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The Danger of using Permethrin to prevent Bed Bugs.

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Camino(s) past & future
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
#1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231554/ (Source of this info)

6 Neurotoxicity of Permethrin
P ermethrin is neurotoxic at high doses. It produces a variety of clinical neurotoxic effects in animals. Some of those effects are tremors, salivation, paresthesia, splayed gait, depressed reflexes, and tiptoe gait; reversible axonal injury occurs at high doses (Brammer, 1989; Robinson, 1989a,b). These symptoms appear to be universal for pyrethroids.
The primary action of pyrethroids on the peripheral nervous system is to induce pronounced repetitive activity—i.e., continuous rather than single nerve impulses (van den Bercken, 1977; van den Bercken et al., 1979). Pyrethroids interact with a fraction of the voltage-dependent sodium channels in excitable membranes that produce a prolongation of the inward sodium current during excitation in which the channels remain open much longer than normal (see review by Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990). Membrane depolarization might also occur, resulting in enhanced neurotransmitter release and eventually blockage of excitation. Although postsynaptic neurotransmitter responses can be suppressed by pyrethroids, doses must be higher than those that produce effects on sodium channels. Pyrethroids also increase concentrations of β-glucuronidase and β-galactosidase, which are thought to be associated with repair process, in peripheral nerves (Aldridge, 1990).
Go to:
HUMAN DATA
A paucity of data are available on the neurotoxic effects of pyrethroids in humans—especially for permethrin. However, in a review of 573 cases of acute pyrethroid poisonings of humans in China (229 occupational and 344 accidental; cases mainly involved deltamethrin (325), fenvalerate (196), and cypermethrin (45)), the initial symptoms from occupational exposures were burning, itching, or tingling sensation (subjective irritation) of the face or dizziness that usually developed after 4-6 hr of exposure (He et al., 1989). Systemic symptoms that occurred in the most serious cases were mainly digestive, including epigastric pain, nausea, and vomiting. Vijverberg and van den Bercken (1990) in their review of pyrethroid insecticides report that the systemic symptoms in humans are burning, itching, or tingling sensation of the face, epigastric pain, anoxemia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, fatigue, convulsions, and coma.
Nerve conduction studies and interviews of 23 laboratory technicians involved with several pyrethroids in field trials, formulation, or other laboratory work showed no evidence of nerve impairment associated with exposure to permethrin (Le Quesne et al., 1980). Symptoms of facial paresthesia and occasional pruritic rashes were reported among those workers, but symptoms were not clearly related to permethrin.
Staff involved with bagging, mixing, or spraying a 5% preparation of permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) in Nigeria were evaluated with a questionnaire and urinalysis (Rishikesh et al., 1978). Regardless of the protective equipment worn by spraymen, only 2 mg of permethrin was absorbed after exposure to 6 kg of permethrin, which was excreted in 24 hr.
Go to:
ANIMAL DATA
Neurotoxic Effects
Rats
Peripheral nerve damage has been reported to occur in laboratory animals at near lethal doses of pyrethroids (Aldridge, 1990; Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990).
In an acute dermal toxicity study, Robinson (1989a) exposed rats to permethrin at 2 g/kg and observed neurotoxic signs such as tip-toe gait, upward curvature of the spine, and urinary incontinence in some of the exposed animals. Based on these results, Robinson (1989a) estimated the LOAEL to be 2 g/kg and also estimated the NOAEL to be 200 mg/kg by using an uncertainty factor of 10 to the LOAEL.
Hend and Butterworth (1977) fed permethrin to male and female Charles River rats (six of each sex per group) in diet at concentrations of 0 or 6,000 mg/kg for up to 14 days. Severe clinical signs of poisoning were seen in all the permethrin-treated rats. Only one permethrin-treated male survived the 14-day trial. Histological examination showed fragmented and swollen sciatic nerve axons and myelin degeneration in four of five permethrin-treated animals.
Dayan (1980) fed permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) (94.5% pure) to groups of 10 male and 10 female Sprague-Dawley rats at 4,000, 6,000, or 9,000 mg/kg for 21 days. All animals developed severe trembling and lost weight. Some rats of each sex in the 9,000-mg/kg group died. Histopathological examination of brain, spinal cord, trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia, proximal and distal root trunks, and terminal motor and sensory nerves showed no consistent abnormalities.
Groups of 10 Wistar rats that were administered permethrin in their diet at concentrations of 0, 2,500, 3,000, 3,750, 4,500, 5,000, or 7,500 ppm (1, 125, 150, 187.5, 225, 250, or 375 mg/kg per day) for 14 days developed peripheral nerve toxicities (Glaister et al., 1977). Deaths occurred among the animals administered 5,000 or 7,500 ppm, and minor histological and ultrastructural changes occurred in the sciatic nerves of the animals in the 5,000-ppm group. The lesions included swelling and increased vesiculation of unmyelinated nerves, hypertrophy of Schwann's cells, contraction of axoplasm and formulation of myelin whorls in residual spaces, and fragmentation of myelinated axons. Similarly, swelling, nodal demyelination, and disintegration of the sciatic nerves were observed in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 8 days (Okuno et al., 1976b). In another study (James et al., 1977), vacuolation of myelinated nerve fibers occurred in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 18 days.
Dyck et al. (1984) conducted a detailed morphological evaluation of the nervous system of rats in two chronic feeding studies of permethrin. In the first study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg for 2 years, and five male and five female animals (randomly selected) from each dose group were examined. In the second study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, or 100 mg/kg for three successive generations, and five male and five female rats from each group were randomly selected from the third-generation parental animals. Examination of central and peripheral nerves, teased myelinated fibers of distal sural and tibial nerves, and the maxillary division of the fifth cranial nerve did not show any changes attributable to the feeding of the permethrin (Dyck et al., 1984).
Hens
Millner and Butterworth (1977) administered permethrin orally (cis/trans ratio, 50:50) as a 40% wt/vol solution in dimethylsulfoxide to hens at daily doses of 1 g/kg of body weight for 5 days. After 3 weeks, the dosing regimen was repeated, and the hens were maintained for an additional 3 weeks before being killed. No signs of neurological disturbance were seen, and there was no mortality. All hens treated with tri- ortho -cresyl phosphate (TOCP) (positive control chemical) showed clinical and histopathological evidence of neurotoxicity; none of the hens treated with permethrin showed signs of neurotoxicity. Histological examination of nerve tissues revealed no abnormalities. Permethrin was considered to have no delayed neurotoxic potential such as that seen with certain organophosphates (Millner and Butterworth, 1977).
Ross and Prentice (1977) orally administered permethrin to 15 hens at 9 g/kg of body weight and again 21 days later. After an additional 21 days, the hens were killed. All positive control animals (given TOCP at 500 mg/kg) manifested signs of delayed neurotoxicity ranging from slight muscular incoordination to paralysis. No signs of ataxia were seen in any of the hens in the permethrin-treated or negative control animals. Histopathological examination of the nervous tissues of permethrin-treated animals showed none of the degenerative changes observed in the tissues of the animals from positive control groups.
Neurobehavioral Effects
Pyrethroids can affect behavior patterns. Mice exposed to Ambush (25.6% permethrin) at 0.5, 5.0, or 50 mg/kg orally or 30 or 300 mg/kg dermally displayed an increase in activity (Digiscan optimal animal activity monitor) at the 50- and 300-mg/kg oral and dermal doses, respectively (Mitchel et al., 1988). Additional behavioral studies are necessary to further evaluate the behavioral effects of permethrin.
Sherman (1979) studied the behavior of immature male Sprague-Dawley rats that were habituated to inhalation of permethrin aerosols. Habituation of rats was achieved by exposing three groups of rats (five per group) to aerosols of permethrin at 500 mg/m3 for 21 days and then again at 1,000 mg/m3 for an additional 21 days. Three other groups of rats (five per group) served as controls; they were similarly treated but were not exposed to permethrin. At the end of this conditioning period, all rats, including the control animals, were exposed to a permethrin aerosol at 5,000 mg/m3for 4 hr. At the end of the habituation period, there were no differences in retention of avoidance training or the ability to learn the same task between control animals and permethrin-exposed groups. However, after exposure to permethrin at 5,000 mg/m3, retention capacity was significantly lower among nonhabituated control rats than among habituated rats. The nonhabituated control rats also showed decreases in coordination and balance and a higher incidence of conflict behavior and tremors. The performance of the rats in the habituated groups was not changed (Sherman, 1979).
Go to:
CONCLUSIONS
Permethrin is neurotoxic in animals at high doses. The neurotoxic symptoms of pyrethroid toxicity in humans appear to mimic those observed in animals. The estimated NOEL for neurotoxicity in rats by dermal route is 200 mg/kg (Robinson, 1989a). In the committee's judgment, 125 mg/kg is the LOAEL for permethrin from oral exposure in rats (Glaister et al., 1977; ICI, 1984).
Based on a NOAEL of 200 mg/kg per day from the available neuro toxicity data, the margin of safety (MOS) associated with daily human exposure to permethrin from permethrin-treated BDUs at a level of 6.8 × 10 −5 mg/kg per day is approximately 3 million.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
#2
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231554/ (Source of this info)

