Paris is currently in the clutches of a bedbug invasion, sending shockwaves of panic and disgust throughout the city – with one expert warning Britain could be next.
The blood-sucking pests have infiltrated public spaces, from bustling metro stations to high-speed trains, cinemas, and even hospitals.
With citizens living in fear, the French government has swiftly mobilised, rolling out a series of urgent measures to curb the escalating bed bug crisis before it spirals into an uncontrollable epidemic.
The French authorities declared a state of emergency on Friday, responding to the City Council’s urgent plea to President Emmanuel Macron, urging him to recognise the infestation as a “public health emergency.”
READ MORE: British tourists issued bedbug warning – key signs
In a bid to combat the situation, the government has initiated the formation of a dedicated task force, gearing up to confront the issue head-on.
The proactive approach is not only a response to the immediate crisis but also a strategic move in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics slated to grace the capital next summer.
Deputy Mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, has proposed integrating a bed bug clause into new housing contracts, emphasising the need for proactive prevention.
Despite this, many families remain hesitant, primarily due to the exorbitant costs associated with pest control measures.
A recent study conducted by Anses, the French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety, revealed that a staggering 11 percent of French households have fallen victim to these relentless invaders.
Measuring a mere 7 millimetres in length, these insects have infiltrated public transportation, making appearances on high-speed trains, at Charles-de-Gaulle airport, in cinemas, and shockingly, even in hospital premises.
Horrified travellers have taken to social media, sharing alarming videos of bed bugs infesting train seats, spotlighting the urgent need for decisive action.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Richard Prasad, mattress and sleep expert and the founder and CEO of Sleep 365, shared the best tips to ensure that if you are travelling to Paris you avoid bringing these pests with you back home.
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He said: “With the recent bed bug sightings around Paris, especially with so many people visiting for fashion week, it makes sense that folks are worried.
“These little bugs could definitely spread from Paris to other cities in Europe since people travel between them so often. I can’t say for sure London’s next, but with all the travellers going back and forth, it’s not out of the question.
“For anyone thinking of heading to Paris or other big travel spots, be vigilant. Paris is as magical as ever, and you should still go, but know what you’re getting into. Learn how to spot bed bugs and take precautions so you don’t accidentally bring them back home with you.
“One of the best things you can do as soon as you get back is wash all your clothes, even your suitcase if it’ll fit. Heat kills bed bugs, so toss it all in the washing machine on the hottest setting.
“It’s a simple step that really cuts down the chance of getting them in your house. And you’ll rest easy knowing your trip didn’t turn into a nightmare.”
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