Paris Takes Action Against Bedbug Surge: Government Vows to Protect Public


PARIS - In response to a "widespread" increase in bedbug incidents reported across the capital, the French government has pledged decisive action to "reassure and protect" the public.

French Transport Minister Clement Beaune announced on Friday that he will convene a meeting with transport operators next week to initiate further measures aimed at safeguarding citizens from the surge in blood-sucking insects.

Calls for government intervention have escalated from Paris officials and trade unions following the circulation of numerous videos depicting bedbugs in public transport and other locations, including cinemas, on social media platforms.

Deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Gregoire, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, "You have to understand that in reality no one is safe, obviously there are risk factors but in reality, you can catch bedbugs anywhere and bring them home."

While the French government launched an anti-bedbug campaign three years ago, featuring a dedicated website and an information hotline, Gregoire pointed out that "there are 3.6 million people who come into Paris every day, and bedbugs do not stop on the outskirts of the city."

Experts from France’s national health and sanitary authority, Anses, described the issue as "an emerging phenomenon in France and almost everywhere in the world." Johanna Fite, a representative from the Anses department of risk assessment, attributed the rise to population movement, transient accommodation stays, and the unwitting transportation of bedbugs in luggage. Fite also noted an "escalation" in numbers due to the insects' growing resistance to insecticides.

Despite the surge in bedbug incidents, the Paris deputy mayor cautioned against undue alarm, revealing an "increase in Parisians who are referring to the town hall’s information services for information on bedbugs." He further highlighted the abnormal rise in interventions by professional companies dealing with residential areas.

As the city prepares to host the 2024 Olympic Games, officials remain resolute that there is no imminent threat. "Bedbugs existed before and they will exist afterward," assured Gregoire. He regarded the games as an "opportunity" for collective action on this issue.