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Those dreaded BEDBUGS again

lckgj

Active Member
#1
Just back from the latest stage of my camino from Leon to Villafranca del Bierzo and thought I'd warn anyone out there that there are bedbugs in the albergue San Javier in Astorga.

I always spray my bed with insecticide and use a bedbug proof sheet however I woke up COVERED in bites and had a huge number of bugs (at least 30) trapped under my sleeping bag where they couldn't escape through the bug proof sheet. As I was on a bottom bunk I assume they dopped down from above. I showed the hospitalero the evidence of the bugs (my bites and some blood filled bugs I had squashed with kleenex) but he only pointed to a sign on the wall which stated that the premises were clean. He said they did not have a problem there and I must have brought the bugs with me and he would only consider that they had a problem when several other people had complained. He did not even want to know where I had slept!

I am 100% sure that the bugs originated in Astorga as I had had no bites until that morning and if I had transported them there then it would have been one or two and not the dozens I saw.

I spayed all my kit and washed everything that could go in a machine and dont think I was bitten further although the existing bites are still swollen and painful a week later. I had run out of the spray I was carrying by the time I reached Villafranca and tried to buy something similar.

The only thing I could find was a domestic aerosol insecticide in the supermarket and all the hardware stores and farmacias said they knew it was a big problem but did not sell anything strong enough to kill them. I even visited a vet who said he could only suggest bleach as a solution - not very practicle!

Now that I am home I am anxious not to have brought anything nasty with me. I travelled with my pack sealed in plastic and after soaking everything in Jeyes Fluid (well it works when I disinfect my henhouse!) I washed it in a hot wash - has to be above 60degrees- then put it wet into the freezer. Fingers crossed. Only problem so far is that the Jeyes Fluid has stained my acrylic bath but hopefully not permanently.

Feel thoroughly fed up at situation as lots other people took no precautions and were not affected. However, as 60% of people have no reaction to bites then lots people must be carrying them around unknowingly.

Its sad that I spent a week with lots of interesting people, experienced fabulous scenery, ate great food and had perfect walking conditions and yet my residual memory is of coping with painful bites and the stress of continuously checking for further infestations.

Its hard to know what can be done about this but the hospitaleros have to be quicker to deal with a problem when it is brought to their attention.
 

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#2
Ickgj,

Just thinking of the itch from bug bites has me squirming . It's sad to think how your camino has been changed from this neglect within the refugio and of other pilgrims. I wonder if signs were posted in the refugios telling pilgrims how to deal with bedbugs would help?? No one wants to bring these things home ,they are almost impossible to get rid of. They can even hide behind baseboard or in a picture frame. Makes a person think twice about all those yard sale buys. A local 5 * Hotel has had a problem recently with bedbugs (according to the newspaper) just goes to show a person can be bitten anywhere.

Astelle
 
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