical treatment helps, but there other basic steps to take: 1. Shake out your sleeping bag/liner every morning before packing it away; 2. Keep your sleeping bag/liner in an airtight ziplock inside your backpack, so any passengers don't infest the rest of your belongings - though of course it won't prevent them infesting the next bed you sleep on (hence step 1); 3. Never put your pack on the bed, or any of your clothes; 4. If at all possible, don't leave your pack on the floor in the dorm. None of these steps will guarantee you stay bug-free, but they will at least cut down the chances of infestation. OK, so it's just a few insect bites - but if you bring them home it's quite a traumatic process to eliminate them. And no one wants to be responsible for carrying them into the home of a kind host along the Camino, either
 

patgreen

Member
I got them in a private hostel in Pamplona. One woke me up and I caught it on me full of my blood, later I found another full of blood. Although the bites looked bad they only itched a bit not too bad. I didn't treat them at all and they went away in about a week.
I washed everything I could at 90 centigrade and sprayed everything else. I had no more problems. Bugs.jpg
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I've never been bitten. I've travelled with friends who've been badly bitten and I've certainly seen them in hotels and albergues by doing the following:

(1) on arrival hang pack up high or keep outside until room checks out OK.
(2) pull down any sheets or bedding to expose mattress and lightly mist with a spray of personal insect repellant (the safe for 1 year olds that does not contain Deet) - so ok to sleep on after.
(3) wait 10 minutes and see if any bedbugs crawl out and up the wall
(4) if nothing comes out I assume there are none and proceed as normal
(5) if bedbugs appear notify the proprietor immediately and await fumigation or go elsewhere.

The Clako I use as a precaution. I spray it on and in my pack and sleeping bag (if I'm using one) and any clothing that will be difficult to wash. It's supposed to repel bedbugs as well as kill them.

I was told by one gite/chambre d'hotes owner in France that he now completely fumigates every fortnight as a matter of routine. He also inspects daily when he changes the sheets and bedding, which he supplies. He told of finding his freshly laundered sheets contaminated by bedbugs from within the laundry truck. Now he washes all the sheets himself, which he finds a pain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2019)
Camino Frances (2015)
Have to admit that bed bugs scare me much more than sleeping in bear country. I learned to take the appropriate precautions in bear country with no problems. I’ve also learned to live with rattle snakes, ticks, moose…my guess is that with all the good advice and some help from permethrin I’ll learn to survive the bed bug threat. Thanks to Annie and Kanga for the advice.
Buen Camino,
LoneStar
 
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Sue M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Burgos(2012)Leon-Santiago(2013)Sarria- Santiago(Sept 2013),Frances (coach,2013),Le Puy-Conques(May 2014), parish pilgrimage organised for June 2015.
I didn't get bitten at all in any of theilgrim hostels I stayed in, but I got bitten one night in a hotel! I'm a very light sleeper and felt them straight away so I spent the rest of the night on the floor in the corridor and had only a couple of bites.
 

serenalms

Member
Camino(s) past & future
October 2013
I got bit pretty bad for a few days. Before I left I sprayed my sleeping bag and backpack heavily with permethrian, and I was hyper paranoid about checking everywhere I stayed and not putting my bag on my bed, etc. But, I still got bit. My husband, however, stayed at the same places as me and didn't get bit once.

I kept washing and spraying and sanitizing my belongings, but I was still getting bit, so finally we started to stay at private accommodation. I know you can get bedbugs anywhere, and a hotel doesn't mean you are bedbug free, but once we switched to private accommodation I never got bit again.

I still had a great time, but bedbugs are definitely a big problem on the camino.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
[...] I had the the classic 3 bite "breakfast, lunch and dinner" line that was very swollen for a coupe of days [...]
Yes, unfortunately those signs and, even worse, such "collections" as shown by Kiwi-family are evidently from bed- bugs. There are, however, other bugs which appear during certain times of the year and in different areas, which can attach themselves to pants and other, and bite without you noticing it until a day or so later. Watch out when in "nature"!
It's also a reason why one must never place a backpack on top of the bed
 

