As Bedbugs Spread Over Paris, France Is Determined To Take Action
A “widespread” increase of bedbugs has been reported in the French capital, prompting the government to pledge measures to “reassure and protect” the people.
Clement Beaune, the French minister of transport, has said that he will hold a meeting this week to “take additional measures” to safeguard the public from the alleged increase in the number of insects.
Despite claims of purported bedbug sightings on French public transportation, operators have reported seeing none in recent days. Paris’s metro operator, RATP, said it is “very watchful on the problem,” although there have been no recent appearances.
Although RATP received a complaint of bedbugs on the train last Wednesday, they concluded that there were “no bedbugs present on the train” after conducting an inspection.
Similarly, the French railway corporation that manages several trains throughout the nation, including the Eurostar, said that although the business “takes complaints of pests extremely seriously,” it has “not detected any presence or substantiated claims of bedbugs to far.”
Officials and labour groups in Paris have been calling for government action ever since viral films showing bedbugs in public spaces like subways and movie theatres went viral online.
Deputy Mayor of Paris Emmanuel Gregoire told French TV station LCI on Friday that the problem is pervasive. As he put it, “you may get bedbugs any place and bring them home,” so “you have to accept that in reality no one is protected.”
With an increase in bedbug populations, the French government began an anti-bedbug campaign three years ago, complete with a website and helpline.
Gregoire, however, claimed that “there are 3.6 million people who come into Paris every day, and bedbugs do not stop on the outskirts of the city,” so the proposal would still be ineffective.
Anses, the French government agency in charge of public health, described the issue as “an increasing phenomenon in France and nearly elsewhere in the globe.”
Specifically, “it’s mostly related to the mobility of people, populations moving, the fact that people stay in short-term lodging and carry back bedbugs in their baggage” commented Johanna Fite of the Anses department of risk assessment.
She went on to say that the “escalation” was due to the growing resistance of bedbugs to pesticides.
On the other hand, the Deputy Mayor of Paris cautioned against “hysteria” on the matter, pointing out that there has been a “surge in Parisians who are resorting to the town hall’s information services for information on bedbugs.”
The report comes as Paris prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024, although authorities have said that they are not concerned about the situation.