6 Neurotoxicity of Permethrin
P ermethrin is neurotoxic at high doses. It produces a variety of clinical neurotoxic effects in animals. Some of those effects are tremors, salivation, paresthesia, splayed gait, depressed reflexes, and tiptoe gait; reversible axonal injury occurs at high doses (Brammer, 1989; Robinson, 1989a,b). These symptoms appear to be universal for pyrethroids.
The primary action of pyrethroids on the peripheral nervous system is to induce pronounced repetitive activity—i.e., continuous rather than single nerve impulses (van den Bercken, 1977; van den Bercken et al., 1979). Pyrethroids interact with a fraction of the voltage-dependent sodium channels in excitable membranes that produce a prolongation of the inward sodium current during excitation in which the channels remain open much longer than normal (see review by Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990). Membrane depolarization might also occur, resulting in enhanced neurotransmitter release and eventually blockage of excitation. Although postsynaptic neurotransmitter responses can be suppressed by pyrethroids, doses must be higher than those that produce effects on sodium channels. Pyrethroids also increase concentrations of β-glucuronidase and β-galactosidase, which are thought to be associated with repair process, in peripheral nerves (Aldridge, 1990).
Go to:
HUMAN DATA
A paucity of data are available on the neurotoxic effects of pyrethroids in humans—especially for permethrin. However, in a review of 573 cases of acute pyrethroid poisonings of humans in China (229 occupational and 344 accidental; cases mainly involved deltamethrin (325), fenvalerate (196), and cypermethrin (45)), the initial symptoms from occupational exposures were burning, itching, or tingling sensation (subjective irritation) of the face or dizziness that usually developed after 4-6 hr of exposure (He et al., 1989). Systemic symptoms that occurred in the most serious cases were mainly digestive, including epigastric pain, nausea, and vomiting. Vijverberg and van den Bercken (1990) in their review of pyrethroid insecticides report that the systemic symptoms in humans are burning, itching, or tingling sensation of the face, epigastric pain, anoxemia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, fatigue, convulsions, and coma.
Nerve conduction studies and interviews of 23 laboratory technicians involved with several pyrethroids in field trials, formulation, or other laboratory work showed no evidence of nerve impairment associated with exposure to permethrin (Le Quesne et al., 1980). Symptoms of facial paresthesia and occasional pruritic rashes were reported among those workers, but symptoms were not clearly related to permethrin.
Staff involved with bagging, mixing, or spraying a 5% preparation of permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) in Nigeria were evaluated with a questionnaire and urinalysis (Rishikesh et al., 1978). Regardless of the protective equipment worn by spraymen, only 2 mg of permethrin was absorbed after exposure to 6 kg of permethrin, which was excreted in 24 hr.
Go to:
ANIMAL DATA
Neurotoxic Effects
Rats
Peripheral nerve damage has been reported to occur in laboratory animals at near lethal doses of pyrethroids (Aldridge, 1990; Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990).
In an acute dermal toxicity study, Robinson (1989a) exposed rats to permethrin at 2 g/kg and observed neurotoxic signs such as tip-toe gait, upward curvature of the spine, and urinary incontinence in some of the exposed animals. Based on these results, Robinson (1989a) estimated the LOAEL to be 2 g/kg and also estimated the NOAEL to be 200 mg/kg by using an uncertainty factor of 10 to the LOAEL.
Hend and Butterworth (1977) fed permethrin to male and female Charles River rats (six of each sex per group) in diet at concentrations of 0 or 6,000 mg/kg for up to 14 days. Severe clinical signs of poisoning were seen in all the permethrin-treated rats. Only one permethrin-treated male survived the 14-day trial. Histological examination showed fragmented and swollen sciatic nerve axons and myelin degeneration in four of five permethrin-treated animals.
Dayan (1980) fed permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) (94.5% pure) to groups of 10 male and 10 female Sprague-Dawley rats at 4,000, 6,000, or 9,000 mg/kg for 21 days. All animals developed severe trembling and lost weight. Some rats of each sex in the 9,000-mg/kg group died. Histopathological examination of brain, spinal cord, trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia, proximal and distal root trunks, and terminal motor and sensory nerves showed no consistent abnormalities.
Groups of 10 Wistar rats that were administered permethrin in their diet at concentrations of 0, 2,500, 3,000, 3,750, 4,500, 5,000, or 7,500 ppm (1, 125, 150, 187.5, 225, 250, or 375 mg/kg per day) for 14 days developed peripheral nerve toxicities (Glaister et al., 1977). Deaths occurred among the animals administered 5,000 or 7,500 ppm, and minor histological and ultrastructural changes occurred in the sciatic nerves of the animals in the 5,000-ppm group. The lesions included swelling and increased vesiculation of unmyelinated nerves, hypertrophy of Schwann's cells, contraction of axoplasm and formulation of myelin whorls in residual spaces, and fragmentation of myelinated axons. Similarly, swelling, nodal demyelination, and disintegration of the sciatic nerves were observed in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 8 days (Okuno et al., 1976b). In another study (James et al., 1977), vacuolation of myelinated nerve fibers occurred in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 18 days.
Dyck et al. (1984) conducted a detailed morphological evaluation of the nervous system of rats in two chronic feeding studies of permethrin. In the first study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg for 2 years, and five male and five female animals (randomly selected) from each dose group were examined. In the second study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, or 100 mg/kg for three successive generations, and five male and five female rats from each group were randomly selected from the third-generation parental animals. Examination of central and peripheral nerves, teased myelinated fibers of distal sural and tibial nerves, and the maxillary division of the fifth cranial nerve did not show any changes attributable to the feeding of the permethrin (Dyck et al., 1984).
Hens
Millner and Butterworth (1977) administered permethrin orally (cis/trans ratio, 50:50) as a 40% wt/vol solution in dimethylsulfoxide to hens at daily doses of 1 g/kg of body weight for 5 days. After 3 weeks, the dosing regimen was repeated, and the hens were maintained for an additional 3 weeks before being killed. No signs of neurological disturbance were seen, and there was no mortality. All hens treated with tri- ortho -cresyl phosphate (TOCP) (positive control chemical) showed clinical and histopathological evidence of neurotoxicity; none of the hens treated with permethrin showed signs of neurotoxicity. Histological examination of nerve tissues revealed no abnormalities. Permethrin was considered to have no delayed neurotoxic potential such as that seen with certain organophosphates (Millner and Butterworth, 1977).
Ross and Prentice (1977) orally administered permethrin to 15 hens at 9 g/kg of body weight and again 21 days later. After an additional 21 days, the hens were killed. All positive control animals (given TOCP at 500 mg/kg) manifested signs of delayed neurotoxicity ranging from slight muscular incoordination to paralysis. No signs of ataxia were seen in any of the hens in the permethrin-treated or negative control animals. Histopathological examination of the nervous tissues of permethrin-treated animals showed none of the degenerative changes observed in the tissues of the animals from positive control groups.
Neurobehavioral Effects
Pyrethroids can affect behavior patterns. Mice exposed to Ambush (25.6% permethrin) at 0.5, 5.0, or 50 mg/kg orally or 30 or 300 mg/kg dermally displayed an increase in activity (Digiscan optimal animal activity monitor) at the 50- and 300-mg/kg oral and dermal doses, respectively (Mitchel et al., 1988). Additional behavioral studies are necessary to further evaluate the behavioral effects of permethrin.
Sherman (1979) studied the behavior of immature male Sprague-Dawley rats that were habituated to inhalation of permethrin aerosols. Habituation of rats was achieved by exposing three groups of rats (five per group) to aerosols of permethrin at 500 mg/m3 for 21 days and then again at 1,000 mg/m3 for an additional 21 days. Three other groups of rats (five per group) served as controls; they were similarly treated but were not exposed to permethrin. At the end of this conditioning period, all rats, including the control animals, were exposed to a permethrin aerosol at 5,000 mg/m3for 4 hr. At the end of the habituation period, there were no differences in retention of avoidance training or the ability to learn the same task between control animals and permethrin-exposed groups. However, after exposure to permethrin at 5,000 mg/m3, retention capacity was significantly lower among nonhabituated control rats than among habituated rats. The nonhabituated control rats also showed decreases in coordination and balance and a higher incidence of conflict behavior and tremors. The performance of the rats in the habituated groups was not changed (Sherman, 1979).
Go to:
CONCLUSIONS
Permethrin is neurotoxic in animals at high doses. The neurotoxic symptoms of pyrethroid toxicity in humans appear to mimic those observed in animals. The estimated NOEL for neurotoxicity in rats by dermal route is 200 mg/kg (Robinson, 1989a). In the committee's judgment, 125 mg/kg is the LOAEL for permethrin from oral exposure in rats (Glaister et al., 1977; ICI, 1984).
Based on a NOAEL of 200 mg/kg per day from the available neuro toxicity data, the margin of safety (MOS) associated with daily human exposure to permethrin from permethrin-treated BDUs at a level of 6.8 × 10 −5 mg/kg per day is approximately 3 million.
Thank you. Nice poisons are few.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
#3
It has been 55 years since my toxicology class, but permethrin IS a poison--or it wouldn't work against bedbugs. ALWAYS apply using directions and cautions on the label.
The referenced article is about high doses and ingestion. Sawyer spray is 0.05% (5 grams per kg). LAOEL is "lowest-observed-adverse-effect level" and for rats that is 125mg/kg ORAL. So at 175kg body weight, you would have to drink 21gms pure permethrin or about 5 bottles of the 24 oz Sawyer size. So definitely do not drink the stuff.
With an abundance of caution, I wear rubber gloves and spray outside when getting ready for a Camino. Chemical absorption thru skin and lungs is thereby prevented.
I have watched bedbugs crawling on my treated sleep sheet and it seems to slow them down but not kill them. Treated gear is mostly effective in keeping the critters from hitching a ride down the trail (an act of kindness to fellow pilgrims and hospitaleros). If I had sensitivity to bites, I would treat my exposed skin with the more effective DEET.
The EPA has approved permethrin treated clothes. The USA (and most other nation's) military, uses for uniforms and bug nets. So pretty well tested and approved worldwide.
Yes, it is a dangerous poison, but not if you use as intended.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
#4
Be especially careful with permethrin around cats, which are particularly sensitive. Dogs are not especially sensitive to permethrin. Some flea collars for dogs contain permethrin, which should not be used on cats.

