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

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

Please read this about Bed Bugs

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#1
In the bed bug forum you will see reports from pilgrims regarding bed bugs.

Please know that although an albergue is reported to have had bed bugs, it does not automatically mean that this albergue is a bad albergue. Pilgrims stay in new albergues every day, and someone might have walked in that day with bed bugs... and some other pilgrim might have picked it up before they had time to clean it.

That said, if a particular albergue comes up again and again with bed bugs, that might be an indication that hygiene might not be ideal there.

If you are reporting a particular refugio/albergue please include a date in your title so that people scanning this forum can see when the problem occurred.

Thanks!
Ivar
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Have booked to go 15 April 2014 - but terrified.
#4
Um, er, Ivar, you receive parcels forwarded to you from all over the various Caminos. Have you ever had a problem with "passengers" arriving with these parcels, thus needing your office to be fumigated, or have you been lucky so far, with the brown paper and tape keeping them inside??
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#5
In MOST cases, I agree.
I've stayed in places where people were bitten and I didn't get a bite. I also know that MOST places are vigilant.

However, there are at least 2 places I know of that consistently have bugs.
One of those places is always filthy and I no longer stay there. I've found bugs there every time I tried and have personally seen many pilgrims who were horribly bitten there.
The second, when I reported the bugs, the owner merely shrugged and gave me my money back more than once. I've experienced bugs there several times and eventually stopped staying.

I also know of places where the owner literally took every bed out and blowtorched the metal frames and replaced the mattresses, only to have bugs the next week brought in by pilgrims.
So it's often not the fault of the hospitalero/owner, but rather the fault of pilgrims who don't know (or don't care) that they're carrying bugs.

I really feel there needs to be an educational paper given out when people get their credentials.
I've known many pilgrims who just thought they had mosquito bites until someone informed them.
 

Sevilay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-September 2016 (Camino Frances)
#6
are there any news about the bed bugs in camino frances? I am starting from pamplona on wednesday and bed bugs are my only big negative concern about the camino
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#7
Bed bugs are a reality on the Camino and they turn up (like pilgrims and actually mostly transported by pilgrims) where they want. Sorry, but there isn't a 100% proof way to escape them. Buen Camino sin chinches, SY
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#9
They are out there and can be anywhere. When an infestation is reported, it will have come from somewhere else, and has probably moved on somewhere else by the time of the report. Know what signs to look for, take precautions such as insecticide and repellent, and report any sightings to the hospitalero. Since more people stay in albergues than in hotels, most reports are about albergues, but you will find them in private accommodations, too.

As aggravating as bites can be, the real tragedy will be taking them home as live bugs or eggs! The potential problem does not stop at the airport. :)
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#11
QUOTE="Anniesantiago, post: 259096, member: 3502"]also know of places where the owner literally took every bed out and blowtorched the metal frames and replaced the mattresses, only to have bugs the next week brought in by pilgrims.
So it's often not the fault of the hospitalero/owner, but rather the fault of pilgrims who don't know (or don't care) that they're carrying bugs.[/QUOTE]

:);)... i do know this is NOT a funny issue to most BUT Annie.... this part of your post does tickle my funny bone .,....
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#12
I was thinking of bringing a large, light silk sheet to wrap around the mattress rather than using a chemical....does this make sense?
I am thinking the same .... even though I intend to stay in booked accommodation for "need to sleep" reasons ....... Although I think the bugs can also book in these places too ;):(.... but a single silk sheet made sense to me too ....
 
Camino(s) past & future
September
#14
SCAREY :(...... I have thought about burning pack before returning home
I do not know about burning the pack but I certainly will not take it or the contents into my house without taking some precautions, i.e., take the washables out and put them in a plastic bag and head straight to the washer/dryer. Putting everything else in quarantine outside until I can wash/spray.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#15
I am wondering what prophylactic benefit you are expecting from a silk sheet. The bug(ger)s don't just live in mattresses, they live in cracks and crevices in walls, floors and ceilings; gaps in bed-frames; the rucksack of the careless pilgrim in the next bunk and anywhere else they can hide from the light of day. Known effective bug detection and deterence methods have been re-iterated on this forum ad-nauseum. Unfortunately much wishful thinking has also been offered as fact. The bug has been a succesful parasite of humans, for that is all it is, for most of our evolution: it is not likely to have succeeded for so well for so long if it could be deterred by a nice smell or a bit of fine fabric.
 