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.
Personally I have never been bitten and I've been walking the Camino since 2007, however when I was hospitalero in 2010 in Rabanal, over the two weeks we were on duty, we treated at least 12 cases of bed bugs.
Of course, we knew what to look for and went through the whole protocol required by us, to deal with each case.
Some Albergues do have a bad reputation but I don't want to mention them here in public.
Some people react more strongly to bites than others
Bed bugs could be hanging out in o e bed, but not in the bed next door!
Personally, I don't think that by sleeping in private accommodation ( pensions, casas rurales or hotels) gives you more protection, as I think that most Albergues, being very much involved and concerned with the bed bug problem, do make the necessary measures to keep them at bay. Most hospitaleros go through a thorough cleaning process each morning, which is not the same as a chamber maid might do! Anne
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
Great feedback Pilgrims . Im sorry for those who have been bitten. When one does get assaulted by bugs what is your response to the people in charge? Or do you try to destoy them yourself?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
...
Personally, I don't think that by sleeping in private accommodation ( pensions, casas rurales or hotels) gives you more protection Anne
Anne, I am sure you are right. There is a significant BB problem in most capital cities, and most airport transit hotels. Some take it seriously others don't. One is left to speculate on how the little b*ggers get on the Camino in the first place... Never seen them asking questions on the Forum.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
Great feedback Pilgrims . Im sorry for those who have been bitten. When one does get assaulted by bugs what is your response to the people in charge? Or do you try to destoy them yourself?
Always, always, always notify the hospitaleros or proprietors.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
@jeffrey r aitken
On my both Caminos Frances (2009 & 2011) never! And also haven't heard of such in those years.
But then again I might just be insensitive to them creatures :D
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
I found a big fat juicy one on my pillow in the morning in Al Acebo sleeping in private accomodation. Wasn't sure if it was, so didn't really panic, also I saw no bites or itched. I now know it takes up to 5 hours for the bite to show and itch. The next night, in Molinaseca in the old municipal, I had a comfy single bed, right beside the stairs. Not the nicest place to stay, it was a bit dirty and musty, open rafters, etc. but I stayed anyway. It was hot and stuffy and it was the only night ever on the camino, I slept on top of my sleeping bag, not even in my silk liner. When I woke, I was itching all over and had been bitten on my neck, shoulders, waist and arms. I now know, bedbugs also hide in rafters and ceilings and drop down on you like a heat seeking missile. I spend a day cleaning my gear and taking meds from farmacia. There was no hiding that I had been bitten. Next hospitalero didn't even have to asked, I told him and explained how I had dealt with it. Must have done the correct things, he let me stay and that was the end of my chinchas episode.

It is what it is. Bedbugs are everywhere, not just on the Camino and not just in the albergues.
 

Lillianb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April 2014
I'm wondering if they are seasonal or are they around all year ?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
I'm wondering if they are seasonal or are they around all year ?
They are dormant in the cold, so they are year around in the heated places, but disappear in the ones that are cold, at least until spring.
 

Emia

Member
What are your suggestions against the itching? Had them once and the itching was just terrible. Prb allergic.
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
I have been doing alot of reading about these bedbugs and have a question... The Clako can be purchased in SJPdP? I went to the website and since it was in french i figured that is where I might be able to purchase it. Those of you using lavender and tea tree oil, you make this up ahead and bring it in a spray bottle? Is there a good recipe? I have heard the teat tree oil both used to keep them away and to treat the bites?

I also wondered about the packs on the beds... I am trying to figure out how i will get stuff out of my pack and where i can set it (with little risk) as i rummage through it... It will be my first Camino and maybe there are places, tables, or something where we can do this to keep the packs off the beds and floor.

I also wondered for those of you that prepared a sheet or liner or pack prior to your trip... Is pyrethrum and permethrin equally powerful against the critters? Has anyone had trouble with the permethrin smelling once it dries? I posted a similar comment on another bedbug thread but did not get answer...

I am sure the anticipation of these things is far greater than it is in reality and certainly will be overshadowed by the fabulousness of the adventure... But gosh i hate bugs!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2019)
Camino Frances (2015)
Ellen,
Have done a fair amount of reading as well. The good news is that permethrin does not have an odor once it dries or at least according to what I've read as well as my own experience (sprayed a bunch of gear this weekend). The bad news is that some populations of bed bugs are not affected by permethrin, bummer. I've read that the hostel/albergue across from the Camino Headquarters (not sure if that is the proper term) in SJPdP sells a spray that might be the one you mention. Kanga and AnnieSantiago have some great suggestions on prevention/recognizing the little critters. Annie has an article about it on her Web page. I am planning to bring a clear trash bag and put my pack into it at night. I've also treated my pack. Best of luck and I hope we all stay bug free.
LoneStar
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I now know it takes up to 5 hours for the bite to show and itch.
Some people don't react at all, and I think there can be a 5 days or more for others, so one never really knows where they wereencountered!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
What are your suggestions against the itching? Had them once and the itching was just terrible. Prb allergic.
If its a couple bites use a topical, If lots of bites use something like Bennydril [spelling] .........
 

