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Bed Bugs - Learn To Love Your New Friends

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

  1. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Orava - Whew, I'm glad to hear your product said ok for clothes! You wouldn't want to use the Raid we have in the US for clothes, bedding, etc.!
     
  2. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Hi guys I did some research here in Australia as they don't embrace Permethrin here due to it's carcinogenic qualities but I was able to find a store that imported it for backpacking purposes with major, major warning labels all over it (just so you cannot say you didn't know). On the bottle it says to only spray on external surfaces, including your shoes and clothing but to ensure that you allow it to dry completely for a good 24 hours in a well ventilated area. I am not doing my camino until next year and will do my spraying two weeks beforehand. I also saw mentioned in another forum that other pilgrims purchased a basic S hook in which to hand their backpacks off the end of the beds to prevent bedbugs entering (do they not jump?) so I shall bring this hook also - it was also mentioned the S hook was perfect to use to hang your valuables next to you in the shower in a plastic bag. :D
     
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  3. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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  4. Maureen3

    Maureen3 New Member

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    Hi- I'm planning on walking from Sarria to Finisterre in mid-October. It sounds like a sleeping bag will be necessary, as well as a permethrin treatment. Does permethrin have a strong chemical odor? I'm chemically sensitive and wondering if I'm better off taking my chances with bed bugs rather than a potential asthma flare-up from the chemical smell.

    Thanks!

    Maureen
     
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  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Tina Marie, prior to our 2015 camino, I read a suggestion about bringing along a large carabiner so that you can suspend your backpack on the end of the bunkbed to keep it off the floor. So we brought one each for my wife and myself and were able to use these in probably half the albergues we stayed in. We never received any complaints from the hospitalero. Several other pilgrims said it was a great idea. In addition to keeping your backpack off the floor, it is also very easy to unpack and load your backpack without bending over. Here's an example of a set I found on Amazon.com. Ours were three or four inches long and generally large enough to clip over the bar on the bunkbed. Some bars were too large or made of wood, so they did not fit.

    upload_2017-7-22_9-57-10.png
     
  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Maureen - Welcome to the Forum. First, let me suggest that a sleeping bag in mid-October would be recommended. On both of my Caminos, I treated my bag with Permethrin. Spray it on outdoors and give your bag and backpack a good saturated. Once it dries, I did not find it to have a strong or even noticeable odor, but I'm not particularly chemically sensitive. A while back on this forum, someone suggested doing a trial run with the Permethrin by spraying a pillow case and seeing if there was a reaction to it. If there isn't, I don't think you'll have a reaction to your sprayed sleeping bag. I have not yet run into a bed bug, but perhaps my precautions of treating my equipment with Permethrin have done the job. With that said, I have also primarily stayed in private albergues and have been very pleased, in general, with the sanitary conditions. I don't think you'll have bed bug problems, but if you can tolerate Permethrin, treat your bag and pack. Buen Camino!
     
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  7. Maureen3

    Maureen3 New Member

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    Thanks Wily! Why didn't I think of that? Buen Camino!
     
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  8. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Member

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    Hi everyone
    Before I did my Camino in 2015 I did a bit of research because the thousands of pilgrims that use the Albergues year on year is bound to have some impact on the good housekeeping.
    Bed bugs are not attracted to dirty establishments but keeping clean beds does reduce the risk of attracting them.
    Bed bugs cannot fly or jump but can walk long distances to get from one source (mattress, cushion chairs pillows) to another, so if one bed in the dormitory has bugs the likelihood is they all have bed bugs.
    Tell tale signs for bugs are black dots on the mattress or pillow, this is likely to be the faeces from the bugs or if there are small red stains 2-4mm, this is where a bug has fed on someone's blood then been squashed.
    Most beg bugs are about the size of the pip in an apple but there are much larger ones which can grow to double/triple that size which are usually the adult bugs. When there is a reduction in food source (people) the big ones start by eating the very small and work up the food chain hence why they grow so big.
    I was very fortunate in 2015, I did not receive a single bite but that was more down to good housekeeping of my sleeping bag, cleaning shaking it every day before getting into it but more importantly checking the mattress and pillows. I did come across one Albergue where a young South Korean lad in the same room was seriously bitten that he was woken from his sleep, crying covered in hundreds of small red blotches all over his legs, trunk and arms. I got through to him to get into a cold shower to reduce the burning irritation.
    There was quite an uproar in the dorm and at about 3am a lot of people were quite upset and some angry at the noise. For me I immediately got my sleeping bag and gave it a good shaking inside out then packed up and left followed by 7 other pilgrims, the last place I wanted to be was in a bug infested room.
    I know it will be your decision at the end of the day and most Albergues are really quite clean but check thoroughly and that means checking other mattresses that are still empty for traces (blood/faeces) before staying there.
    I'm about to start my next Camino in 3 days but this time I'm camping out so I wont have that worry.
    Good luck and happy trails, I hope you've found this useful. Buen Camino Keith, Norfolk
     
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  9. Maureen3

    Maureen3 New Member

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    Keith - I appreciate your bed bug insight! It's useful information to have now -- alleviating most of the worry down the road. I'll be watching for your posts from your upcoming trek. Thanks.

    Buen Camino!
     
  10. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Camping out! Sounds great. Are places easy to find? I guess you can stop where ever you want
     
  11. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Member

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    When I walked it in 2015 I noticed several pilgrims camping along the route hence why I chose it this way for myself. That's one of the reasons I decided to camp, was the freedom to stop where and when I wanted and appreciate the open areas. Keith
     
  12. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Sounds super. Maybe my next one I will add that challenge. Figure I have plenty of challenges this time around!
     
  13. Mike from Canada

    Mike from Canada Member

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    We had them at one point, it's a small little glitch in a journey of a lifetime, so no biggie.
     
  14. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Did you use the insecticide that is recommended on your stuff? And still got them?
     
  15. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - Perhaps it's just been my good fortune, but I've yet to encounter a bedbug. However, from a precautionary perspective, I did use Permethrin on both my sleeping bag and my backpack. So, using this relatively low cost spray seems like a pretty reasonable insurance policy to help guard against this nasty little creatures were they to present themselves. Buen Camino!
     
  16. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Thanks for that information Browncountrybob, I will pack some large ones also - getting super nervous now - 10 weeks ago major surgery and I am using this last 3 weeks to complete my recovery so will be walking without training as such.... what was I thinking!!!!! o_O :eek: :(
     
  17. Nan

    Nan New Member

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    Hi @Mike from Canada
    Just a question. Did you ever find and use permethrin in Canada? I am from YYC and am unable to find Permethrin anywhere, including having it sent by Amazon to Calgary. Even Bass Pro cannot have it shipped here from their sisters stores in the US. Someone suggested that I go check out Green Hawk - the horse store in case they have permethrin in bug sprays for our feline friends. I am going out there this week end to check it out.
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I got mine from REI here in Fresno California
     
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