Paris is currently dealing with a bedbug infestation that are infiltrating trains, ferries, and airports. Some train passengers have shared pictures of bedbugs on the trains, and authorities in Tangiers, Morocco, discovered bedbugs on a ferry arriving from Marseille, France.
Bedbugs Start at Homes and Hotels
Before appearing in public transportation, bedbugs had infested homes, hotels, and even movie theaters. So, how is the French government responding to this issue?
According to Al Jazeera, Paris is in the early stages of addressing the bedbug problem. The Paris city government is urging President Emmanuel Macron’s administration to help combat this outbreak, including the formation of a special task force.
Request for Insurance Coverage
Meanwhile, Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire has requested insurance companies to include bedbug protection in their home insurance policies. He believes that low-income individuals rarely have the means to contact pest control companies.
Gregoire has also sent a letter to French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, urging action to address the bedbug infestation. He stated that the “country needs to immediately develop an action plan to deal with bedbugs” at the national level, especially since France will be welcoming millions of visitors for the Summer Olympics in July 2024.
Public Health Concern
“Bedbugs are a public health issue and should be declared as such,” Gregoire stated, as quoted by NBC News on Tuesday (October 3). He called on all parties to work together to address this bedbug issue before the Olympics arrive.
Meanwhile, French Minister of Transportation Clement Beaune will hold a meeting this week with various public transportation operators to “protect and reassure” visitors to ensure their safety.
Regarding Paris’s efforts to combat bedbugs, Ondřej Balvín, head of the Bedbug Research Team at the University of Life Sciences in the Czech Republic, said the city is unlikely to be able to manage the infestation before the Olympics.
“It’s difficult for me to imagine that the government is entitled or able to eradicate bedbugs in a country. The problem occurs in private beds,” he said.
Balvin suggested that the government could help market new chemicals or support institutions that educate pest controllers or take over pest control guidelines to address the bedbug issue.
In summary, Paris is grappling with a bedbug infestation that has extended to public transportation. The city is taking early steps to address the problem, including calling on the French government for assistance and urging insurance companies to offer bedbug protection. However, managing the infestation is a significant challenge, especially with the impending Summer Olympics. Experts suggest that a multi-faceted approach is needed to combat bedbugs effectively.