Barbara Miller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2014
I have been doing alot of reading about these bedbugs and have a question... The Clako can be purchased in SJPdP? I went to the website and since it was in french i figured that is where I might be able to purchase it. Those of you using lavender and tea tree oil, you make this up ahead and bring it in a spray bottle? Is there a good recipe? I have heard the teat tree oil both used to keep them away and to treat the bites?

I also wondered about the packs on the beds... I am trying to figure out how i will get stuff out of my pack and where i can set it (with little risk) as i rummage through it... It will be my first Camino and maybe there are places, tables, or something where we can do this to keep the packs off the beds and floor.

I also wondered for those of you that prepared a sheet or liner or pack prior to your trip... Is pyrethrum and permethrin equally powerful against the critters? Has anyone had trouble with the permethrin smelling once it dries? I posted a similar comment on another bedbug thread but did not get answer...

I am sure the anticipation of these things is far greater than it is in reality and certainly will be overshadowed by the fabulousness of the adventure... But gosh i hate bugs!
I'm with Ellen. If you should avoid putting your pack on your bed, and avoid putting it on the floor...do they supply hooks, or should we constantly have our pack in a compression sack, or giant trash bag the majority of the time we are inside?
 

adam sarantis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de santiago may-june 2015
Are bed bugs more common in the later months of the year or are they a common problem throughout the entire year? Planning a May/June 2015 camino, bad then or not much to worry about early on in the season?

Many thanks

:)
 

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.
I also wondered about the packs on the beds... I am trying to figure out how i will get stuff out of my pack and where i can set it (with little risk) as i rummage through it... It will be my first Camino and maybe there are places, tables, or something where we can do this to keep the packs off the beds and floor.

!
Ellen, I pack all my clothes in two large zip lock bags, so simply pull them out of my pack ( which is on the floor) and then sort on the bed out what I want. Occasionally you will find a chair. I can't remember ever seeing a table in the dorm. Sometimes the structure of the bunk bed allows you to hang the pack by its loop over one of the end poles. It doesn't work with all models of bunk beds. The metal ones are usually better as they have narrower end poles.
If the floor is ceramic tiles, I have no problem of leaving the pack on the floor. I would prefer not to if the floor is wooden. I know of one albergue that has an on going problem with bed bugs, probably due to its old wooden floor. You could take along one of these large sized garbage bags and put your pack in it once you have sorted out what you need. I did this once in a rather dubious wooden floored Albergue. Anne
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
Thanks Anne... I will look for a garbage bag to take and i read somewhere a bungie cord works for hanging your pack off the bunk bed corner. I have a small pack 28L so things will be pretty tight and i am sure i will need to unload it to get to this or that. I do like the ziplock idea and plan to use several of those to separate my items. I really like the mini drug pouches for my persciptions... Easy way to keep things sorted and bug free!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
a bungie cord works for hanging your pack off the bunk bed corner
An 18" piece of parachute cord is lighter and more versatile.
ziplock idea and plan to use several of those to separate my items
Trapped air in Ziploks can fill a small backpack, and plastic bags that are large can make it difficult to stuff them into the pack. They also will keep moisture in, leading to a wet smell. Plastic bags are a mixed blessing. If it fits into your budget, nylon-type stuff sacks keep your items dry and separate, release air if you don't close them too tightly, and weigh very little if you buy the ultralite models. http://www.rei.com/product/794946/rei-lightweight-stuff-sack-
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
Being a miserable Scot I'm intending to multi-task my bright orange plastic survival bag using insulating tape to seal it.

Firstly to transport my rucksack with the airline, then as an anti-bug bag, and hopefully never for its intended purpose.
 

weekjchammings

KEITH JOHN
Camino(s) past & future
GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
Being a miserable Scot I'm intending to multi-task my bright orange plastic survival bag using insulating tape to seal it.

