Itchy Rash After Sleeping on Friend's Couch
I went to a friend's house on Friday and fell asleep on her couch. I woke up AND went home with a swollen throat. Sunday I have 5 itchy blotchy areas of raised bumps like a rash on my shoulders and back. Could I have been bitten by bedbugs and if so can I bring these creatures into my home from my bites and spread this to my family?
Hi, so sorry to hear about your rash and itch. Bed bug related symptoms such as raised bumps and your swollen throat are an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can have other causes such as a reaction to a cleaning product that might have been used on on a couch.
For this reason, it is helpful to have additional confirmation of a bed bug problem such as brown or red stains on the couch along seams where bed bugs hide, or the capturing or spotting of an actual insect (you can see them with the naked eye).
So yes, it is possible that your problem is caused by bed bugs. Since the insects are excellent hitchhikers it is also possible that you carried some home on shoes or clothing after sitting on a couch.
We suggest you do the following:
1. Immediately wash everything you were wearing in hot water followed by about 20 minutes in the dryer. This will kill any bed bugs.
2. Wash any clothes or items that came in contact with those clothes.
3. Ask your friend to inspect their home for other signs of bed bugs.
4. Continually inspect your home to see if you brought the bed bugs home. If you think you did, then contact an exterminator (if a private home), or managing company (if a rental or apartment) for an inspection.
Best of Luck,
Bed Bugs Handbook