Last edited:

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#16
I am wondering what prophylactic benefit you are expecting from a silk sheet. The bug(ger)s don't just live in mattresses, they live in cracks and crevices in walls, floors and ceilings; gaps in bed-frames; the rucksack of the careless pilgrim in the next bunk and anywhere else they can hide from the light of day. Known effective bug detection and detterence methods have been re-iterated on this forum ad-nauseum. Unfortunately much wishful thinking has also been offered as fact. The bug has been a succesful parasite of humans, for that is all it is, for most of our evolution: it is not likely to have succeeded for so well for so long if it could be deterred by a nice smell or a bit of fine fabric.
Thanks for your positive input :) ..... I mean that sincerely .... Truly i do
 
Camino(s) past & future
September
#17
I am wondering what prophylactic benefit you are expecting from a silk sheet. The bug(ger)s don't just live in mattresses, they live in cracks and crevices in walls, floors and ceilings; gaps in bed-frames; the rucksack of the careless pilgrim in the next bunk and anywhere else they can hide from the light of day. Known effective bug detection and detterence methods have been re-iterated on this forum ad-nauseum. Unfortunately much wishful thinking has also been offered as fact. The bug has been a succesful parasite of humans, for that is all it is, for most of our evolution: it is not likely to have succeeded for so well for so long if it could be deterred by a nice smell or a bit of fine fabric.
Yes, they are remarkably successful parasites.....and I agree that vigilance with bug detection is essential. If they are in so many places....spraying the mattress with a pesticide or wrapping the mattress to provide a barrier would perhaps deal with mattress and .....I assume.....there is not much else that can be done with infinite number of walls and cracks.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#18
there is not much else that can be done with infinite number of walls and cracks.
There are a lot of techniques suggested on websites about bed bugs, but not a lot of them have been adopted on the Camino. The spraying of albergues seems to be the most common treatment method. Pilgrims move the bugs and their eggs along the Camino. By the time you see them, they have had a week to hatch from eggs, they have traveled from where you came, and they have traveled to where you are going. You are in danger, or perhaps more accurately, your equipment is in danger right up to being put on the airplane. Bugs may live in walls and crevices, but they can end up in your pack, equipment, or clothes; their eggs, too. Everything should be treated as contaminated when you return home. I have had success with putting everything into a large plastic garbage bag (my wife insists that the pack go into it at baggage pickup at the airport), which is then spayed with permethrin and left closed for two weeks in the garage (it includes what I wore on the plane). I then do the post-camino cleanup of my clothes and equipment.

It has worked so far!!;)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#19
Please don't spray pesticides inside an Albergue unless you are qualified to do so. Pre-treat your Rucksack and sleeping bag / sheet, use a repellant on exposed skin. Search carefully for bug-sign and if you see any move on - having advised the hospitalero. The vast, vast majority of pilgrims do not get bitten. Some do. As Ivar advises above reports of infestations are usually out-of-date by the time they are published. The most notorious places are well known to the pilgrim network and yet people sleep in them every night of the year, and emerge unscathed.

On your return home follow the sensible and practical advice already published.

And please don't burn your pack at the Lighthouse. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
September
#20
Please don't spray pesticides inside an Albergue unless you are qualified to do so. Pre-treat your Rucksack and sleeping bag / sheet, use a repellant on exposed skin. Search carefully for bug-sign and if you see any move on - having advised the hospitalero. The vast, vast majority of pilgrims do not get bitten. Some do. As Ivar advises above reports of infestations are usually out-of-date by the time they are published. The most notorious places are well known to the pilgrim network and yet people sleep in them every night of the year, and emerge unscathed.

On your return home follow the sensible and practical advice already published.

And please don't burn your pack at the Lighthouse. ;)
I am a teacher and work in schools where the kids live with bedbugs. I have opened homework binders and found bugs...seen them crawl out of backpacks....yes, they can get into anything. Fortunately, I never brought them home. I think the precautions mentioned make sense. I also know that they are sensitive to UV rays. Exposing everything to sunlight will kill a lot....but not the eggs. I hope to expose my gear to as much sun as I can and to seal most things in plastic. I do not want too worry about these ugly...remarkable creatures....just minimize their impact.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#21
I have always taken a black garbage bag that my pack will fit in.
When I am in a suspect albergue (or hotel/pension) I put the pack into the plastic bag before I set it down.
Hopefully, that will help guard against the pack getting infested at that point.

