Paris suffers from a plague of bedbugs in public transport, cinemas and hospitals


The French capital has asked the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, for help in tackling the plague of bedbugs.

Gaite subway station in Paris, France.

Gaite subway station in Paris, France. Photo: Tommie Hansen / flickr.

France, and in particular Paris, is suffering from a plague of bedbugs, which are mainly found on the upholstery of seats on public transport, such as trains and planes, and even in cinemas and hospitals.

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As reported by the Daily Mail, the networks have been filled with videos of public transport users filming these insects in places such as the Paris metro, high-speed trains and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

Transport Minister Clément Beaune said he would convene representatives of public transport operators next week “to inform them about countermeasures and how to do more to protect travellers”.

Bedbugs, which had largely disappeared from everyday life in the 1950s, have re-emerged in recent decades, mainly due to high population densities and increased public transport.

It is estimated that one tenth of French households have had a bedbug problem in recent years, which usually requires a pest control operation costing several hundred euros and often needs to be repeated.

The Paris city council on Thursday urged President Emmanuel Macron’s government to help with the infestation, including by setting up a specific task force.

France’s national health agency recommended that people check their hotel beds when travelling and take care when bringing second-hand furniture or used mattresses into their homes.

Bedbugs have a habit of nesting in mattresses, although they can also hide in clothing and luggage. They come out at night to feed on human blood.

Their bites leave red areas, blisters or large rashes on the skin, which can cause intense itching or allergic reactions. They also often cause psychological distress, sleep problems, anxiety and depression.

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According to the French authorities, the appearance of the insects, which can grow up to 7 millimetres long, is not related to hygiene levels.

-Thailand News (TN)

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