Firstly to transport my rucksack with the airline, then as an anti-bug bag, and hopefully never for its intended purpose.
Hi Houlet,

I have always transported my pack inside a ROYAL MAIL nylon postal sack, large enough to take a 65 + 15L pack.
Just be careful that the bed bugs cannot read the words SURVIVAL on your bag, otherwise they will all be jumping on board.
However you should be free of midges.
 

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.
An 18" piece of parachute cord is lighter and more versatile.Trapped air in Ziploks can fill a small backpack, and plastic bags that are large can make it difficult to stuff them into the pack. They also will keep moisture in, leading to a wet smell. Plastic bags are a mixed blessing. If it fits into your budget, nylon-type stuff sacks keep your items dry and separate, release air if you don't close them too tightly, and weigh very little if you buy the ultralite models. http://www.rei.com/product/794946/rei-lightweight-stuff-sack-
Come on, Falcon. I squeeze all the air out of the zip lock bag before I zip it! They almost become vacuum packs. In any case, they are opened up once in the Albergue. No, I have never experienced moisture or nasty smells! ;)Anne
 

Ronnie.s

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2014)
[quote="Of course, we knew what to look for and went through the whole protocol required by us, to deal with each case.
Some Albergues do have a bad reputation but I don't want to mention them here in public.[/quote]

Anne, Can you send me this information in a private note?
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide leading groups 2013-present
Statistically, bed bugs bite only one in ten people; the rest they just leave alone. Hopefully you'll be one of the lucky nine!

My personal request when staying in albergues is that packs NOT be set on chairs. If the chairs are covered with packs or other personal item, then pilgrims who end up on the top bunks have no place to sit when they are organizing themselves and their stuff.
 

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.
Personally I have never been bitten and I've been walking the Camino since 2007, however when I was hospitalero in 2010 in Rabanal, over the two weeks we were on duty, we treated at least 12 cases of bed bugs.
Of course, we knew what to look for and went through the whole protocol required by us, to deal with each case.
Some Albergues do have a bad reputation but I don't want to mention them here in public.
Some people react more strongly to bites than others
Bed bugs could be hanging out in o e bed, but not in the bed next door!
Personally, I don't think that by sleeping in private accommodation ( pensions, casas rurales or hotels) gives you more protection, as I think that most Albergues, being very much involved and concerned with the bed bug problem, do make the necessary measures to keep them at bay. Most hospitaleros go through a thorough cleaning process each morning, which is not the same as a chamber maid might do! Anne
Reading through my post, I meant that we dealt with at least 12 cases of Pilgrims ARRIVING with bed bugs. Thank goodness, we didn't have any! Anne
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
My personal request when staying in albergues is that packs NOT be set on chairs. If the chairs are covered with packs or other personal item, then pilgrims who end up on the top bunks have no place to sit when they are organizing themselves and their stuff.
This topic probably deserves a whole new post of its own. I feel peevish when chairs are unusable because someone has claimed them by putting stuff on them.

Similarly I hate the custom of putting rocks on every possible sitting place along the track. Those flat topped concrete markers are just the right height for a weary pilgrim to perch on, if they aren't covered in rocks.
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
I have read it a few times now that most seem to pack their pack in something to check it at the airport. I will be doing this on the return home but thought i could just check the pack as is... Now i thinking i have to buy something to go on the outside? Where are people getting these items? I was planning the plastic bag to keep bedbugs out at hostals... But if i need a nylon sack any way...

I am with Anne on the ziplocks. I have used them in my suitcase like compression sacks. They don't stay super compressed all day, but you can start that way and get everything in. I also really like the extra protection incase i get a little stream of water when it rains that run into my pack.. And of course protection from those nasty bedbug hitchhikers... I have a few nylon sacks but i don't like them as well. Mine are not transparent so that is the first downside, second is they don't seal like a ziplock so no compression action. And the clip thing that closes it takes up room and get caught. Mine are obviously the cheap ones. The ziplocks work better for me i think.

Keep all the suggestions rolling... I am going to get that piece of parachute rope mentioned to hang my pack...thanks!

Ellen
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
thought i could just check the pack as is
Airport baggage handling equipment can be very hard on straps and buckles. Wrapping your backpack in something can protect them. Replacement buckles are a bit hard to find on the Camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I carry my back pack on (Osprey 48l Kestrel). I do not trust the airlines not to lose my bag. It fits easily in the overhead compartment.