-Paul
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#5
I'm a huge believer in DEET and permethrin. I use Sawyer spray on my kit every 6-8 weeks outside and following all directions. For the camino, I worry about bed bugs. In my every day life with the huge amount of day hiking and backpacking I do, I worry about ticks. Chronic lyme disease sucks in every way, frequently disabling and feeling like a slow death to those afflicted. I choose to take the risk with the poisons after reading so much about lyme disease and tick borne illnesses but everyone has to calculate their own risk. I have to say for many years before I became such an active and outdoorsy person, I eschewed DEET and permethrin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#7
The key phrase here is "in large doses."
Chocolate will kill you in large doses, as will cigarettes, alcohol, etc., etc.

Using it for a few weeks on the OUTSIDE of a sleeping bag that doesn't touch your skin is mostly likely something your body can handle.
Show me articles that talk about humans being affected by low dose usage and I'll listen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#9
After reading the warning label, I opted not to use permethrin spray on my gear. The can of spray sits in the basement unused. That’s how it’s going to remain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#10
It has been 55 years since my toxicology class, but permethrin IS a poison--or it wouldn't work against bedbugs. ALWAYS apply using directions and cautions on the label.
The referenced article is about high doses and ingestion. Sawyer spray is 0.05% (5 grams per kg). LAOEL is "lowest-observed-adverse-effect level" and for rats that is 125mg/kg ORAL. So at 175kg body weight, you would have to drink 21gms pure permethrin or about 5 bottles of the 24 oz Sawyer size. So definitely do not drink the stuff.
With an abundance of caution, I wear rubber gloves and spray outside when getting ready for a Camino. Chemical absorption thru skin and lungs is thereby prevented.
I have watched bedbugs crawling on my treated sleep sheet and it seems to slow them down but not kill them. Treated gear is mostly effective in keeping the critters from hitching a ride down the trail (an act of kindness to fellow pilgrims and hospitaleros). If I had sensitivity to bites, I would treat my exposed skin with the more effective DEET.
The EPA has approved permethrin treated clothes. The USA (and most other nation's) military, uses for uniforms and bug nets. So pretty well tested and approved worldwide.
Yes, it is a dangerous poison, but not if you use as intended.
Thanks for being a voice of reason.
The key phrase here is "in large doses."
Chocolate will kill you in large doses, as will cigarettes, alcohol, etc., etc.
Drinking too much water at once can also be deadly.
 

Havnen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino, St. Frances (October, 2016)
#11
Just yesterday sprayed the outside of my sleeping bag with the Sawyer product. And the bottom half of my silk liner because my bag is cinched at the bottom so conceivably the little buggers can crawl in through the bottom. Now wondering if I should wash the silk liner. Leaving in two days!
 
#12
@arturo garcia

Thank you for posting this article.

All of us have different attitudes to the use of permethrin/deet and/or other insecticides.

Your post contains information, based on research data.

Whether or not we use permethrin and how we choose to use it, is an individual choice. We decide how to balance risk and benefit, both for our own wellbeing and that of others.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
#16
Those of us with purchasing power have the freedom to buy whatever is legally on sale, make it serve our purposes and then discard it somehow or flush it away. But where does it go, especially when it fails to provide a visual reminder, like the hundreds of square miles of plastic rubbish in the Pacific? Permethrin is a poison and remains a poison after it has been used, and washed off... into channels that we all share and which feed all life, albeit some of it is so small and remote that we barely feel a connection to it. But we are connected, all of us to everything. Using poisons like permethrin is more than just a personal choice, it's an environmental and a social one too.
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
#17
I sprayed my backpack, boots and the outside of my sleeping bag with Permethrin before I left home, and also took a tiny bottle of it with me. Before coming home I again sprayed the backpack inside and out, as I knew someone I was walking with for a time had had an encounter with bedbugs. I was so glad I did, as when I arrived home, I found two dead bedbugs inside my pack. I'll take the poison over the bugs anytime.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#18
While I have used insect spray repellents on my clothes and body for walks in the woods and other outdoor activities I would not want to expose myself to it every night for several hours against my bare skin and do that for over a month straight. The times I have sprayed it on me I did so simply because there was no way I could have gone in the woods without doing so. Biting insects were that numerous.
I have never found the need for it or any insect repellents while on the Camino, multiple times. I see no need to change that policy in the future. I have never seen or been bitten by a bedbug.
When you walk the Camino more than likely you will not, will not encounter a bedbug. The overwhelming majority of pilgrims do not. Keep that in mind before deciding to expose your body to toxins.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#19
It has been 55 years since my toxicology class, but permethrin IS a poison--or it wouldn't work against bedbugs. ALWAYS apply using directions and cautions on the label.
The referenced article is about high doses and ingestion. Sawyer spray is 0.05% (5 grams per kg). LAOEL is "lowest-observed-adverse-effect level" and for rats that is 125mg/kg ORAL. So at 175kg body weight, you would have to drink 21gms pure permethrin or about 5 bottles of the 24 oz Sawyer size. So definitely do not drink the stuff.
With an abundance of caution, I wear rubber gloves and spray outside when getting ready for a Camino. Chemical absorption thru skin and lungs is thereby prevented.
I have watched bedbugs crawling on my treated sleep sheet and it seems to slow them down but not kill them. Treated gear is mostly effective in keeping the critters from hitching a ride down the trail (an act of kindness to fellow pilgrims and hospitaleros). If I had sensitivity to bites, I would treat my exposed skin with the more effective DEET.
The EPA has approved permethrin treated clothes. The USA (and most other nation's) military, uses for uniforms and bug nets. So pretty well tested and approved worldwide.
Yes, it is a dangerous poison, but not if you use as intended.
Those of us with purchasing power have the freedom to buy whatever is legally on sale, make it serve our purposes and then discard it somehow or flush it away. But where does it go, especially when it fails to provide a visual reminder, like the hundreds of square miles of plastic rubbish in the Pacific? Permethrin is a poison and remains a poison after it has been used, and washed off... into channels that we all share and which feed all life, albeit some of it is so small and remote that we barely feel a connection to it. But we are connected, all of us to everything. Using poisons like permethrin is more than just a personal choice, it's an environmental and a social one too.
I do not object, whatsoever, to reading postings regarding research about a product. It can assist me in discerning whether to use the product, or not!

My reaction to bed bug bites is quite significant so using the permethrin carefully, in balance, seems prudent.

We now place our packs in strong garbage bags as soon as possible, and place each clothing item in individual zip lock bags. Our IPads/phones are placed in plastics when not using. We also spray our shoes, and periodically use deet them as well. We also permethrined the bottom side of our sleeping sheet cover, and the upper edges of it as well....not to mention the sleeping sack and bag.

In addition we will deet the edges of the upper edge of the sheet when we arrive at our location before putting it over the bed. We will almost always have a private room so we will not be inflicting a smell on other pilgrims.:):)

We are leaving this coming weekend to do the CF. So far, places we have booked have not reported bed bugs so I am hoping to avoid those pesky critters.

We have done what we can.....
 

arturo garcia

Pilgrim/Hospitalero/Mountain guide/Photographer
Camino(s) past & future
French way (Dic. 2012), Portuguese way (Dic.2013) and now living on the Camino.
#20
Those of us with purchasing power have the freedom to buy whatever is legally on sale, make it serve our purposes and then discard it somehow or flush it away. But where does it go, especially when it fails to provide a visual reminder, like the hundreds of square miles of plastic rubbish in the Pacific? Permethrin is a poison and remains a poison after it has been used, and washed off... into channels that we all share and which feed all life, albeit some of it is so small and remote that we barely feel a connection to it. But we are connected, all of us to everything. Using poisons like permethrin is more than just a personal choice, it's an environmental and a social one too.
That is also a very important point! Is similar thing with the Durable water repellent, or DWR that we carry in our gear. Some companies are avoiding fluoropolymer or perfluorinated acids based treatments that are very harmful for the environment.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#21
Let me preface this with the observation that I am one of the wildly allergic and unfortunate ones. In allergy testing, the only thing I'm *not* allergic to is rabbit fur. Cats, dogs, grass, pollen in general, mould, cold water, trees.... you name it. I'm also an asthmatic who has had chronic intermittent hives since age 14. The asthma in cold weather and the hives became so bad in 2014 that I went on a monthly injection drug -- omalizumab -- to control my immune system. The drug is a hybrid protein that binds to IGe to stop the anti-histamine reaction and the inflammation associated with the allergic attack on one's own body. It's an extremely effective treatment. It prevents me from swelling to the size of a plum at the site of black-fly bites, the size of a cherry at mosquito bites. I have not had hives in 4 years; my VO2-max readings are now "excellent/athletic".

But on this most recent camino, I was bitten on 2 separate nights by bed bugs. And the reaction broke through my drug treatment. I had welts the size of 2-euro coins in some places, and deep red chomp marks in others. My fingers puffed up 2 sizes and I had to remove my rings for several days.

And I won't use permethrin.

For one thing, the jerk who was spraying his willy-nilly in the Irago albergue at Foncébadon caused me an asthma attack.

But more than that I won't use permethrin because of its cumulative *environmental* damage. I am well aware that the risk to humans of individual doses on fabrics is minimal. But the cumulative environmental effect on flora and fauna is too great a risk for me to participate in. I also won't use DEET because of its negative respiratory effects and low effectiveness for preventing bites (I am *that person* in a group: the one all the bugs find most appealing).

Topical antihistamines work to handle the bites well enough to avoid scratching to the point of infection. I had forgotten my benadryl stick at home (thinking I'd not need it because of my injections), but when I reached a town with a pharmacy, I bought a tube of antihistamine gel. The antihistamine gels are not endocrine disruptors and are not toxic in the environment.

When I am at home in central Ontario and its bug season, I do *indoor work*: painting, drywall, plumbing... whatever needs doing. If I want to go for a hike, I wear netted over-clothing. I will not reduce my personal risk at the risk of the larger cumulative environmental effects.

Anti-malarial drugs present some individual risks, but fewer than actual malarial disease, and won't destroy bird life. It's why I don't think we should be returning to DDT to handle mosquitos. I'll stick with my non-toxic monthly injections to do my part.