The garbage bag also doubles as rain protection inside the pack.
I put the bag inside and put everything back in when rain is in the air. Keeps every thing dry even when the pack cover or poncho has problems keeping it out.

I should do it every time as we encountered our first bugs in January this year.
Both times were not in albergues but in hotels.
One of the hotels was a very nice upscale property in Samos. We were not bitten but actually saw them in the beds.

We had never before encountered them on any Camino route and have walked one or more routes every year since 2009.
Don't let the concern ruin your Camino. They are not as common as the reports often make it appear.

We do treat our packs, silk sheets and any thing else that comes in contact with beds with permethrin.
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
#22
...When I am in a suspect albergue (or hotel/pension) I put the pack into the plastic bag before I set it down.
Except you can never really tell when a lodging is going to be suspect!!! My son and DIL picked up bedbugs in the first class cabin of their aircraft to Barcelona in 2015. (good news is they got upgraded to first class, bad news is they spent the next day in Barcelona washing everything).
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#23
Except you can never really tell when a lodging is going to be suspect!!! My son and DIL picked up bedbugs in the first class cabin of their aircraft to Barcelona in 2015. (good news is they got upgraded to first class, bad news is they spent the next day in Barcelona washing everything).

You are right. No way to know.
That is why I said I should do it every time.

I was talking with some Albergue owners this winter and they were saying that the pack transport service are becoming under suspicion as a source of transmission and spread.
The packs are all piled together in the back of a van in most cases. The van itself may be the source.
They were pretty adamant about this.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#26
Bed bugs need food, and there is none in a car!
True, but they don't need to eat often. See this info sheet.
Edited: But I agree that this is not an explanation for their proliferation, since the car is not an good environment for them. The same backpacks would still arrive at the same albergues.
 
Last edited:

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#27
... The same backpacks would still arrive at the same albergues.
But what if the car distributes backpacks to different albergues? It only takes one pregnant bed bug 'to jump backpack' and another albergue is at risk. Buen Camino sin chinches, SY
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#29
I think this is what the thinking was....bugs from one infected pack transferring to others while piled up in the vans.

If a pack sitting in an albergue can be infected....... than it does stand to reason that packs in contact with others are likely to be also.
The vans usually deliver to several albergues/pensions/hotels so the spread could be higher than a single pack would be....thus the concern by owners.
Worth considering as it certainly is a possibility.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September
#36
You are right. No way to know.
That is why I said I should do it every time.

I was talking with some Albergue owners this winter and they were saying that the pack transport service are becoming under suspicion as a source of transmission and spread.
The packs are all piled together in the back of a van in most cases. The van itself may be the source.
They were pretty adamant about this.
There are so many variables. Those bugs may very well be in the van but the van is also picking up from the same places and they may have the extra guests.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#38
I am not sure if there is any precautions that you could take if you use pack transfer services. The packs are all just piled together and in contact for a few hours.
Putting it in a big, sturdy rubbish bag? But then it might be confused with being garbage and put into a completely other kind of truck ... ;-) Buen Camino, SY
 

Sevilay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-September 2016 (Camino Frances)
#41
We are in Villadangos del Paramo in Albergue San Pancracio.. we found in our room bed bugs and now cant sleep. We are sitting outside of the albergue and try to think what to do after going 33 kms... any suggestions?
In the bed bug forum you will see reports from pilgrims regarding bed bugs.

Please know that although an albergue is reported to have had bed bugs, it does not automatically mean that this albergue is a bad albergue. Pilgrims stay in new albergues every day, and someone might have walked in that day with bed bugs... and some other pilgrim might have picked it up before they had time to clean it.

That said, if a particular albergue comes up again and again with bed bugs, that might be an indication that hygiene might not be ideal there.

If you are reporting a particular refugio/albergue please include a date in your title so that people scanning this forum can see when the problem occurred.

Thanks!
Ivar
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#42
And when you get home consider https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/de-bed-bugging-your-camino-gear.483/

Yes, it is my resource, but it really does work! Buen Camino sin chinches, SY
SYates is always modest, but her article is spot on and, as always, well written.
I and others on this forum don't always agree on the chemicals to use, but we certainly agree on doing all we can to not perpetuate the problem by transporting the buggers along the Camino, or back home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Frances 2016
#43
Warn
In the bed bug forum you will see reports from pilgrims regarding bed bugs.

