Bed Bugs or ...?(2 posts)
I'm having an allergic reaction to something but it doesn't fit my usual bed bug MO. Could I be manifesting a different reaction or could this be something completely different?
I've dealt with bed bugs twice before: first in our apartment as a young teenager and then briefly last year in my dorm room. Both times I was lucky enough to get rid of the bugs quickly and wasn't bothered after the first treatments. Now I'm back for my sophomore year in the same dorm (different room), and I woke on the second night with a huge raised wheal on my thigh. The wheal is about the size of my hand, warm to the touch, not itchy, and not painful. I would ordinarily chalk it up to a random allergic reaction and go back to sleep but since I've had a history with bed bugs in this dorm, I couldn't go back to sleep without checking. I went over my mattress and box spring just as I'd seen the pest guys do and found nothing. No bugs, no fecal matter, no shed skin.
Normally my bed bug bites itch terribly and show up as small red bumps. I've read that people can manifest worse reactions to bed bugs over a long period of exposure, but this reaction doesn't seem worse, only different. The reaction is also confined to my upper thigh instead of the usual and more exposed places (calves and arms).
More info: I know every room in the dorm was checked and treated last spring, but the college rents out to organizations over the summer and a guest could have brought bed bugs back in. Also, I couldn't fit my bed sheets into my (already overweight) suitcase so I've been sleeping with a pillow and a duvet on a bare mattress. I've heard of mattress allergies before... could that be the cause?
Read the Bite Primer in the green stickies at the top of the forums. Skin responses are not diagnostic of bed bugs.
Buy a sheet that fits - mattress fabrics are not easy on the skin, which may be causing you some simple mechanical irritation & if the mattress has been treated with fire retardant or any other chemicals, those too can cause irritation in some individuals.
Dorms are high-risk areas in any case, so you might consider installing a passive monitor (available through this site; see the Useful Stuff section).
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