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Sleep sack for bed bugs

Ponch

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
5/20/2024
Hola,
I gearing up to start my 1st CdS and have seen people recommended sleeping bag liners to protect against bed bugs.

Do these help or is it a myth?
Should I add the extra weight of bringing one?
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
@Ponch , welcome to the forum.

It's a myth.


Even if your liner is treated it will not help, it takes too long to work (hours). Bedbugs simply crawl in the top, exactly the same as you do.
It can help prevent you spreading any bed bugs that you do encounter, as closed up in your rucksack for several hours with aforesaid treated items the permethrin will gradually kill them.

Although the only real guarantee is heat.

However if you're not going to bring a liner what are you going to sleep in? You will need something.
A silk sleeping bag liner weighs very little.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Liners are not for the prevention of bed bugs but to keep a sleeping bag cleaner because it's easier to wash a liner than a sleeping bag.

The usefulness of treating your gear with permethrin against bed bugs is not to avoid getting bitten yourself, but to avoid transporting them to the next albergue or your home.

This is because permethrin isn't a bed bug deterrent, nor does it kill them on contact. But it can kill them over a couple of hours with direct contact with a treated surface. That's why I spray the inside of my backpack and all of my cloth stuff sacks with it. If a bed bug gets inside my pack I don't want it coming out alive.
 
Thank you everyone for the helpful information.

I have a liner I will bring, should I bring my compact sleeping bag too?

My CdS starts May 20th and I’m aiming to end June 26.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I have a liner I will bring, should I bring my compact sleeping bag too?
Only you can decide. Do you sleep hot or cold? Will you have enough clothing layers to sleep in if it's cold? At that time of year most albergues will not be heated, however the body heat of many people sleeping in the same room can't be discounted!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Hola,
I gearing up to start my 1st CdS and have seen people recommended sleeping bag liners to protect against bed bugs.

Do these help or is it a myth?
Should I add the extra weight of bringing one?

FWIW, my experience has been Sarria to Santiago from 31 March to 9 April, somewhat chilly and sometimes down to about 4 C at night. In a mix of bunks and private rooms. I brought a summer weight bag as insurance as I tend to sleep cold. Not once did I need it. In every case, either the room was warm, or else supplied with warm blankets (and in one case, lush down duvets) - or it was both warm and with blankets. None of these were municipal albergues, to be sure...
However, I did use and enjoy my silk bag liner, except in a few cases where the albergue provided both bottom and top sheets.
 
I’m glad to see other people’s thoughts on this topic.

For what it’s worth, I am taking a pre-treated bag liner and probably a lightweight camping quilt/blanket that I may or may not treat.

I think it might help with bedbugs, and it makes sense to me to do something proactive. However, I also want it to help with mosquitos.

People on the forum say that mosquitos are not a problem on the Camino, but when I get bitten it can itch for days and leave marks from being scratched, so I figure it won’t hurt to have a bit of protection. I know not everyone will react that way to a little mosquito bite!

Also, I live in the Northeast of the United States, where we have significant issues with mosquitos as well as ticks, so the treated bag liner would be good for camping in my own part of the world.
 
the treated bag liner would be good for camping in my own part of the world.
Sorry but the treatments don't generally last that long. I can't remember the exact time frame ( 6 -8 weeks rather than years) and it depends on whether it is factory treated or if you treat it at home.

The other major thing that affects it is how many washes you put it through. So if it's home treated with the spray I believe it's something like six washes.
Basically Pyrethrin breaks down with exposure to air and sunlight
 
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Thank you everyone for the helpful information.

I have a liner I will bring, should I bring my compact sleeping bag too?

My CdS starts May 20th and I’m aiming to end June 26.
I always bring a sleeping bag, even in the Summer months (And I have used it!)
But then it’s up to you.. You may never need it, I know I do…
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I gearing up to start my 1st CdS and have seen people recommended sleeping bag liners to protect against bed bugs.

Do these help or is it a myth?
An untreated liner, or sleeping bag, won't reduce the risk of you being bitten by bed bugs. Treating your bag or liner with pyrethrin or permethrin will reduce that risk, but I don't know of any treatment that will reduce that risk to zero. That would be nirvana!

There has been extensive discussion of this topic, pretty much every year, @Ponch, as pilgrims like you prepare for their first camino. Here is a selected list of some of that.

For what it’s worth, I am taking a pre-treated bag liner and probably a lightweight camping quilt/blanket that I may or may not treat.

I think it might help with bedbugs, and it makes sense to me to do something proactive. However, I also want it to help with mosquitos.
It will help, inasmuch as there is scientific evidence that bed bugs that have been exposed to treated fabric are much less likely to go on to consume a blood meal.
Sorry but the treatments don't generally last that long. I can't remember the exact time frame ( 6 -8 weeks rather than years) and it depends on whether it is factory treated or if you treat it at home.
That is true, but from what I recall, it is the nature of the treatment that makes the most difference. Spray on treatments might only be effective for up to half a dozen laundry cycles, generally enough for a stuff you aren't going to launder every day or so on the Camino. Soak in treatments are reported to remain effective for 50 or more laundry cycles.
Basically Pyrethrin breaks down with exposure to air and sunlight
This is also true, but very few of the commercial products contain pyrethrin as their main active ingredient. That is a plant sourced product. Commercial preparations generally contain permethrin, the synthetic variant, which does not break down so quickly when exposed to air and sunlight.
 