Please know that although an albergue is reported to have had bed bugs, it does not automatically mean that this albergue is a bad albergue. Pilgrims stay in new albergues every day, and someone might have walked in that day with bed bugs... and some other pilgrim might have picked it up before they had time to clean it.

That said, if a particular albergue comes up again and again with bed bugs, that might be an indication that hygiene might not be ideal there.

If you are reporting a particular refugio/albergue please include a date in your title so that people scanning this forum can see when the problem occurred.

Thanks!
Ivar

Warning! I'm walking the Camino now. (September 9, 2016). A fellow pilgrim has over 50 bites over her body. She reports that this happened at Casa Nostra Albergue in Castrojeriz. I have a photo of the bites on her legs. Beware!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#44
Has your fellow pilgrim (or anybody else) reported the problem to the hospitaler@s? Buen Camino, SY
 

zimmecp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Summer 2017
#48
Hello Everybody! I am very excited for my first Camino this summer! I also wanted to let anyone worried about bedbugs (as I am) know that there is a product out there called Insect Shield that is really effective. They also work with other manufacturers to create clothes and such. Basically, it is clothes/accessories/blankets that have been pre-treated with Permitherin in such a way that it takes a really long time to wear off. (It is not just sprayed on the clothing.) I have a few pcs and it seems to worl quite well down here in Texas. I am looking forward to getting a blanket to take with me on the road!

Best!
Christine
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#50
there is a product out there called Insect Shield that is really effective.
Whose word are you taking? There are many products that claim to be really effective but independent testing shows very limited value. Of course, it is worth trying almost anything.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#52
Please know that although an albergue is reported to have had bed bugs, it does not automatically mean that this albergue is a bad albergue. Pilgrims stay in new albergues every day, and someone might have walked in that day with bed bugs... and some other pilgrim might have picked it up before they had time to clean it.
And if you encounter them, tell the next albergue before you enter! The worst that could happen is they refuse to serve you—and you can congratulate yourself for making a sacrifice that benefits many other pilgrims. But more likely they will do you and everyone else the favor of helping you to get completely rid of them. At least I hope that's the majority. It's SO much easier (and less expensive) to spray an empty backpack and wash all the clothes than to treat a room and hope the treatment was good enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#53
And if you encounter them, tell the next albergue before you enter! The worst that could happen is they refuse to serve you—and you can congratulate yourself for making a sacrifice that benefits many other pilgrims. But more likely they will do you and everyone else the favor of helping you to get completely rid of them. At least I hope that's the majority. It's SO much easier (and less expensive) to spray an empty backpack and wash all the clothes than to treat a room and hope the treatment was good enough.
That's exactly what I did last year when I got to Albergue la Senda in Rabanal del Camino. The hospitalera there was wonderful. She took over, and helped me debug all my stuff.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#54
A little basic information from the Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bedbugs/symptoms-causes/syc-20370001

There is also research which shows you can freeze them if you put the items in a 0 degree Celsius freezer for about 4 -7 days. Using heat, you must get the temperature up to 50 degrees Celsius. People often use a steamer which certainly gets hot enough but can be awkward and not likely to be one sitting around for you to use on the Way. If you think there are eggs (you should always assume there are), retreat in about 15 days.

Prevention is the best cure and using sealed plastic bags (think zip locks or other types of 'zipper' seal bags) is a good way to isolate suspect clothing from clean clothing. I use one bag for clean, another for suspect and wash them in water as hot as possible followed by drying on highest temperature. I carry extra bags. This is virtually impossible to do while walking the Way. Until you can wash the suspect clothes appropriately, you're probably going to have to wear the other outfit you brought every day (and hope you are not exposed again at the next stop). So, while walking, it seems unlikely you can optimally prevent or eliminate eggs and/or bugs. Do your best and remember they don't transmit disease, they cannot jump or fly, and have a plan for how to deal with all this hassle when you get home (more plastic bags outside your house, wash everything before it comes into the house...). Bring an antihistamine and some topical steroid cream for the itching. And, fyi, they don't get in your hair - they don't have the physical ability to walk through hair. Report, report, report otherwise nothing will change.
 

mai

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 18/4 Pamplona-S
CF 19/4-5 SJPP-S
#56
In which season is it more likely to encounter beg bugs? Winter/spring or summer? Or all seasons?
 

mai

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 18/4 Pamplona-S
CF 19/4-5 SJPP-S
#59
So no time frame to escape from bed bugs....what one can do is making precautions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#60
All seasons. You can google about their life-cycle and it will make more sense to you. I think the Mayo Clinic had some good info. Beware, there is a LOT of nonsense on the net about bedbugs. Look for studies done by scientific institutes.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#61
....Using heat, you must get the temperature up to 50 degrees Celsius. People often use a steamer which certainly gets hot enough but can be awkward and not likely to be one sitting around for you to use on the Way. If you think there are eggs (you should always assume there are), retreat in about 15 days.
Heat kills the eggs as well as the bugs. So if you use heat properly you will not need to re-treat. Steam can blow the eggs and bugs away if not directly applied. So not foolproof.

