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29 Sep, 2023 15:08

French authorities acknowledge bedbug ‘emergency’

France’s long-standing troubles with the insects have grown into an even a bigger problem with the Paris Olympics in sight
French authorities acknowledge bedbug ‘emergency’

The French government is set to address the issue of bedbugs infesting public transport next week, the country’s transport minister, Clement Beaune, announced on Friday.

In a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter), Beaune said he will convene an extraordinary meeting with transport operators in order to “provide information on the actions already taken and to take further steps to serve travelers,” as well as to “reassure and protect” the public.

The announcement of the extraordinary meeting comes after Paris city hall lodged a formal complaint with the French government, urging it to act against bedbugs that are infesting public transport, venues, and residential homes alike.

The city’s executive authority called for the creation of a special national taskforce to squash what it called the “scourge” of blood-sucking insects.

“This is truly a national emergency. It’s an endemic subject in all places that receive the public,” First Deputy Mayor of Paris Emmanuel Gregoire said, arguing that it was particularly important to address the bedbug issue ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Bed bugs are a public health problem and must be reported as such. The government must urgently bring together all the stakeholders concerned in order to deploy a comprehensive action plan to deal with this scourge as the whole of France prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024,” the deputy mayor stated.

Bedbugs have been a problem for France for years, with one-tenth of all French households believed to have had an invasion of the insects. Bedbugs prefer to infest soft furniture and clothing, coming at night to prey on sleeping humans and feast on their blood.

France’s long-standing troubles with the insects has seemingly worsened in recent months, as multiple videos circulating online show the bugs swarming on public transport, such as buses and trains, infesting cinemas and other public venues.