I grew up with "bug fog canisters" that my parents would use to fog the interior of the cottage every week-end on arrival in spring. I'm sure my own body (and theirs) suffered, but I had no choice in the matter; they were so terrified of disease-bearing mosquitos (decades before we had "West Nile" in Ontario) that they participated in the pollution of our world (along with the millions of others whose behaviours necessitated the arrival of the environmental warning, "Silent Spring").

Sum point: we have less harmful ways to handle the risk to individuals of bed bugs (or ticks, mosquitos, black flies, etc) than to use environmental toxins. Also, anyone who sprays permethrin into the shared air of an albergue dorm is a tool.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#22
Let me preface this with the observation that I am one of the wildly allergic and unfortunate ones. In allergy testing, the only thing I'm *not* allergic to is rabbit fur. Cats, dogs, grass, pollen in general, mould, cold water, trees.... you name it. I'm also an asthmatic who has had chronic intermittent hives since age 14. The asthma in cold weather and the hives became so bad in 2014 that I went on a monthly injection drug -- omalizumab -- to control my immune system. The drug is a hybrid protein that binds to IGe to stop the anti-histamine reaction and the inflammation associated with the allergic attack on one's own body. It's an extremely effective treatment. It prevents me from swelling to the size of a plum at the site of black-fly bites, the size of a cherry at mosquito bites. I have not had hives in 4 years; my VO2-max readings are now "excellent/athletic".

But on this most recent camino, I was bitten on 2 separate nights by bed bugs. And the reaction broke through my drug treatment. I had welts the size of 2-euro coins in some places, and deep red chomp marks in others. My fingers puffed up 2 sizes and I had to remove my rings for several days.

And I won't use permethrin.

For one thing, the jerk who was spraying his willy-nilly in the Irago albergue at Foncébadon caused me an asthma attack.

But more than that I won't use permethrin because of its cumulative *environmental* damage. I am well aware that the risk to humans of individual doses on fabrics is minimal. But the cumulative environmental effect on flora and fauna is too great a risk for me to participate in. I also won't use DEET because of its negative respiratory effects and low effectiveness for preventing bites (I am *that person* in a group: the one all the bugs find most appealing).

Topical antihistamines work to handle the bites well enough to avoid scratching to the point of infection. I had forgotten my benadryl stick at home (thinking I'd not need it because of my injections), but when I reached a town with a pharmacy, I bought a tube of antihistamine gel. The antihistamine gels are not endocrine disruptors and are not toxic in the environment.

When I am at home in central Ontario and its bug season, I do *indoor work*: painting, drywall, plumbing... whatever needs doing. If I want to go for a hike, I wear netted over-clothing. I will not reduce my personal risk at the risk of the larger cumulative environmental effects.

Anti-malarial drugs present some individual risks, but fewer than actual malarial disease, and won't destroy bird life. It's why I don't think we should be returning to DDT to handle mosquitos. I'll stick with my non-toxic monthly injections to do my part.

I grew up with "bug fog canisters" that my parents would use to fog the interior of the cottage every week-end on arrival in spring. I'm sure my own body (and theirs) suffered, but I had no choice in the matter; they were so terrified of disease-bearing mosquitos (decades before we had "West Nile" in Ontario) that they participated in the pollution of our world (along with the millions of others whose behaviours necessitated the arrival of the environmental warning, "Silent Spring").

Sum point: we have less harmful ways to handle the risk to individuals of bed bugs (or ticks, mosquitos, black flies, etc) than to use environmental toxins. Also, anyone who sprays permethrin into the shared air of an albergue dorm is a tool.
Hi Morgan,

First time I got bitten badly in September! I got so badly bitten it took three weeks for my arms to return to normal size. Used a cortisone creme recommended by the pharmacy in Burgos....Wound up needing steroids! Each option has its negatives. In the end I will attempt prevention rather than the downsides to intervention. But I am bringing cortisone creme from home this time as well and antihistimine tablets that I can tolerate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese June 2019
#23
Hi all.

I have only just started to consider Permethrin. In the UK it seems as though products such as 'Lifesystems EX4 Anti Mosquito Clothing Spray' can be purchased quite easily but the product info seems to indicate that it is only good for two weeks which would not suit a longer camino.

I also understand that it simply washes out - so I am wondering what happens when it rains and your treated backpack get soaking wet?

Does anyone know of a better product in the UK?

David.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#24
Hi Morgan,

First time I got bitten badly in September! I got so badly bitten it took three weeks for my arms to return to normal size. Used a cortisone creme recommended by the pharmacy in Burgos....Wound up needing steroids! Each option has its negatives. In the end I will attempt prevention rather than the downsides to intervention. But I am bringing cortisone creme from home this time as well and antihistimine tablets that I can tolerate.
Hi Marbe;

I'm surprised the recommended cortisone... topical cortisone (which is a steroid) is damaging to the skin and can make it prone to infection, etc. Avoiding ingested steroid treatment (like salbutamol) is why I take omalizumab -- the steroids are damaging to the liver and other organs over the long-term. Anti-histamine drugs -- I like the topical application because it does not make me sleepy --used only during the intense reaction seem to be most effective.

I think prevention -- in the form of silk liners and frequent hot-water washing of *all* pack contents is great. I wish that every albergue would invest in a steamer and diatomaceous earth. But more than that, I wish that pilgrims would *wash* enough -- with *hot* water. I saw some personal hygiene on both caminos that was stomach-turning. Cold-water hand-washing won't handle bedbugs.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#25
Be especially careful with permethrin around cats, which are particularly sensitive. Dogs are not especially sensitive to permethrin. Some flea collars for dogs contain permethrin, which should not be used on cats.

-Paul
Yes, I use a permethrin spray on my dog. Since I can’t buy it in Canada or Slovakia (not approved for personal human use in either country), I sprayed my sleeping bag & pack with the dog spray and aired well. Since I walk in colder seasons I’m sure that’s why haven’t seen any bedbugs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#26
I think prevention -- in the form os silk liners and frequent hot-water washing of *all* pack contents is great..
Silk liners are useless.
Bedbugs love silk liners!
They're so soft on their little feeters!
They make such a nice soft path across the body.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#27
I've just returned from walking from Le Puy to Conques, during which I encountered bedbugs. There were loads in the room where we had spent the night. We had a session with the washing machine and tumble drier, but I just did not want to coat my rucksack with the chemical spray I had bought that promised to kill the critters. The warnings were just too scary.

So now I am back home and I need to decontaminate my rucksack. The manufacturers say to put it in a freezer for 4 or 5 days, but my freezer is too small as well as being full. Putting it dry in a tumble dryer at high temps might distort the plastic stiffening backboard which I can't remove so I am loathe to try that. Any suggestions???
 
#28
I've just returned from walking from Le Puy to Conques, during which I encountered bedbugs. There were loads in the room where we had spent the night. We had a session with the washing machine and tumble drier, but I just did not want to coat my rucksack with the chemical spray I had bought that promised to kill the critters. The warnings were just too scary.

So now I am back home and I need to decontaminate my rucksack. The manufacturers say to put it in a freezer for 4 or 5 days, but my freezer is too small as well as being full. Putting it dry in a tumble dryer at high temps might distort the plastic stiffening backboard which I can't remove so I am loathe to try that. Any suggestions???
Although I have never had to treat myself nor my clothes, when I return home I always put my backpack in a black garbage bag in the sun for several days. The garbage bag idea I have come across on many threads. Good luck!
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
#29
Hi all.

I have only just started to consider Permethrin. In the UK it seems as though products such as 'Lifesystems EX4 Anti Mosquito Clothing Spray' can be purchased quite easily but the product info seems to indicate that it is only good for two weeks which would not suit a longer camino.

I also understand that it simply washes out - so I am wondering what happens when it rains and your treated backpack get soaking wet?

Does anyone know of a better product in the UK?

David.
Anglers and the Special Forces sweat by Skin so Soft a product by Avon Cosmetics

I’ve used it to mitigate swarms of midge and mosquitoes effectively

Has anyone info about whether it deters our bed bug friends

It’s in my pack ready for my Camino anyway and I’ll take my chances

Honestly I’m not gonna get her up about bed bugs
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#30
Although I have never had to treat myself nor my clothes, when I return home I always put my backpack in a black garbage bag in the sun for several days. The garbage bag idea I have come across on many threads. Good luck!
Although it is actually sunny here in the UK at the moment, there is also a cold breeze as well and I don't think that the sun is sufficiently strong to get the bag hot enough. Maybe tomorrow, if it is sunny again as forecast, I will put it in a black bag in the car in the sun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Frances 2016
#31
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231554/ (Source of this info)