The following information is available elsewhere on the forum, but bears repeating.

It is relatively easy to de-contaminate your gear while walking the camino. I've had to do it several times. I assume that If I have been bitten by bed-bugs, then the chances are high that some of the little critters are hiding somewhere in my pack.

The trick is to find a large commercial dryer (like those found in a laundromat - in Spain called an auto-servicio - and put everything dry into the dryer. I say a large commercial dryer because with more room for everything to tumble the heat will reach every bit of everything. Dry because that way the required heat (50℃ or 122℉) is reached much faster and is more evenly spread. Plus it does not hurt merino (whereas if you put wool in hot water it is likely to felt and shrink it), nor have I had any problem with other natural fibres such as silk or cotton or down sleeping bags. For artificial fibres you need to check - my dry bags, and my Macabi skirts have been good but my technical leggings finished up as a small hard plastic ball.

Provided the dryer is hot enough it does not have to be a long cycle. A loosely filled dryer on high will kill bedbugs and their eggs on a 30 minute cycle (Dini M. Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech).

Drying racks (like those in ski lodges) would be great, for boots and shoes and books and packs - but I've never seen any in albergues, and again, they would need to get the heat to penetrate everything and up to the right temperature.

For anything that cannot go in the dryer, the best non-toxic option is a freezer, but that needs to be for at least 3 days, so not practical on the camino.

If you need to use pesticides then the carbamates and the organophosphates are more effective than the pyrethrins (Sydney University Dept of Medical Entomology). But not for use next to the body, and you need to take care not to get the stuff on yourself or to inhale any. I have not had to do this, but if I did I would do it outside in the open and use gloves and a face covering. And then take a shower!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
future
#62
Great idea about going to a lavanderia to use the dryer although some will insist on sending your clothes to a special cleaning facility if they know what you're doing.
I'm not familiar with using carbonates to treat bedbugs but certainly organophosphates are VERY toxic and definitely NOT a good idea. I've read a lot about the use of pyrethrin-treated sleeping sacks but haven't found much actual evidence that it works.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#63
I've just done a bit more reading and it is CARBAMATE, not carbonate which is used as treatment. Carbamates are very similar to organophosphates and have a nearly identical side effect profile. So, again, I would not recommend using something like that. I think that on the Camino, prevention is the best path even if it's a hassle. If treatment is needed, there are choices available on the Way. Buen Camino, all :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#64
Word corrected - thanks @lovetoread3.

For packs and things that don't go in the dryer - you can put them in a sealed black garbage bad out in the hot sun. If those things are available....
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#65
I am thinking the same .... even though I intend to stay in booked accommodation for "need to sleep" reasons ....... Although I think the bugs can also book in these places too ;):(.... but a single silk sheet made sense to me too ....
Booked accommodation is no guarantee against bedbugs, neither are sheets, silk or otherwise.
They seem to be hardy little sods.
There is an horrific video clip somewhere on the forum of them crawling all over the back of a bus seat somewhere in the US.
The only time I was bitten in Spain was in an really nice expensive apartment with lovely crisp white sheets. I dropped my guard, and was bitten severely, literally little lines of bites all over my body. Bites that didn't become apparent until the afternoon afterwards. If I had been walking the Camino at that stage I would be far from the albergue when I found them. We tried to explain to the Spanish owner (who lived downstairs) but the language barrier was too much, and when we showed her a picture of a bedbug on our phones, she must have thought we were talking about giant bugs, and really freaked out. Thankfully the place had a dryer and I spend hours putting all my stuff through.
I wasn't bitten staying in albergues the whole of the Camino Frances. I suspect that hospitaleras are on the lookout for them, whilst private people renting out their rooms, probably aren't.
The pilgrims themselves transport them from place to place, so it must be a tricky task to keep them out - I do feel sorry for the hospitaleras. Each new batch of pilgrims must bring the threat of bedbugs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#66
For packs and things that don't go in the dryer - you can put them in a sealed black garbage bad out in the hot sun. If those things are available....
Did anyone try to put all clothes and other fabrics which one carries along when walking into zip-bags? Of course the backpack still can be contaminated with bedbugs, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about the clothes. And when returning home, one could leave the backpack in the garage or elsewhere, but take out the clothes and there'd be no danger of getting bedbugs into ones home. Or is this only wishful thinking?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#67
Did anyone try to put all clothes and other fabrics which one carries along when walking into zip-bags?
Isolation is an excellent approach. At night I put my whole backpack, and all my belongings that I don't need during the night, into a large dry bag with a foldover top. That protects those things from bedbug invasion. In the morning, I put my sleeping bag and clothes into another dry bag that is closed and goes into my pack for the day. If I don't discover any bites during the day, I assume everything is OK. If I do discover bites, then I know that I need to go straight to a hot dryer and treat the sleeping bag and the night clothes before spreading them out in the albergue.

