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Bed Bugs - Learn To Love Your New Friends

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Dylan Price, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Dylan Price

    Dylan Price Member

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    Everyone will read lots about the dreaded bed bugs that you will get (and I can ALMOST guarantee at some stage you will feel their bite).

    However learn to embrace the Bed Bug as another experience of the Camino - like blisters, sunburn, lentil stew and french fries in every meal :).

    That said if you do get the chubby little buggers in your sleeping bag there are a few things you can do to resolve it:

    1) Hot wash your liner regularly and use a dryer to dry it - nothing kills bed bugs better than a dryer - same applies to clothing as well

    2) Shake out your liner and sleeping bag well every time you put it on the bed and every time you take it off

    3) Inspect, inspect, inspect! Before putting your bag on the bed grab your headlight and closely check the bed for local residents - make sure in wooden bunks and beds you check joins in the wood etc. If you find a lot then pack up and leave and stay elsewhere but not before getting a refund and advising why you are leaving.

    We didn't do any treating of our bags - which maybe next time may do. But following the above tips we did manage to not be bitten for most of the second part of our Camino!

    Ultreia!!
     
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  2. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi @Dylan Price thanks for your tips! But I must say that i was on 2 caminos, sleeping (near) permanently in municipal or parroquial albergues (= cheap albergues) and had no problem with bedbugs. So i think your tips are perfect for help, but bedbugs are not daily problem on camino. (this is only comment to your "guarantee")
    Buen camino!! :)
     
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  3. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Walking last May, I had no encounters with bed bugs. Honestly, although I'm sure they exist out there, there really wasn't any discussion of this as a problem with other pilgrims. Nevertheless, I did treat my skeeping bag and backpack with a healthy dose of permethrin before leaving the States. Better safe than sorry! But, with as many different pilgrims using the same beds and blankets every night, bed bugs can be an unpleasant reality.
     
  4. Snowwhite

    Snowwhite Member

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    Hi Dylan

    I totally agree with you. Bed bugs are annoying but it makes sense to embrace them as part of the Camino experience.

    I would add that taking an insect bite/anti itching cream from your local pharmacy is worth taking.

    If not the pharmacists in Spain will be able to help. I didn't take any with me to save weight but I reacted quite badly to the bites. My Spanish is pretty basic but just by saying "insect" and miming scratching my arm the lady understood what I needed.:)
     
  5. Dylan Price

    Dylan Price Member

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    I too reacted badly - the bites came up as a very small and painful blister and stayed around for ages.

    Also responding to a couple of people above - so glad that you went bug free! I did say ALMOST guarantee!

    Funny thing I believe that the municipals and the parroquial albergues are actually better than some of the private ones for bed bug issues. All I know is once we had them and then got rid of them we were paranoid in checking beds and shaking out liners and bags!
     
  6. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Gosh, Bed bugs are not something I want to embrace, I understand that you can get them anywhere but since I became aware of the little critters being a problem I promptly got on line and have ordered my permethrin to treat my backpack, liner, clothes and anything else I take with me. I have seen recently some pretty bad reactions on Facebook Camino pages and one lady so bad her feet almost doubled in size :eek:
     
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  7. Parksville

    Parksville New Member

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    We pretreated all of our clothing, bedding and gear with Permethrin before heading out for the Camino. We had no encounters on our recent 8-day Camino (SJPDP to Najera). On our next Camino, I will definitely pretreat again). I have included some of the treatment options in one of my posts.
    http://www.retirementreflections.com/?s=bedbugs
     
  8. Fionna

    Fionna Member

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    I'm with you, Tina Marie. In fact I saw the heading to this post on my iPhone that did not separate the different lead headings and read "Bed Bugs - Learn to love your new friends Backpacks" and thought "Good Lord! How big are the bed bugs?".

    I've had beg bugs once long ago, when hosteling and swelled up into multiple big blisters including on my feet which was not so great in walking shoes (wore sandals instead). ....and..oh! The itching!" As with all things...it passed.

    I think I might have to look at some B & Bs once we've identified the likely worst places. Might do a bit of research on bed bug favourable environments.
     
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  9. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    I'm not sure there's really any good way to predict where you'll find bed bugs. With as many people sleeping in these beds night after night, municiples as well as privates, the best thing one can do is be preventative by pre-trip treatment of gear and bed/gear checking once you're in the albergues.