6 Neurotoxicity of Permethrin
P ermethrin is neurotoxic at high doses. It produces a variety of clinical neurotoxic effects in animals. Some of those effects are tremors, salivation, paresthesia, splayed gait, depressed reflexes, and tiptoe gait; reversible axonal injury occurs at high doses (Brammer, 1989; Robinson, 1989a,b). These symptoms appear to be universal for pyrethroids.
The primary action of pyrethroids on the peripheral nervous system is to induce pronounced repetitive activity—i.e., continuous rather than single nerve impulses (van den Bercken, 1977; van den Bercken et al., 1979). Pyrethroids interact with a fraction of the voltage-dependent sodium channels in excitable membranes that produce a prolongation of the inward sodium current during excitation in which the channels remain open much longer than normal (see review by Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990). Membrane depolarization might also occur, resulting in enhanced neurotransmitter release and eventually blockage of excitation. Although postsynaptic neurotransmitter responses can be suppressed by pyrethroids, doses must be higher than those that produce effects on sodium channels. Pyrethroids also increase concentrations of β-glucuronidase and β-galactosidase, which are thought to be associated with repair process, in peripheral nerves (Aldridge, 1990).
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HUMAN DATA
A paucity of data are available on the neurotoxic effects of pyrethroids in humans—especially for permethrin. However, in a review of 573 cases of acute pyrethroid poisonings of humans in China (229 occupational and 344 accidental; cases mainly involved deltamethrin (325), fenvalerate (196), and cypermethrin (45)), the initial symptoms from occupational exposures were burning, itching, or tingling sensation (subjective irritation) of the face or dizziness that usually developed after 4-6 hr of exposure (He et al., 1989). Systemic symptoms that occurred in the most serious cases were mainly digestive, including epigastric pain, nausea, and vomiting. Vijverberg and van den Bercken (1990) in their review of pyrethroid insecticides report that the systemic symptoms in humans are burning, itching, or tingling sensation of the face, epigastric pain, anoxemia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, fatigue, convulsions, and coma.
Nerve conduction studies and interviews of 23 laboratory technicians involved with several pyrethroids in field trials, formulation, or other laboratory work showed no evidence of nerve impairment associated with exposure to permethrin (Le Quesne et al., 1980). Symptoms of facial paresthesia and occasional pruritic rashes were reported among those workers, but symptoms were not clearly related to permethrin.
Staff involved with bagging, mixing, or spraying a 5% preparation of permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) in Nigeria were evaluated with a questionnaire and urinalysis (Rishikesh et al., 1978). Regardless of the protective equipment worn by spraymen, only 2 mg of permethrin was absorbed after exposure to 6 kg of permethrin, which was excreted in 24 hr.
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ANIMAL DATA
Neurotoxic Effects
Rats
Peripheral nerve damage has been reported to occur in laboratory animals at near lethal doses of pyrethroids (Aldridge, 1990; Vijverberg and van den Bercken, 1990).
In an acute dermal toxicity study, Robinson (1989a) exposed rats to permethrin at 2 g/kg and observed neurotoxic signs such as tip-toe gait, upward curvature of the spine, and urinary incontinence in some of the exposed animals. Based on these results, Robinson (1989a) estimated the LOAEL to be 2 g/kg and also estimated the NOAEL to be 200 mg/kg by using an uncertainty factor of 10 to the LOAEL.
Hend and Butterworth (1977) fed permethrin to male and female Charles River rats (six of each sex per group) in diet at concentrations of 0 or 6,000 mg/kg for up to 14 days. Severe clinical signs of poisoning were seen in all the permethrin-treated rats. Only one permethrin-treated male survived the 14-day trial. Histological examination showed fragmented and swollen sciatic nerve axons and myelin degeneration in four of five permethrin-treated animals.
Dayan (1980) fed permethrin (cis/trans ratio, 25:75) (94.5% pure) to groups of 10 male and 10 female Sprague-Dawley rats at 4,000, 6,000, or 9,000 mg/kg for 21 days. All animals developed severe trembling and lost weight. Some rats of each sex in the 9,000-mg/kg group died. Histopathological examination of brain, spinal cord, trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia, proximal and distal root trunks, and terminal motor and sensory nerves showed no consistent abnormalities.
Groups of 10 Wistar rats that were administered permethrin in their diet at concentrations of 0, 2,500, 3,000, 3,750, 4,500, 5,000, or 7,500 ppm (1, 125, 150, 187.5, 225, 250, or 375 mg/kg per day) for 14 days developed peripheral nerve toxicities (Glaister et al., 1977). Deaths occurred among the animals administered 5,000 or 7,500 ppm, and minor histological and ultrastructural changes occurred in the sciatic nerves of the animals in the 5,000-ppm group. The lesions included swelling and increased vesiculation of unmyelinated nerves, hypertrophy of Schwann's cells, contraction of axoplasm and formulation of myelin whorls in residual spaces, and fragmentation of myelinated axons. Similarly, swelling, nodal demyelination, and disintegration of the sciatic nerves were observed in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 8 days (Okuno et al., 1976b). In another study (James et al., 1977), vacuolation of myelinated nerve fibers occurred in rats fed permethrin at 6,000 ppm (300 mg/kg per day) for 18 days.
Dyck et al. (1984) conducted a detailed morphological evaluation of the nervous system of rats in two chronic feeding studies of permethrin. In the first study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg for 2 years, and five male and five female animals (randomly selected) from each dose group were examined. In the second study, Long-Evans rats were fed diets containing permethrin at concentrations of 0, 20, or 100 mg/kg for three successive generations, and five male and five female rats from each group were randomly selected from the third-generation parental animals. Examination of central and peripheral nerves, teased myelinated fibers of distal sural and tibial nerves, and the maxillary division of the fifth cranial nerve did not show any changes attributable to the feeding of the permethrin (Dyck et al., 1984).
Hens
Millner and Butterworth (1977) administered permethrin orally (cis/trans ratio, 50:50) as a 40% wt/vol solution in dimethylsulfoxide to hens at daily doses of 1 g/kg of body weight for 5 days. After 3 weeks, the dosing regimen was repeated, and the hens were maintained for an additional 3 weeks before being killed. No signs of neurological disturbance were seen, and there was no mortality. All hens treated with tri- ortho -cresyl phosphate (TOCP) (positive control chemical) showed clinical and histopathological evidence of neurotoxicity; none of the hens treated with permethrin showed signs of neurotoxicity. Histological examination of nerve tissues revealed no abnormalities. Permethrin was considered to have no delayed neurotoxic potential such as that seen with certain organophosphates (Millner and Butterworth, 1977).
Ross and Prentice (1977) orally administered permethrin to 15 hens at 9 g/kg of body weight and again 21 days later. After an additional 21 days, the hens were killed. All positive control animals (given TOCP at 500 mg/kg) manifested signs of delayed neurotoxicity ranging from slight muscular incoordination to paralysis. No signs of ataxia were seen in any of the hens in the permethrin-treated or negative control animals. Histopathological examination of the nervous tissues of permethrin-treated animals showed none of the degenerative changes observed in the tissues of the animals from positive control groups.
Neurobehavioral Effects
Pyrethroids can affect behavior patterns. Mice exposed to Ambush (25.6% permethrin) at 0.5, 5.0, or 50 mg/kg orally or 30 or 300 mg/kg dermally displayed an increase in activity (Digiscan optimal animal activity monitor) at the 50- and 300-mg/kg oral and dermal doses, respectively (Mitchel et al., 1988). Additional behavioral studies are necessary to further evaluate the behavioral effects of permethrin.
Sherman (1979) studied the behavior of immature male Sprague-Dawley rats that were habituated to inhalation of permethrin aerosols. Habituation of rats was achieved by exposing three groups of rats (five per group) to aerosols of permethrin at 500 mg/m3 for 21 days and then again at 1,000 mg/m3 for an additional 21 days. Three other groups of rats (five per group) served as controls; they were similarly treated but were not exposed to permethrin. At the end of this conditioning period, all rats, including the control animals, were exposed to a permethrin aerosol at 5,000 mg/m3for 4 hr. At the end of the habituation period, there were no differences in retention of avoidance training or the ability to learn the same task between control animals and permethrin-exposed groups. However, after exposure to permethrin at 5,000 mg/m3, retention capacity was significantly lower among nonhabituated control rats than among habituated rats. The nonhabituated control rats also showed decreases in coordination and balance and a higher incidence of conflict behavior and tremors. The performance of the rats in the habituated groups was not changed (Sherman, 1979).
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CONCLUSIONS
Permethrin is neurotoxic in animals at high doses. The neurotoxic symptoms of pyrethroid toxicity in humans appear to mimic those observed in animals. The estimated NOEL for neurotoxicity in rats by dermal route is 200 mg/kg (Robinson, 1989a). In the committee's judgment, 125 mg/kg is the LOAEL for permethrin from oral exposure in rats (Glaister et al., 1977; ICI, 1984).
Based on a NOAEL of 200 mg/kg per day from the available neuro toxicity data, the margin of safety (MOS) associated with daily human exposure to permethrin from permethrin-treated BDUs at a level of 6.8 × 10 −5 mg/kg per day is approximately 3 million.
Excellent article. Thank you!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#32
I've just returned from walking from Le Puy to Conques, during which I encountered bedbugs. There were loads in the room where we had spent the night. We had a session with the washing machine and tumble drier, but I just did not want to coat my rucksack with the chemical spray I had bought that promised to kill the critters. The warnings were just too scary.

So now I am back home and I need to decontaminate my rucksack. The manufacturers say to put it in a freezer for 4 or 5 days, but my freezer is too small as well as being full. Putting it dry in a tumble dryer at high temps might distort the plastic stiffening backboard which I can't remove so I am loathe to try that. Any suggestions???
Go to your local industrial laundromat. Use the hottest water setting. Air dry it. Ask to borrow some space in a friend's chest freezer for a few days.

And all in all, remember that throwing your pack away and buying a new one is far cheaper and more effective than having to call in an exterminator and move out of your home for several days.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#34
Silk liners are useless.
Bedbugs love silk liners!
They're so soft on their little feeters!
They make such a nice soft path across the body.
I don't care if they walk across the liner. The weave in silk is too tight for them to crawl *through*. It's *prevention* in the sense that it covers me head to toe, keeps the pillow surface away from my skin, and I can put my arms inside the liner so that I'm all wrapped up in it.

I was bitten in two locations when it was so hot that I decided to sleep merely in my PJs, and my hands and arms and waist-band area were bitten.

I'm just not going to prioritize my rather significant health problems over cumulative environmental ones from the use of a neurotoxin. I will use a known-to-be-safe treatment for any bites I do get, and I will hot-water wash and dry my things all the way across any Camino. Honestly, sharing the cost of the hot water wash and dry is extremely cost-effective. And when I get home I will always both hot water wash and deep freeze my back and boots.

The forum is so generally concerned with "leave no trace" but seems generally comfortable polluting our global water supply with a known euro-toxin. It's deeply inconsistent and seems to suggest that personal discomfort with what is visible trumps all else.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#36
Go to your local industrial laundromat. Use the hottest water setting. Air dry it. Ask to borrow some space in a friend's chest freezer for a few days.