That is the simple description. Of course it is not foolproof for various reasons, but it is the best I can do to manage the problem. If it were a life-threatening matter, perhaps I'd decide to stay home.

If you have passport, phone, etc., in your sleeping bag at night, you should put those things into a zip-lock bag for protection. Also if you spread your backpack contents all over your bed in the morning, rummaging through while you re-pack, you will have defeated the purpose. So tidiness and simplification helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#68
@C clearly, which brand/type of large dry bag do you use to hold your backpack in at night? Great idea if it does not weigh too much to carry while walking.
Also, I keep my hipsack with all valuables in the bottom of my sleeping bag/or sack, but I like your idea of encasing it in a ziplock as I never thought of the little critters taking up residence there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#69
@C clearly, which brand/type of large dry bag do you use to hold your backpack in at night? Great idea if it does not weigh too much to carry while walking.
Also, I keep my hipsack with all valuables in the bottom of my sleeping bag/or sack, but I like your idea of encasing it in a ziplock as I never thought of the little critters taking up residence there!
The Osprey dry bags are very lightweight. My 12 liter Osprey bag weighs 1.2 ounces.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#70
Did anyone try to put all clothes and other fabrics which one carries along when walking into zip-bags? Of course the backpack still can be contaminated with bedbugs, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about the clothes. And when returning home, one could leave the backpack in the garage or elsewhere, but take out the clothes and there'd be no danger of getting bedbugs into ones home. Or is this only wishful thinking?
I do usually put mine in ziplock bags to compartmentalize everything. I hope that works. Does anyone know how devious they are - can they get through the fastening? Or like moths do they bite through the plastic? By the time I reached Finisterre though I was more in holiday mode, and less tidy..
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#72
I don't understand. How would my 36L Osprey pack fit inside a 12 L Osprey drybag to fully enclose it from exposure to bedbugs?
Sorry, I misread. I thought that we were talking about putting sleeping gear, clothing, etc into separate dry bags. I think that if I wanted to enclose my entire backpack I would use a plastic trash bag.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#73
I do both - I keep my sleeping gear in a separate fold-down drybag (I like the Exped ones), and put my whole pack at night into a very large drybag - it is made as a liner for a 70 litre pack, and my 30 litre pack fits inside it easily. Other people use garbage bags, and those work, but they do tend to tear.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#74
Mine is also made as a pack liner and is quite big. It weighs 140 g. Lighter ones exist and I have a slightly smaller one at 86 g that would work too. However I prefer being able to easily slip my pack in, without struggle, with various other things loose on the side - not necessarily snugly packed in as they will be when I'm walking. Even my folded poles and shoes would fit. That way I can reach in to get things I need at night or in the morning, without having to unpack everything.

Edited to answer @Camino Chris 's questions... I got mine on sale (they are not cheap) a few years ago, and don't know exactly which brand/model it is. It would probably fit a 70-80 L pack. There are various brands and I think they are well worth the price for us repeat offenders.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
caminodeanna Bed Bugs 43
SYates Bed Bugs 26
kellyz Bed Bugs 6
L Bed Bugs 1

OLDER threads on this topic


Book your lodging here

Booking.com



Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

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: 11 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 126 15.4%
  • May

    Votes: 198 24.2%
  • June

    Votes: 58 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 17 2.1%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.6%
  • September

    Votes: 241 29.5%
  • October

    Votes: 98 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top