My sleeping bag and backpack I spray with permethin (sp?) before leaving. I have never seen a bed bug and only seen on person bitten in four Camino's (Lucky and I hope it stays that way).

I use zip lock bags. I put cloths in. Close the zip 90% and sit on it. Then zip rest of way. There is very little air in the bag. No moisture or smells they did not have going in. They actually retain the smell of the fabric softener.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
Hey Ellen

My receipe is
50ml spray bottle (travel kind)
1/4 teaspoon tee tree oil
1/4 teaspoon lavender
Top up with water
Its not an exact science...
I topped up once or twice over two montgs of travel.

Im not saying mine is fool proof cause I didn't get bugs. But so far so good.
I get reactions to everything...so this was the safest thing for me.


This is a great recipe to have handy, it smells good too. I was able to get lavender balls (look like moth balls) in the supermarcado in Astorga and I used it in my backpack, pillow, sleeping bag, all over my bed etc. I sure smelled nice if you like the the smell of lavender. Also, to follow up on my initial posting re me bedbug episode, the Pharmacist in Ponferada gave me a great topical cream, after I told her I couldn't take anymore medication, I was on Voltaren pills for my injury. I used teatree oil as well, but the cream truly worked fast. Alergical 0,mg/0,1mg/g Crema is what is on it, light blue and white tube of Betametasona valerato/Fluocinolona acetonido It says to keep out of hands and reach of children. Ingrid
 

Sue M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Burgos(2012)Leon-Santiago(2013)Sarria- Santiago(Sept 2013),Frances (coach,2013),Le Puy-Conques(May 2014), parish pilgrimage organised for June 2015.
My story is that I was walking with a group and I was given the last available room in a hotel, which turned out to be a room for disabled people. It had a walk-in shower etc. I suspected it wasn't often in use. When I got into bed I realised it had waterproof sheets and as it was very hot and I didn't want to spend a sweaty night, I took off the bottom sheet. I think the heat of my body then attracted the bugs to come out of hiding. I felt them immediately, gathered up all my stuff, and had to sleep on the corridor floor. I got a couple of bites but I wasn't in bed for long once I felt them scurrying over my body! No one else in my group had any problems. I suspect it was taking off the waterproof sheet that did it. I reported it, of course, but no one seemed very interested. I had to take a taxi later that day (from Melide) because I was sleep walking!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I personally do not worry about bed bugs and have not been affected - so far. However, for those of you who might be interested in the Clacko product mentioned above by several posters, I checked their French web site: http://www.clako-punaises.com/fr/ and discovered that the product IS SOLD at ST. Jean Pied de Port in at least FOUR places. Three are directly in town and one out of town on the first day's walk. According to the spreadsheet on their site, these vendors are:
  1. Albergue l'Esprit du Chemin, 40 rue de la cittadelle
  2. Direction Compostelle, 1 Plac Floquet / 32 rue de la cittadelle (the hiking shop opposite the Pilgrim Office) they have two locations in St. Jean Pied de Port.
  3. Pharmacie Arregny Olaizola, 27 Place Charles de Gaulle (outside the wall near corner with Av. Renaud. As you walk up from the train station, on Av. Renaud, turn right at the corner of Pl Charles de Gaulle. The pharmacie is on the right.)
  4. The out of town location is at the Albergue / Refugio Orisson.
According to the company web site, there is allegedly one more pharmacy that carries it called "Pharmacie de l'Eglise." But I cannot find it using Google Maps.

If you want to search yourself or look for other retail locations, the spreadsheet lists the locations by which Camino route the location is on, the town name and the postal code of the town. The spreadsheet is not interactive, but the Chrome browser I use has a "find" function. So I just searched for the postal code "64220."

On the main / home page, click on the green horizontal panel at the tope of the page that states in French "Ou trouver la fiole du voyageur?" (literally) "Where to find the vial of traveler?" or more likely it means "Where to find the traveler's size?"

I hope this helps.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Never, ever since I started walking in 2011, knock on wood. I walked with a sister from Bordeaux last year on the CP and after a few days she had a number of blisters which she thought were from sun poisoning but I finally convinced her, due to the lack of sun, she was carrying BB's with her. Bedbugs are painful but there are several thread on this site to deal with how to eliminate them from your kit. If I told you about the nasty bister beetles from West Africa you would say I don't mind bedbugs, these beetles leave a path across your body like a cigarette burn which last for weeks. OUCH!
 