And all in all, remember that throwing your pack away and buying a new one is far cheaper and more effective than having to call in an exterminator and move out of your home for several days.
A local exterminator charges £160 to do a 2 bed house, which is not a lot more than a new pack would cost - but I have no idea as to how effective they would be for that price!
I threw my pack away at the end of the CF 4 years ago because I did not trust it to be bug free, and also, the back stiffener had warped badly in the hot dryer, being plastic. I'm contacting friends about freezer space, but meanwhile it is going in a thick black well sealed bag in the sun tomorrow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
October 2018
#37
While I have used insect spray repellents on my clothes and body for walks in the woods and other outdoor activities I would not want to expose myself to it every night for several hours against my bare skin and do that for over a month straight. The times I have sprayed it on me I did so simply because there was no way I could have gone in the woods without doing so. Biting insects were that numerous.
I have never found the need for it or any insect repellents while on the Camino, multiple times. I see no need to change that policy in the future. I have never seen or been bitten by a bedbug.
When you walk the Camino more than likely you will not, will not encounter a bedbug. The overwhelming majority of pilgrims do not. Keep that in mind before deciding to expose your body to toxins.
I have been on the Camino for 10 days and have found bed bugs in my lodgings 3 times so far and am covered in bites as is my walking partner. I beg to differ!
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#38
A student reported a bedbug infestation in the halls of residence at my university. According to the campus newspaper, the student was required to evacuate his room for 48 hours while the room was stripped and his belongings frozen. Has anyone tried freezing affected items? Admittedly, this is probably not viable on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#39
Hi Marbe;

I'm surprised the recommended cortisone... topical cortisone (which is a steroid) is damaging to the skin and can make it prone to infection, etc. Avoiding ingested steroid treatment (like salbutamol) is why I take omalizumab -- the steroids are damaging to the liver and other organs over the long-term. Anti-histamine drugs -- I like the topical application because it does not make me sleepy --used only during the intense reaction seem to be most effective.

I think prevention -- in the form of silk liners and frequent hot-water washing of *all* pack contents is great. I wish that every albergue would invest in a steamer and diatomaceous earth. But more than that, I wish that pilgrims would *wash* enough -- with *hot* water. I saw some personal hygiene on both caminos that was stomach-turning. Cold-water hand-washing won't handle bedbugs.
Hi Morgan,
So sorry to hear of your skin problems and I'm sure you are a lot more knowledgeable than myself re treatments

Short term use of hydrocortisone cream though ....not longer than 7 days is recommended and it usually works long before this ...and small amount only required ...therefore skin damage would be avoided

I always take it on a Camino walk

Only had to use it once though for a period of 3 days and definitely preferable to itching and scratching

Also there are non drowsy anti histamine tablets now available in every pharmacy if required
Best wishes
Annette
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#40
A local exterminator charges £160 to do a 2 bed house, which is not a lot more than a new pack would cost - but I have no idea as to how effective they would be for that price!
I threw my pack away at the end of the CF 4 years ago because I did not trust it to be bug free, and also, the back stiffener had warped badly in the hot dryer, being plastic. I'm contacting friends about freezer space, but meanwhile it is going in a thick black well sealed bag in the sun tomorrow.
Don't forget the cost of moving somewhere else while the extermination happens. One generally does not want to be there for 48-72 hours. £160 comes to almost $300 Canadian dollars, and a new Osprey pack (Kyte 36) if I had to get one would be $189-$220 depending on the shop. And I'd not have to move out of my house for 2-3 days.

One can make their own decisions based on local economies, for sure... but bag replacement seems less hassle, less costly, and less anxiety-causing in general.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#41
Hi Morgan,
So sorry to hear of your skin problems and I'm sure you are a lot more knowledgeable than myself re treatments

Short term use of hydrocortisone cream though ....not longer than 7 days is recommended and it usually works long before this ...and small amount only required ...therefore skin damage would be avoided

I always take it on a Camino walk

Only had to use it once though for a period of 3 days and definitely preferable to itching and scratching

Also there are non drowsy anti histamine tablets now available in every pharmacy if required
Best wishes
Annette
Ah... I can't take the non-drowsy ones -- elevates my resting heart rate to over 120 bpm. :(

I'm still surprised about the cortisone cream as so many people will struggle for weeks with the bites.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#42
While I have used insect spray repellents on my clothes and body for walks in the woods and other outdoor activities I would not want to expose myself to it every night for several hours against my bare skin and do that for over a month straight. The times I have sprayed it on me I did so simply because there was no way I could have gone in the woods without doing so. Biting insects were that numerous.
I have never found the need for it or any insect repellents while on the Camino, multiple times. I see no need to change that policy in the future. I have never seen or been bitten by a bedbug.
When you walk the Camino more than likely you will not, will not encounter a bedbug. The overwhelming majority of pilgrims do not. Keep that in mind before deciding to expose your body to toxins.
RJM,you must be one of the lucky ones never to have been bitten
Some people are more susceptible than others to bed bug bites

A bed bug could see my husband a mile off and go for him

My blood isn't as sweet thank God!!

However I have seen so many people ...some with a few bites and a few covered with bites
I can't imagine the suffering of the itching and scratching that they have to endure....and some become infected too

Also it's difficult to enjoy a Camino in this situation

And remember...5star hotel or albergue...they don't discriminate!!!!

So count yourself lucky

At my age.....I'll opt for the toxins ....without spraying others of course
Best wishes
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#44
Those of us with purchasing power have the freedom to buy whatever is legally on sale, make it serve our purposes and then discard it somehow or flush it away. But where does it go, especially when it fails to provide a visual reminder, like the hundreds of square miles of plastic rubbish in the Pacific? Permethrin is a poison and remains a poison after it has been used, and washed off... into channels that we all share and which feed all life, albeit some of it is so small and remote that we barely feel a connection to it. But we are connected, all of us to everything. Using poisons like permethrin is more than just a personal choice, it's an environmental and a social one too.
I agree that we all have to do our part. I don't eat meat and save animals and the environment but I won't sacrifice my own health to the general well being. Just a selfish streak :) Lyme disease is horrendous, bedbugs expensive and then you are really doing having to go all in on the poison and annihilation. As has been said by me and others, it's a personal choice and we all must know we have to live with the consequences - personal, environmental, yada yada.
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
#45
I’m starting taking garlic cloves with every meal from now, in prep for my Camino - I feel it deters biting insects

I’ll be applying skin so soft (which has no noxious chemicals in it but works by providing a slick layer on exposed skin biting insects don’t like it an move in to another potential host/meal

If I get bitten so be it - I don’t wish to be writing environmental damage cheques fir my grandchildren
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#46
... As has been said by me and others, it's a personal choice and we all must know we have to live with the consequences - personal, environmental, yada yada.
Except that we don’t live with the consequences of environmental damage; the cost is deferred onto the shoulders of those who have no say: children, future generations, animals, watershed ecosystems....

Everything we do leaves a trace. Hot water use leaves an environmental impact, but on balance, is protective against bed bug transport and reproduction while avoiding contributing to massive pharmacological pollution of the planet.

Permethrin is banned in Canada and one cannot purchase clothing so treated in Canada. I choose to take that seriously as an environmental and health policy decision that has measured the risk to health of persons and of environments and found the merits of this particular toxin to be lacking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#47
The key phrase here is "in large doses."
Chocolate will kill you in large doses, as will cigarettes, alcohol, etc., etc.

Using it for a few weeks on the OUTSIDE of a sleeping bag that doesn't touch your skin is mostly likely something your body can handle.
Show me articles that talk about humans being affected by low dose usage and I'll listen.
Yes, and WATER can kill you in large doses. Eating a bushel of apple seeds in one setting can kill you. Practical information is always more useful.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#48
Yes, and WATER can kill you in large doses. Eating a bushel of apple seeds in one setting can kill you. Practical information is always more useful.
The concern, at least from Arturo's initial post, and many follow-ups is *not* that individuals are exposing themselves to massive doses; rather, it is the cumulative massive exposure to the ecosystem that is concerning. That is why individual consumer use of permethrin is banned in Canada.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
#49
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticides based on natural pyrethrum found in Chrysanthemums flowers.

-Paul
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#50
Permethrin is a synthetic insecticides based on natural pyrethrum found in Chrysanthemums flowers.

-Paul
And digoxin, a wildly helpful medication, is derived from the digitalis plant in the Foxglove family. Both the drug and the plant can be wildly toxic. That something is derived of a plant does not make it "safe" or "natural" as your post would imply.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
#51
We are organic beings--not synthetic ones. We are also creative beings and can, therefore, come up with an effective alternative to the highly toxic permethrin. The fact that it is banned in Canada is statement enough.

I washed my silk liner every day in hot hot hot water. I rubbed lavender and citrus oil on my skin. I checked the bed and mattress. I opted for plastic mattresses rather than cloth. I prayed. No guarantees, but this was the risk I took walking the Camino. I had some spider bites...I was fortunate no bed bugs this time.

Also, not everyone reacts adversely to bed bugs. But at some stage in their lives, people will react to an overload of toxic chemical substances.

We have to be more conscious and not keep creating chemical cocktails that damage, pollute and harm the natural world. Earth. Our home. The Camino is the landscape; terra, the earth.

I'm not able to stay at municpal albergues as there is some spray that is used that gives me asthma. It may be effective against bugs, but long-term chemical use pollutes the environment and toxifies our human system (with later manifestations of cancer type diseases due to a cumulative effect).

I was in an albergue where some guy was spraying his bag with some toxic chemicals. Had to open all windows. I wasn't the only one coughing. It is ignorance, mostly. We have become so conditioned to believe that the chemical/synthetic way of living is "right"...we wonder why people develop neurological diseases and physical maladies...
 
