I do not want to be dealing with this!
November 15, 2012 9:14 AM Subscribe
Does my hotel room have bed bugs?
posted by pluckemin to health & fitness (21 answers total)
I've been staying at a (decent) hotel for the past couple of nights. After the first night, I woke up with a rash on both of my hips -- but only where my underwear covered my skin (and my underwear was covered by the snug, tripled waistband of a pair of yoga pants). Though my immediate thought was "oh crap, bed bugs," it didn't make sense that they would only bite me in a location that a) was covered by two layers of snug clothing, and b) was mostly bone. I took a cursory look at the bed, couldn't see any signs of bugs.
Second night: I wake up in the middle of the night and my scalp really itches. I also have developed a rash on my shoulder, underneath the strap of my tank top. I finally fall back asleep. I woke up this morning and the backs of my knees really itched; I looked in the mirror and they appear to be covered in bug bites. The rash on my shoulder doesn't have any discrete bites, just all-over redness. My scalp still itches, but doesn't feel like it has any bites, just irritation. My left ear, which I was sleeping on, is itchy and inflamed. I have been scratching everything like mad, so it's hard to tell whether the irritation or the scratching came first.
I did a more thorough investigation of the bed -- looking all over the sheets for blood spots; lifting up the mattress and looking between it and the box spring; pulling back the sheets and mattress pad and unzipping the mattress cover to look at the seams of the mattress. Nothing, so far as I can see.
So. Evidence for bed bugs: itchiness, possible bug bites. Evidence against bed bugs: No visual sign of bed bugs. Bites/rashes are in places covered by clothing (there are none on my bare arms, for example) and my scalp.
Should I be freaking out more or less than I already am? Is it bugs other than bed bugs? An allergy to the detergent the hotel uses for the sheets? (When I woke up in the middle of the night I was also congested and sneezy.) Sudden allergy to my own detergent? (This seems unlikely, since I use the "free and clear" stuff that has no perfumes or dyes.) Hysteria? (Not out of the question, as far as I'm concerned; I have a tendency to somaticize anxiety.)
I can post photos of the backs of my knees if you're really curious. But I hope the answer is just "paranoia."