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For the record, I do treat the outside of my sleeping bag and my backpack with permethrin before every Camino. I do the outside of the backpack because when I use backpack transport, my pack is up against a number of backpacks and I never know when bedbugs might be present and I don’t want them crawling into my bag. I do the outside of my sleeping bag, and so far it has worked, scientific or not. The only time I have ever been bitten was on my very first Camino when I did not treat my sleeping bag.

These days I book a lot of privates and I love a cold cold bedroom so I bring my featherweight down sleeping bag. Years ago I cut out the zipper and cut off the hood so it’s a blanket with a foot box. I have gotten really cold in Santa Domingo in June and so I always bring my sleeping bag even when I walk in summer months. Many of these old buildings are build of stone and are very cold inside even in the heat of the summer. They are built that way.

On the other hand if you’re sleeping in albergues it’s often hot from all the people and a lot of times I’ll do my best to get a bed by a window so I can control whether or not it is open. 🤪 but I still am happy to have my own sleeping blanket, preferring it to the blankets provided by the Albergue. I know that they do not wash those after each use and all I can do is think about that story I’ve heard about how we gave the Native Americans smallpox by giving them blankets. True or false, I’ll go with my own blanket every time.
 
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Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
"
Soak in treatments are reported to remain effective for 50 or more laundry cycles.
This is also true, but very few of the commercial products contain pyrethrin as their main active ingredient. That is a plant sourced produce. Commercial preparations generally contain permethrin, the synthetic variant, which does not break down quickly when exposed to air and sunlight.
Thanks for this Doug, I wasn't aware that the difference between the two was so dramatic. I prefer nature-based products however in this instance I clearly need to do more research. An important consideration for @HeatherJourney and others to consider.
 
I read the title of this thread, "Sleep sack for bedbugs", differently.
If the bedbugs want to sleep individually, it would be a challenge to make a sleep sack small enough for one.
But I'm thinking it might be cute if you lined them up on a white cotton shoelace and then folded the bottom up so just their heads were showing.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Hola, as a lead up to both my 2015 and 2017 I treated my sleeping bag AND the silk liner . Even when my travelling companion was bitten I was not affected. Whether it was the treatment or the silk material I do no know. But I do do as thorough bed inspection before accepting the bed. I have know Aussie pilgrims who sprayed suspect beds with insect repellent, especially around the edges of the mattress. Oh and I try to keep my backpack off the floor (never place on the bed). I also treated my backpack inside and out!
 
Hola, as a lead up to both my 2015 and 2017 I treated my sleeping bag AND the silk liner . Even when my travelling companion was bitten I was not affected. Whether it was the treatment or the silk material I do no know.
My guess is that it was luck, or maybe your companion was tastier.😄

Bed bugs are not deterred by permethrin - it kills them over time, but they can crawl in and have a quick snack. I was bitten once while in my permethrin treated silk sleep sack.
 
Hola,
I gearing up to start my 1st CdS and have seen people recommended sleeping bag liners to protect against bed bugs.

Do these help or is it a myth?
Should I add the extra weight of bringing one?
Although I have not done the Camino yet, you can google which aromatherapy oils repel bedbugs as well as other critters. Then get a small spray bottle, filled mostly with isopropyl alcohol and add approx.
20 drops of the aromatherapy oil and spray mattress, your sleeping bag, etc .These oils are also good
as antibacterial, some antiviral... Good for hand sanitizing, mosquito repellents. Maybe check out Thieves by Young Living or On Guard by Doterra. This type of product is not cheap but potent and very concentrated.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Although I have not done the Camino yet, you can google which aromatherapy oils repel bedbugs as well as other critters. Then get a small spray bottle, filled mostly with isopropyl alcohol and add approx.
20 drops of the aromatherapy oil and spray mattress, your sleeping bag, etc .These oils are also good
as antibacterial, some antiviral... Good for hand sanitizing, mosquito repellents. Maybe check out Thieves by Young Living or On Guard by Doterra. This type of product is not cheap but potent and very concentrated.
The negative side of doing this is that people like me who are allergic to many things can get sick from the scent of your oils, even if they are organic. So if you are in a common space, please do not do this. I used to tell people to spray two or three sprays of mosquito spray over the bed to see if bedbugs would come out, but I never do it when there are people in the room and I use a fragrance free product.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
The negative side of doing this is that people like me who are allergic to many things can get sick from the scent of your oils, even if they are organic. So if you are in a common space, please do not do this. I used to tell people to spray two or three sprays of mosquito spray over the bed to see if bedbugs would come out, but I never do it when there are people in the room and I use a fragrance free product.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS! It is a good reminder....I am so sorry you have these sensitivities. That is a drag!
A friend just returned from a luxury trip to Italy in high end hotels. She does not know how she brought bedbugs back to NYC but it was probably in transit. Yikes! So apparently, they can find us EVERYWHERE!
 