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
#52
For those fascinated by all things permethrin, read the Technical Fact Sheet. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/Permtech.html

Unlike polluting plastics with nearly an infinite half life (400 days) , permethrin has a soil half-life of about 40 days and a water half of 19-27 days. By way of reference, Iodine131, a very nasty byproduct at both Chernobyl and Fukushima, has a half-life of 8 days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
#54
I was in an albergue where some guy was spraying his bag with some toxic chemicals. Had to open all windows. I wasn't the only one coughing. It is ignorance, mostly.
Albergues should prohibit spray unless they issue protective masks to those applying or around the aerosol. Three most effective and dangerous ways to get poison into the human body are ingestion, adsorption thru the skin, and aerosols. Even spray deodorants can send some of us into huge coughing fits--and that is just from a neutral carrier and the perfumes!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#55
That is why individual consumer use of permethrin is banned in Canada
People keep saying this, but I don't think it is true, as I have bought products containing permethrin at Canadian Tire! (Unless I misread the label.) There may be limits on concentration, etc.

Treated clothing is subject to truth-in-advertising, so claims about anti-insect effectiveness must be supported by evidence. Otherwise they cannot be marketed as such.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#56
People keep saying this, but I don't think it is true, as I have bought products containing permethrin at Canadian Tire! (Unless I misread the label.) There may be limits on concentration, etc.

Treated clothing is subject to truth-in-advertising, so claims about anti-insect effectiveness must be supported by evidence. Otherwise they cannot be marketed as such.
At this time, one cannot purchase pre-treated clothing in Canada. It may or may not become available. There are some products that one can buy for use with some animals, and the concentrations are very low.

It is banned as a spray because humans are not reliably cautious; they spray it on themselves, on their clothes, saturate cloth with it, congest interior air with it...

If you live in a farm area it is possible to purchase approved low doses from agricultural supply stores.

However, the sprays and such that people use for Camino can only enter Canada illegally. Colleagues who run field schools in tropical regions often make a stop in the US on the way to purchase permethrin because it's not approved in Canada for direct use in the concentrations available in the US.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#57
I don't care if they walk across the liner. The weave in silk is too tight for them to crawl *through*. It's *prevention* in the sense that it covers me head to toe, keeps the pillow surface away from my skin, and I can put my arms inside the liner so that I'm all wrapped up in it.

I was bitten in two locations when it was so hot that I decided to sleep merely in my PJs, and my hands and arms and waist-band area were bitten.

I'm just not going to prioritize my rather significant health problems over cumulative environmental ones from the use of a neurotoxin. I will use a known-to-be-safe treatment for any bites I do get, and I will hot-water wash and dry my things all the way across any Camino. Honestly, sharing the cost of the hot water wash and dry is extremely cost-effective. And when I get home I will always both hot water wash and deep freeze my back and boots.

The forum is so generally concerned with "leave no trace" but seems generally comfortable polluting our global water supply with a known euro-toxin. It's deeply inconsistent and seems to suggest that personal discomfort with what is visible trumps all else.
::shrug:::
They also can't crawl "though" sheets.
My point is you cannot depend on a silk liner to protect you from bedbugs.
Whether or not you use permethrin is your choice, of course.
Just know that silk liners are as useless as any other liner when it comes to bedbugs.
They'll crawl through the neck opening and get you if they're there.
But if it makes you feel better, go for it :)
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#58
I appreciate when people are informed about a topic and respectful of others that make a conclusion that conflicts with their own. Tolerance is only engaged when we accept the actions of others that are in direct conflict with our personal standards. Tolerance does not exist if we only accept those that think and act like similar to ourselves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#59
And digoxin, a wildly helpful medication, is derived from the digitalis plant in the Foxglove family. Both the drug and the plant can be wildly toxic. That something is derived of a plant does not make it "safe" or "natural" as your post would imply.
I'll be glad to take those unopened cans of Sawyer off everyone's hands :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#60
At this time, one cannot purchase pre-treated clothing in Canada
True. Likely because its effectiveness as a repellant has not be proved.
It is banned as a spray
Not true. Sprays containing permethrin are available for use as an insecticide in and around your house. The allowed concentration is admitedly low.
However, the sprays and such that people use for Camino can only enter Canada illegally
I have bought mine at Canadian Tire and used it on the camino. Yes, it is an off-label use.

I have stopped using permethrin for various reasons but not because I can't get it legally in Canada.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (April 2019)
#61
many people get bitten, only some get a reaction, other's won't even notice.
The lack of a reaction is not indicative of the absence of bed bugs!
tomnorth kindly posted this in another thread, scroll down and have a look at the images of the test subjects - the technician has no reaction at all and 'fed' 1000's of bedbugs!
http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/bb-millerbasics.pdf
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#62
Anglers and the Special Forces sweat by Skin so Soft a product by Avon Cosmetics

I’ve used it to mitigate swarms of midge and mosquitoes effectively

Has anyone info about whether it deters our bed bug friends

It’s in my pack ready for my Camino anyway and I’ll take my chances

Honestly I’m not gonna get her up about bed bugs

Skin so soft....no...does not stop bed bugs from what I have read
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#64
I washed my silk liner every day in hot hot hot water. I rubbed lavender and citrus oil on my skin. I checked the bed and mattress. I opted for plastic mattresses rather than cloth. I prayed. No guarantees, but this was the risk I took walking the Camino. I had some spider bites...I was fortunate no bed bugs this time.

Also, not everyone reacts adversely to bed bugs. But at some stage in their lives, people will react to an overload of toxic chemical substances.

.
Well, unfortunately, your lavender and citrus oils are highly toxic to me, so even if they' worked, I couldn't use them.

And how do you know they were spider bites and not bedbug bites?
Just curious.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#65
True. Likely because its effectiveness as a repellant has not be proved.

Not true. Sprays containing permethrin are available for use as an insecticide in and around your house. The allowed concentration is admitedly low.

I have bought mine at Canadian Tire and used it on the camino. Yes, it is an off-label use.

I have stopped using permethrin for various reasons but not because I can't get it legally in Canada.
Not that kind of spray. The spray that people cart around on Camino and shoot around the rooms. I thought that was clear. I had made the mistake of thinking we were all clear that people were not bringing RAID! (or similar) in their packs -- which is not the 0.02% content in these other blended insecticides.

Use of permethrin as a spray for clothing or sleeping environments is currently "under review" by Health Canada but is not currently permitted. "Off label" means "going around the rules" by obtaining a product meant for one purpose and using it for another. But off label use is subject to any number of judicial bodies (professional through criminal). Until October 17th, pot is not legal in Canada, but we all know that people have been buying and using it for decades; that does not mean it is "safe" (just as alcohol is not "safe").

When the effectiveness of a toxic material has not been proven useful, the risks of its use are considered to outweigh potential benefits.

My stance is that my considerable allergic reaction to insect bites (bed bugs and black flies being the worst) does not trump the right of the collective to a clean environment. There are effective post-bite treatments to prevent infection (which is secondary to scratching, not a feature of the bite itself), and bed bugs do not carry diseases. They are a disgusting annoyance that can cause considerable discomfort (and an infestation can be worse -- causing inability to sleep or concentrate). The use of stronger chemical treatments that have known toxic risks is acceptable when the benefit outweighs the risk. That is why our military are permitted permethrin treated kits; they are a small population entering a high-risk for infestation situation, and their work demands that they not be sleepless from bites, and that they be protected from diseases born by *other* insects.

Here are better (by which I mean: less environmentally compromising) ways to prevent bed bugs for camino civilians:

Provide lockers to keep backs separate from each other and from dorms.

Carry a dry-sack inside your pack and keep nightwear and PJS and your sleep sack in it (to carry separately from the pack in the evening)

Albergues can use diatomaceous earth, refreshed regularly

Wash your clothes and pack in hot water *daily* (and pack less)

Stop asking albergues to keep extra blankets around; bring warm PJ's if you need them.

Although they can be pretty and "homey" touches, I recommend that albergues avoid having linens and pillow-cases on beds.

Regular steam treating of dorms rather than just hot water mopping (it uses far less water than mopping too)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#66
Provide lockers to keep backs separate from each other and from dorms.
In my ideal albergue there are locker rooms attached to the bathrooms, well away from the sleeping areas. I've stayed in albergues that have lockers beside the beds, which is somewhat helpful, but noisy in the mornings when pilgrims are packing up to leave. It's very difficult to open and close a metal locker without making some noise!

One albergue that I stayed in on the Norte had lockers in a separate room, and the hospitaleras gave everyone a small plastic basket for their things that they needed to take into the dorm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#67
Not that kind of spray. The spray that people cart around on Camino and shoot around the rooms. I thought that was clear. I had made the mistake of thinking we were all clear that people were not bringing RAID! (or similar) in their packs -- which is not the 0.02% content in these other blended insecticides.
I am not disagreeing with any of your thinking about the risks and benefits and uses of these chemicals. I was just trying to clarify the oft-repeated but inaccurate generality that permethrin is not legal/available in Canada. I suspect that the people on this thread are talking about a variety of products and uses, which results in some confusion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First Part likely Oct. 2018 (StJ to Burgos or Boadillo); 2nd Part Sept. 2019 after retirement.
#69
So I sprayed Permethrin on the outside of my rucksack, my entire fanny pack, and on the underside of my sleeping liner. I'll keep everything in zip lock bags, and my backpack and fanny pack in a garbage bag every night. Should I still need to have a Permethrin spray with me for the trail itself? Does one spray the inside of the garbage bag where the stuff is overnight?
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#70
So I sprayed Permethrin on the outside of my rucksack, my entire fanny pack, and on the underside of my sleeping liner. I'll keep everything in zip lock bags, and my backpack and fanny pack in a garbage bag every night. Should I still need to have a Permethrin spray with me for the trail itself? Does one spray the inside of the garbage bag where the stuff is overnight?
You shouldn't be spraying permethrin while you're in an albergue!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#72
I promise you, albergues and hostels and hotels are spraying the hell out of those beds and rooms with chemicals just as bad or worse than permethrin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Central route (with skips, June 2018)
#76
I've just returned from walking from Le Puy to Conques, during which I encountered bedbugs. There were loads in the room where we had spent the night. We had a session with the washing machine and tumble drier, but I just did not want to coat my rucksack with the chemical spray I had bought that promised to kill the critters. The warnings were just too scary.