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EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
This is all such great info! T2Andr, you rock for finding out the locations to purchase whats sounds like a miracle spray! I plan to mix up one spray of the lavender, tea tree oil and then purchase the other in SJPdP... There are four of us traveling together, so the two will come in handy if we get separated. I almost feel like it will be my own fault if we end up bit. I know what to look for when we arrived, i will have a treated fitted sheet to put on the bed, i will reapply spray to sleeping bag, wrap my pack in plastic bag overnight... Of course, as the camino goes on and i do not get bitten i will need to not become lazy! Thanks again for all the great info!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
All the tourist offices in France sell permethrin spray, so stop by the one in SJPdP.
 

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.
[quote="Of course, we knew what to look for and went through the whole protocol required by us, to deal with each case.
Some Albergues do have a bad reputation but I don't want to mention them here in public.
Anne, Can you send me this information in a private note?[/quote]
Sorry Ronnie, but for some reason, I just cant start a PM. Anne
 

travellover

Member
I noticed a lot of people mentioned fitted sheet. Is it necessary in addition to a sleeping bag and a liner? We will be walking just 7 days, so I am trying not to take anything I can live without for a week. I even did not want to take a liner, because i am very happy with my sleeping bag, it is just 1.2lb, soft and comfy. But what about fitted sheet?
 
N

NoQ

Guest

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
I never did, and never needed to, but I suspect it wouldn't be an issue. I walked several days with two elderly couples. They always asked to inspect the albergues and/or hostal rooms before deciding to stay. They were primarily concerned with overall hygiene of the place, and they inspected the sleeping arrangements at the same time. The hospitaleros were patient and unruffled, so I suspect its not an uncommon request.

I tended to check everything out after registering and paying. I suspect that, had I found evidence of present or past infestation, any reasonable hospitalero would probably have given a refund. And, even if not, it would have been worth it to me to have forfeited the fee.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Are you allowed to check the bedding BEFORE you pay for the bed? If so, do you leave if bugs are noted?
No, go ahead and pay.
But the times I have FOUND bedbugs, I ask for a refund and have always gotten it.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This is all such great info! T2Andr, you rock for finding out the locations to purchase whats sounds like a miracle spray! I plan to mix up one spray of the lavender, tea tree oil and then purchase the other in SJPdP... There are four of us traveling together, so the two will come in handy if we get separated. I almost feel like it will be my own fault if we end up bit. I know what to look for when we arrived, i will have a treated fitted sheet to put on the bed, i will reapply spray to sleeping bag, wrap my pack in plastic bag overnight... Of course, as the camino goes on and i do not get bitten i will need to not become lazy! Thanks again for all the great info!
Ellen:

Try not to obsess. Enjoy your Camino. It it happens, it happens. Unless you have an anaphylactic reaction to bed bug bites, you will be fine.

IMHO, there appears to be a seasonal correlation, besides temperature, to bed bug infestation along the Camino. From all the reports I've read on the forum, it seems that the later in the season one does a Camino, the greater the possibility of encountering bed bugs...anywhere.

The simple explantation is that many, perhaps most, but not all albergues and some hostals close after November until April. During this "off-season," they can thoroughly clean and disinfect, as well as treat the premises and furnishings / bedding with chemicals that would not be useable during the "season."

Ideally, this process should kill the bed bugs and their eggs, breaking the infestation cycle until a pilgrim brings them in the next season. THAT is how the bed bugs get there. A pilgrim simply carries them in with his or her stuff from a location that has them. The insects are highly opportunistic, which is why they are so hardy.

Hence, I believe you are less likely to encounter bedbugs on the front end of the Camino season, at least along the Camino Frances, than if you walk later in the season. This is another reason why I favor starting just after Easter. The other reasons include the mild temperatures (I detest heat and humidity) and seeing the countryside in full bloom. I also take plenty of antihistamines and decongestants for my seasonal allergies to all the beautiful stuff. I start from St. Jean again on 27 April.