I read the title of this thread, "Sleep sack for bedbugs", differently.
If the bedbugs want to sleep individually, it would be a challenge to make a sleep sack small enough for one.
But I'm thinking it might be cute if you lined them up on a white cotton shoelace and then folded the bottom up so just their heads were showing.
My thoughts similarly, @JillGat - @Ponch, if you want to bring a sleep sack for the BUGgers, maybe they'll cuddle in their own, and leave you in peace... make peace not war... 😘
 
A friend just returned from a luxury trip to Italy in high end hotels. She does not know how she brought bedbugs back to NYC but it was probably in transit. Yikes! So apparently, they can find us EVERYWHERE!
Well, last year it was quite the topic in the news. Paris metro and British public libraries immediately spring to mind, so.... BUT : So does Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Moscow, Sydney and every other major city in the world. These bloodsuckers are indeed (unfortunately) everywhere.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Although I have not done the Camino yet, you can google which aromatherapy oils repel bedbugs as well as other critters. Then get a small spray bottle, filled mostly with isopropyl alcohol and add approx.
20 drops of the aromatherapy oil and spray mattress, your sleeping bag, etc .These oils are also good
as antibacterial, some antiviral... Good for hand sanitizing, mosquito repellents. Maybe check out Thieves by Young Living or On Guard by Doterra. This type of product is not cheap but potent and very concentrated.
Earlier last year I posted here about the effectiveness of essential oils, including key extracts from a scientific paper that had published results on this.

My own take on this is that essential oils have been shown to be ineffective as insecticides. Using them instead of permethrin is pointless. Unless you are concerned that the bed bugs smell nice while they are feasting on you they are not doing anything to protect you or others from bed bugs.

More, as has already been stated earlier, there may be other people in an albergue that have an intolerance to the chemicals contained in certain essential oils and similar products. So it might well be something that affects someone else's welfare in a albergue dormitory, and worth avoiding on that basis as well as its ineffectiveness. Even using these in a private room, there will be a residual that might affect some later resident.
 
Bed bugs are not deterred by permethrin - it kills them over time, but they can crawl in and have a quick snack.
That is true. Permethrin is an insecticide, not a repellent. However, even for resistant populations, the scientific evidence is that they are deterred from going on to consume a blood meal after being exposed to permethrin treated fabric. It may not eliminate the risk, but reducing the risk seems to me to be well worth the effort of treating ones sleeping bag and liner.
 
protect you or others from bed bugs.
Naturally, I don't want to be bitten by bed bugs, but my primary concern is that I don't carry them from albergue to albergue, or back home. That is why I use permethrin, which is the only thing that I know of that is scientifically proven to have any effect on bed bugs. I think that it would be reasonable to treat only the lower part of your sleeping bag or liner if you don't want the treated surface near your face. This would still create enough surface area for the bed bugs to be exposed to the permethrin.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hola,
I gearing up to start my 1st CdS and have seen people recommended sleeping bag liners to protect against bed bugs.

Do these help or is it a myth?
Should I add the extra weight of bringing one?

Some albergues require liners. Unfortunately, all the prostration in the world won’t prevent bed bugs. They got me in 2018. I treated all of my belongings by washing them and setting them inside a black trash bag outside to bake in the heat. I told the host at the lodging I arrived at, as well as the one I left and may have gotten them from. The new host helped me treat my great.

Another pilgrim offered me anti-itch peaches from Korea that helped immensely, but the itch followed for two weeks.
 
FWIW, my experience has been Sarria to Santiago from 31 March to 9 April, somewhat chilly and sometimes down to about 4 C at night. In a mix of bunks and private rooms. I brought a summer weight bag as insurance as I tend to sleep cold. Not once did I need it. In every case, either the room was warm, or else supplied with warm blankets (and in one case, lush down duvets) - or it was both warm and with blankets. None of these were municipal albergues, to be sure...
However, I did use and enjoy my silk bag liner, except in a few cases where the albergue provided both bottom and top sheets.
The more I read about bed bugs,it's putting me off going. I plan to go 23rd of August.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I used to stress a lot about this issue, but since my first camino in 2014 I have never met a bed bug. Remember - it is NOT the end of life as you know it if you do meet one. The Albergues and the tourist industry in general in Spain work very hard to address this issue. If there is a problem go to the people running the accomodation and they will direct you as to what to do.
 
If there is a problem go to the people running the accomodation and they will direct you as to what to do.
In my case, on my first Camino I told the hospitalera upon my arrival that there had been bed bugs at my albergue the night before and she took over. She handed me a large towel to wrap around myself and took everything from my backpack to wash and dry. Thus I greeted the incoming pilgrims wearing nothing but a towel. 😄
 

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