    Although I avoided the bed bug problem, I'm not sure if I was the exception or the rule. A number of the albergues that I stayed in did provide a protective mattress and pillow cover at check-in that I greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  10. JillGat

    JillGat New Member

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    I treated my quilt and liner bag before I left, but - even though it's a rectangle (not a mummy) - I felt cramped in the liner and didn't like the creepy synthetic material, so I often didn't use it. I just checked the bed for bedbugs and slept on the provided sheets. Usually they looked fresh and clean, which doesn't guarantee anything. I didn't get bedbugs, but I did get scabies. Worst itch in the world, but not that hard to get rid of. Next time I will bring a treated liner that I can use to fit over the mattress so I don't have to climb into a sandwich to sleep. All this being said, I never did see any sign of bedbugs.
     
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  11. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Haha Fionna, should I order us some magnifying glasses for bed inspections?? Haha just joking but I have heard people spraying their mattresses down before they add their bedding - apparently you can purchase insectide in SJPD which should suffice. I don't want any freeloading hitch hikers travelling with me for sure :p :eek:
     
  12. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Morning Wily, was their a cost associated with the protective covers they provided? Thanks
     
  13. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Remember that everything you carry adds weight to your pack.
     
  14. anniem

    anniem Active Member

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    Chinc
     
  15. anniem

    anniem Active Member

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    Chinches is the word you need! I observed that the Municipale Albergues were much less likely to have bedbugs than the private ones. We were told that the spraying/cleaning was regulated. don't know if that is correct but the only place we got bitten in 2015 was a private Albergue in Foncebadon. It was new!
     
  16. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Thanks for the information Annie :)
     
  17. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    UnkleHammy I meant when the Alberque provided them to you, was it an additional charge on top of the fee for the night?
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I think that you mean a post from @Wily I never got sheets or etc.
     
  19. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    My bad :oops:
     
  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Tina-Marie - No, there was not. Generally, at places that gave them out, you would receive one at check-in. Occasionally, a cover would be packaged in plastic set on the bed you were assigned. In any case, there was no extra cost nor was the albergue fee higher at these places.

    You'll also find that a number of albergues have gone to plastic mattress covers to deal with the bed bug problem and sanitary issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
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  21. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Thanks so much for clarifying that Wily :) Hope you are enjoying your weekend :)
     
  22. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    I didn't see any bedbugs or know anyone who w bitten on my 2015 CF. I did treat my sleeping bag and silk liner as well as my pack with permethrin based bug spray before the trip.
    Another thing to remember is to be careful when you return home as you could still have a passenger or 2. All my gear went straight into the freezer as soon as I got home.
     
  23. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Hey Fionna, maybe we should go on a bed bug hunting trek and do our own Sir David Attenborough video log (in jest of course) for our own special memories - what do you say?? :p Us Aussies love a good laugh and it would sure give my hubby a good giggle from home :D
     
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  24. Fionna

    Fionna Member

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    I've just read more about bedbugs than I ever wished, see link:
    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/bed-bugs/Pages/Introduction.aspx

    Some sprays (if near my face) adversely affect my breathing so I'm going to have to do some thinking!
     
  25. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Fionna - After the Permethrin dried, I did not notice any odor. Of course, you or others may be more sensitive to this than I am. You might do a trial run on the spray at home before leaving on a pillow case to see if there is any allergic reaction. Of course, it's the reaction you want to avoid in the first place.
     
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  26. Fionna

    Fionna Member

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    Aw Wiley! You are such a treasure! Of course (thicko me: you are so polite not saying so!) I should run a little experiment first.
     
  27. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Fionna, yes Wily is a gem :) and we will be fine I am sure :) We have the faith - COME ON SEPT 2017 haha
     
  28. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Permethrin - Just a reminder that this chemical is carcinogenic and moderatly toxic to humans. It's a persistent organic toxin that you don't really want accumulating in your fatty tissues if you can avoid it. I would avoid treating any areas of sleeping bag that your skin will be in direct contact with. It's pretty deadly to bugs so no need to overdo it either. Just sayin. Be sensible with the application. When I sprayed my gear last time it left a slightly sticky film on non absorbent surfaces. I is also not the most pleasantly smelling concoction (well the product I used anyway - "Raid"). I did give the base of my rucksack a good blast though to avoid hitch hikers.
     
  29. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Orava - perhaps you were just joking about using Raid to treat your sleeping bag and other gear, but from what I know about that pesticide, one does not use it on clothing or sleeping gear due to its contaminate effects. Chemicals do need to used carefully and properly, including Permethrin, but some products are not advised for use other than to rid pests in the household of which Raid is one.
     
  30. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Wily. Sure. I only sprayed areas where there was an obvious "in" for bugs like the bottom of the zipper area and along the zipper. I took a superlite bivy bag that I tended to sleep on and treated the underside and edges of that also plus outside of ruck sack base. I did consult the manufacturer and it seemed ok. Maybe Raid in scandinavia is different to the product elsewhere? The instructions say it's ok to use on clothes/in wardrobes for moths etc. Maybe a low strength formulation.
     
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