Bedbug situation on the GR20 in 2019


Posted: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 16:16

Hi everybody,

I just signed up for this forum since my sister and I are planning to hike the northern part of the GR20 next summer.
While she has extensive trekking experience incl. mountaineering but hasn't been to Corsica before, I know the island from the more comfortable perspective of a "normal" vacation; I collected a good deal of hiking experience on short hikes on various continents, most of it in the tropical mountains of Hong Kong (Mac Lehose Trail, Lantau etc.); I'm also a rock climber.

As part of the early preparations, we are, amongst other topics discussing whether to stay inside the Refuges, in rented tents or in a tent of our own.

After much reading about the infamous bed bugs, I am mostly interested right now in some information on how the situation developed in 2019, with the season now closing?

Any recent experience would be much appreciated to get a basis for our own assessment of the risk.

Especially, as we are planning to spend a night or two at a hotel at Corte after the hike - and I don't want to be sent away because I'm coming from the refuges.

Thank you very much in advance,



Posted: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 17:14

Based on my own experience a month ago, and the experience of others on the trail at the same time, this is what's likely to happen. If you turn up at a hotel and look like you're walking the GR20, you'll probably be asked if you stayed in a refuge. If you stayed in one, then tell them so, and if you only stayed in tents, then tell them so. Now here's the worst bit - even if you're not bringing bedbugs into a hotel, there's no guarantee that someone else hasn't brought them in before you! I stayed in an expensive hotel and filled a plastic bag with a dozen bedbugs that were already living in the mattress. The bottom line is, they're pretty much everywhere now, so you just have to live with them.


Posted: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 19:32

Thank you, GRRR 20, for sharing your experience. From what you say, this must have been in September. It would make sense that towards the end of the season the problem must be at its worst.

In case anyone has a different (less dramatic) experience from earlier this year, please feel free to add your comments as well.
My hope being, that winter temperatures up in the mountains (in the then likely unheated premises) would be cold enough once in a while, to kill them off, so that at the start of a new season, bugs would have initially disappeared until brought in anew.

We are planning to start hiking at the end of June. Originally, camping - especially carrying our own tent - is not our first choice. If however the bug problem appears bad enough already then, I might manage to convince my sister to go down that road as the only promising strategy to remain unaffected.


Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 7:37


the bedbug issue is something that will ALWAYS affect the huts (or even hotels) no matter how hard they try to get rid of those evil pests.

Bottomline: take a tent :D



Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 13:00

every now and then refuges close for a few days to treat against the bedbugs , after a few days they open again , but there is nothing they can do to prevent new ones being brought in.
so basically it is a risk you should be prepared to take.

if you want to be sure, take your tent.


Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 13:09

Thanks for the comments - would you say that the rental tents are at a similar risk to be infested?


Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 13:38

Theoretically yes, but I never heard of such thing so far. Besides, a tent is way easier to inspect and see if it's clear of bugs.



Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 14:41

I rented a few of those tents last month. They always need a bit of a clean out, but they're usually just full of dirt and stones, rather than bugs or anything nasty. Some of the tents have big rips in them, or the zips are bust. If you hire one, I think it's best if you open the door immediately and let plenty of fresh air in. take the foam mattresses out and put them somewhere where the sun and wind can get to them, because they're always a bit damp. Clean out all the dirt from the groundsheet of the tent. It's easy to see when everything is clean. Put the mattresses back inside when they feel really dry. Last of all, put your stuff in there, then yourself.

Back to the hotels. Some of them will ask you questions about where you stayed, and explain about the bedbugs. Some of them will restrict what you can do, and they might ask you to leave your packs in a store, rather than take everything up to your room. There's not much you can do if they want you to do this. I guess if you refuse, then they could ask you to leave.


Posted: Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 21:19

Thank you everybody, for your valuable feedback! Will meet with my sister on Thursday and discuss the trip.