Less than a year out from the Paris Olympics, the French government has launched an effort to eradicate bedbugs in order to ensure that there are no bites during the competition.
A flurry of internet headlines concerning bedbugs in movie theatres and even Charles de Gaulle airport have been accompanied by images of the insects moving about in high-speed trains and the Paris metro shared by social media users.
The government’s top echelons have received the reports.
“As France gets ready to host the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024, the state urgently needs to put an action plan in place against this scourge,” deputy mayor of the city, Emmanuel Gregoire, wrote to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne last week.
Speaking on Friday, transit Minister Clement Beaune said he would talk about the matter with transit providers the following week.
Travellers at the Paris Gare de Lyon train station expressed scepticism about the ability of authorities to handle the situation.”I’m anxious about it. I’ll seal my baggage to prevent bedbugs from entering my house. “I’ll have to wash all my clothes once I get home,” said Laura Mmadi, a sales representative travelling to the south of France.
Sophie Ruscica, who was arriving in Paris from Nice, claimed she had carefully examined her seat for any indications of the insects, which can thrive in a variety of environments including on human blood.
It made me anxious. I had to ride the train, and I was worried about finding bedbugs. However, they’re available almost everywhere, even movie theatres,” she said.
Over one in ten French families experienced bedbug infestations between 2017 and 2022, according to a research released in July by the health agency Anses.
Sacha Krief, manager of the pest treatment shop, stated, “Everyone is panicking.” “People can become extremely depressed and even suspicious about it.”
Because low-income individuals seldom had the resources to hire pest control companies, deputy mayor Gregoire urged insurers to add bedbug coverage in home insurance plans.