Have a great time, and relax!
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. Last: Camino del Sur March 2019
As you can see, I have walked Caminos every year since 2003. I have never been bitten. I have decided not to worry about bed bugs, therefore I do these things and hope the best:
I put an "antibedbug" sheet on the bed (Lifesystems) before I put my sleeping bag on it. The weight is 80g.
I have sewed a nylon bag for my backpack to use when I send it on the airplane. I see people discuss different solutions here. I have made mine myself to make it light and just big enough for my rucksack. This sack is sprayed with "anti"-something. I spray the rucksack with the same. On the place I will sleep, I put the rucksack in this nylon sack on the floor. I can open both to find my thing. Even if the nylon sack fall down on the sides, it still protect the rucksack from the floor.
I have all my things kept in plastic bags. Not professional bags - just common bags you get in every shop when you by something. My things are sorted in 6-8 plastic bags. So these plastic bags are the only things I put on the bed, never the clothes or other things from my bag (except for the sleeping bag of course). I keep my plastic bags in the rucksack, and not on floor or chairs or table.
One day I think the bugs will find me, but 6000 km without them is worth the simple things I do to protect me. May be I will try tee tree oil and lavendel this year :)– if I can find out what “tee tree oil” is in Norwegian…o_O Bjørg
 
I got bitten on the feet in the municipal albergue at Ovieroa in Septembet 2012. Since then I spray everything with Permetherin. I also now carry a bedsheet which has also been treated and has micro pores (allegedly) too small for the critters. It's washable and dries fast (I've washed to to test this). The treatment is supposed to last 40 washes. So - fingers crossed. I too believe in hanging the ba and carry a caribiner with a shoelace attached to hang it up with. I also have a dry bag to keep the sheet in. I'm a great believer in dry bags to keep things dry and organised and they also rustle less than plastic bags.
 

Monk Moses

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. 2014
I got bitten on the feet in the municipal albergue at Ovieroa in Septembet 2012. Since then I spray everything with Permetherin. I also now carry a bedsheet which has also been treated and has micro pores (allegedly) too small for the critters. It's washable and dries fast (I've washed to to test this). The treatment is supposed to last 40 washes. So - fingers crossed. I too believe in hanging the ba and carry a caribiner with a shoelace attached to hang it up with. I also have a dry bag to keep the sheet in. I'm a great believer in dry bags to keep things dry and organised and they also rustle less than plastic bags.
Al. Tell us more about this sheet please.

Fr. Moses
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Father Moses,

Here is another anti bedbug sheet made by Life Systems and sold by Amazon.

Margaret Meredith
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Just wondering... do you use this or any sheet, Margaret?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Just wondering... do you use this or any sheet, Margaret?
I carry the Life Systems sheet, but since I walk in autumn/winter have only used it twice in nine years! Have never yet been bitten but have seen bad bites on some others' skin. Perhaps I just have a tough hide
 

ilovelife

Member
Ellen,
Have done a fair amount of reading as well. The good news is that permethrin does not have an odor once it dries or at least according to what I've read as well as my own experience (sprayed a bunch of gear this weekend). The bad news is that some populations of bed bugs are not affected by permethrin, bummer. I've read that the hostel/albergue across from the Camino Headquarters (not sure if that is the proper term) in SJPdP sells a spray that might be the one you mention. Kanga and AnnieSantiago have some great suggestions on prevention/recognizing the little critters. Annie has an article about it on her Web page. I am planning to bring a clear trash bag and put my pack into it at night. I've also treated my pack. Best of luck and I hope we all stay bug free.
LoneStar
And how long does it take to dry then? I am planning on getting the Permithrin in Saint Jean or Orisson as I cannot find it anywhere in Toronto. So I will be spraying my gear once I am there.
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Never had any problems, but I too carry a silk liner with me.
 

MM4214

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I will be starting my Camino mid-May and have purchased the bed bug sheet that Al suggested. I have also packed a 50ml atomiser bottle to fill with the lavender and teatree oil and water as was suggested earlier which i will spray over any suspicious surfaces. I am really hoping to avoid any nasty surprises.
 

Barbara Miller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2014
This is all such great info! T2Andr, you rock for finding out the locations to purchase whats sounds like a miracle spray! I plan to mix up one spray of the lavender, tea tree oil and then purchase the other in SJPdP... There are four of us traveling together, so the two will come in handy if we get separated. I almost feel like it will be my own fault if we end up bit. I know what to look for when we arrived, i will have a treated fitted sheet to put on the bed, i will reapply spray to sleeping bag, wrap my pack in plastic bag overnight... Of course, as the camino goes on and i do not get bitten i will need to not become lazy! Thanks again for all the great info!
This sounds great...but am I correct in reading that you are bringing a fitted twin sheet as well as a sleeping bag? I didn't even think of this, but I guess it makes sense.
 

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