So now I am back home and I need to decontaminate my rucksack. The manufacturers say to put it in a freezer for 4 or 5 days, but my freezer is too small as well as being full. Putting it dry in a tumble dryer at high temps might distort the plastic stiffening backboard which I can't remove so I am loathe to try that. Any suggestions???
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#77
"So now I am back home and I need to decontaminate my rucksack. The manufacturers say to put it in a freezer for 4 or 5 days, but my freezer is too small as well as being full. Putting it dry in a tumble dryer at high temps might distort the plastic stiffening backboard which I can't remove so I am loathe to try that. Any suggestions??"

I have ruined one back pack by tumble-drying it several times. (The plastic panel developed severe scoliosis.) Here is another suggestion that you could follow only at your own risk!!

Bedbugs die in 20-30 minutes of heat at 55 C or more. There is no magic or requirement for particular sources of heat. Thus, hot water for 20 minutes will do it, hot air from a clothes dryer, hot sun on a closed container, intensive hair drying (but hard to control the temperature and duration). What I have done, but what is never recommended because of the opportunity for stupid and nasty errors, is use my kitchen oven. The typical lowest setting in an oven is 200 F (93 C).

Place your pack into a shallow uncovered cardboard box/tray that fits in the oven such that the pack doesn't touch any metal. Heat your oven to 200C and turn it off. Then (and only then) put the box with pack into the oven. Wait 30 minutes. Out of curiosity, put a thermometer in to see what the end temperature is. If it is 50 or more, you should be good to go. If not, you might want to repeat. You could also experiment with the temperature and wait a bit after the oven has been turned off, until the temperature drops to, say, 150 before putting your pack into it.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#78
The cloth part of my backpack can be removed from the frame, so I took it off to wash and dry it. The problem was getting it back on! I ended up wetting it again, which allowed the fabric to stretch more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#79
The cloth part of my backpack can be removed from the frame, so I took it off to wash and dry it. The problem was getting it back on! I ended up wetting it again, which allowed the fabric to stretch more.
Yes I've had that problem - getting the panel back in. Good idea to wet it.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#80
My panel back is impossible to remove - apparently the pack is built around it.

The oven idea is a good one, but unfortunately my oven is not big enough.

A friend has come to my rescue and my pack is currently sitting in her chest freezer for a week. It was the method recommended by Lowe Alpine, so if it goes wrong and the back panel comes out brittle, then I can blame someone else!!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino France's
(2018) Camino Portuguese
#81
It has been 55 years since my toxicology class, but permethrin IS a poison--or it wouldn't work against bedbugs. ALWAYS apply using directions and cautions on the label.
The referenced article is about high doses and ingestion. Sawyer spray is 0.05% (5 grams per kg). LAOEL is "lowest-observed-adverse-effect level" and for rats that is 125mg/kg ORAL. So at 175kg body weight, you would have to drink 21gms pure permethrin or about 5 bottles of the 24 oz Sawyer size. So definitely do not drink the stuff.
With an abundance of caution, I wear rubber gloves and spray outside when getting ready for a Camino. Chemical absorption thru skin and lungs is thereby prevented.
I have watched bedbugs crawling on my treated sleep sheet and it seems to slow them down but not kill them. Treated gear is mostly effective in keeping the critters from hitching a ride down the trail (an act of kindness to fellow pilgrims and hospitaleros). If I had sensitivity to bites, I would treat my exposed skin with the more effective DEET.
The EPA has approved permethrin treated clothes. The USA (and most other nation's) military, uses for uniforms and bug nets. So pretty well tested and approved worldwide.
Yes, it is a dangerous poison, but not if you use as intended.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino France's
(2018) Camino Portuguese
#82
This is great to read after my first bed bug experience after 10 days Porto to Santiago Bilbao. I was returning home to NZ itching maybe Santiago pickup or Bilbao and collected permethrin before arriving and as I unpacked in outdoor shed in front of chest freezer I sprayed and put all into the freezer and left for 4 days. Meanwhile through those days I noticed a large number of dead cockroaches out of the books and crannies.
A bonus to an unpleasant experience.
Next year Lisbon to Porto. I loved Portuguese way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (Oct 2015)
#83
I worked in a hostel and have seen how spraying with permethrin works...
If the walls aren't dripping while spraying and if everything isn't covered, the bugs just scurry into any holes they can find. I've been told they hide in the installations.
The rooms were treated, the bugs come back, the rooms get treated again, the bugs come back. They got rid of the bugs after someone spent two hours on a single room and everything was completely sprayed.

No way treating your pack or sleeping bag can work days later.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#84
I worked in a hostel and have seen how spraying with permethrin works...
If the walls aren't dripping while spraying and if everything isn't covered, the bugs just scurry into any holes they can find. I've been told they hide in the installations.
The rooms were treated, the bugs come back, the rooms get treated again, the bugs come back. They got rid of the bugs after someone spent two hours on a single room and everything was completely sprayed.

No way treating your pack or sleeping bag can work days later.
From what I've read, permethrin isn't a repellant, but will kill bedbugs if they have prolonged contact with it. I spay my backpack, and all my cloth zipper bags in the hopes that if I get some hitchhikers that the permethrin will slowly kill them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (Oct 2015)
#86
From what I've read, permethrin isn't a repellant, but will kill bedbugs if they have prolonged contact with it. I spay my backpack, and all my cloth zipper bags in the hopes that if I get some hitchhikers that the permethrin will slowly kill them.
Maybe if they are there at the time of spraying. After, they just walk over it. People have been bitten 24 hours after the rooms were treated. The longest the worst room had without complaints was a week.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#87
I have to admit
that I treat my backpack and stuff with permethrin on every walk¡
So do I, my goodness what next in the alarmist category
 
#88
Those of us with purchasing power have the freedom to buy whatever is legally on sale, make it serve our purposes and then discard it somehow or flush it away. But where does it go, especially when it fails to provide a visual reminder, like the hundreds of square miles of plastic rubbish in the Pacific? Permethrin is a poison and remains a poison after it has been used, and washed off... into channels that we all share and which feed all life, albeit some of it is so small and remote that we barely feel a connection to it. But we are connected, all of us to everything. Using poisons like permethrin is more than just a personal choice, it's an environmental and a social one too.
Extremely well said Tom.
Lettinggo
 

ClaireJJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Way (2017); Hope for French Way again (2019)
#89
It has been 55 years since my toxicology class, but permethrin IS a poison--or it wouldn't work against bedbugs. ALWAYS apply using directions and cautions on the label.
The referenced article is about high doses and ingestion. Sawyer spray is 0.05% (5 grams per kg). LAOEL is "lowest-observed-adverse-effect level" and for rats that is 125mg/kg ORAL. So at 175kg body weight, you would have to drink 21gms pure permethrin or about 5 bottles of the 24 oz Sawyer size. So definitely do not drink the stuff.
With an abundance of caution, I wear rubber gloves and spray outside when getting ready for a Camino. Chemical absorption thru skin and lungs is thereby prevented.
I have watched bedbugs crawling on my treated sleep sheet and it seems to slow them down but not kill them. Treated gear is mostly effective in keeping the critters from hitching a ride down the trail (an act of kindness to fellow pilgrims and hospitaleros). If I had sensitivity to bites, I would treat my exposed skin with the more effective DEET.
The EPA has approved permethrin treated clothes. The USA (and most other nation's) military, uses for uniforms and bug nets. So pretty well tested and approved worldwide.
Yes, it is a dangerous poison, but not if you use as intended.
As a military member on several deployments, I was required to treat my clothes with permethrin. I followed the directions (which make it clear you are dealing with a dangerous chemical) and had no adverse effects. I also had no problems with mosquitoes or other biting insects. So there you go: N=1 endorsement.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
#90
Thanks for being a voice of reason.

Drinking too much water at once can also be deadly.
The article notes that the symptoms were received by OCUPATIONAL workers. That means people who apply it every day or produce it or use it every day in their work, not people who use the chemical as it is intended according to the directions. I'm sure if you spray and breathe it or ingest it on a daily basis it may cause symptoms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
#91
Extremely well said Tom.
Lettinggo
Chromium, lead, cesium, uranium, and arsenic (among others) are poisons too, yet they are in all soils and to some extent in your food from those soils and reside in your body. Formaldehyde can be a deadly poison and can also be found in ants. As the first law of toxicology says, the dose makes the poison, or in other words everything is poisonous depending on the dose. Potassium is a necessary nutrient at low doses but a deadly poison used to stop the heart of death penalty recipients.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
#92
From what I've read, permethrin isn't a repellant, but will kill bedbugs if they have prolonged contact with it. I spay my backpack, and all my cloth zipper bags in the hopes that if I get some hitchhikers that the permethrin will slowly kill them.
We were on the camino in the early spring and their were no bedbugs. It was a harsh winter, the locals said, maybe that killed them. I would NEVER walk in the smelly stinky pilgrim summer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#93
We were on the camino in the early spring and their were no bedbugs. It was a harsh winter, the locals said, maybe that killed them. I would NEVER walk in the smelly stinky pilgrim summer.
I've walked in the summer three times. I didn't find it smelly or stinky, and met many wonderful people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
#94
Some of the albergues we visited in spring smelled of feet. Poor pergrinos were too exhausted to shower and collapsed on the beds. I could only imagine the summer. Some had bleeding blisters and left a trail which the hospitaleros tried to mop up as he went. Some peregrinos only brought one change of clothes and didn't always do their laundry every day by their admission. They were pretty ripe too, also some by their own admission. I myself was pretty stinky after a 10 hour bike ride. As I said I can only imagine the summer.
 


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