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“Bedbugs in Paris” – New Kanye Song or Viral Misshap?

By Orgesta Tolaj


13 October 2023

bedbugs in paris

Paris is engulfed in a buggy situation! And no, it does not have anything to do with technology. Instead, bedbugs in Paris is a keyword that has been trending all over social media, and it is definitely not surprising. Everyone in Paris and online, has been expressing their disgust over the bedbug situation in France. Talk about the “Paris Syndrome”, making its comeback in this situation! Here is everything that went down.

What Is Currently Happening?

A recent surge in bedbug sightings in Paris and other French cities has sparked concerns about insectophobia and health and safety for the upcoming Olympic Games. While this trend has been reported in the media, it’s essential to note that bedbug sightings have been on the rise for several years.

Less than a year before the commencement of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, the city is grappling with a bedbug infestation. Initially discovered in hotels and vacation rental apartments during the summer, these minuscule pests have since been sighted in movie theaters. Most alarmingly, recent reports have emerged of bedbugs appearing in national high-speed trains and the Paris Metro system, with one Metro train driver encountering these unwelcome guests in his driver’s cabin.

How Did the Bedbugs in Pairs Emerge?

Horrified train passengers have taken to social media to share videos of these unwelcome insects, prompting fellow travelers to exercise extra caution before sitting down or placing fabric bags or coats on the floor by their feet. One account described passengers “panicking” upon realizing the presence of bedbugs in the train carriage, unable to disembark until the next station. Some passengers took a more drastic step, opting to change their plans entirely by jumping ship and heading to Morocco.

bedbugs in paris
© Pixabay / Pexels

In an unusual turn of events, bedbugs were discovered on a passenger ferry arriving in Tangiers from Marseille in southern France. Moroccan port authorities took action after the alert was raised during the Mediterranean crossing, marking the first instance of Moroccan officials encountering bedbugs originating from France. Passengers on the ferry had to wait as the ship and its cargo underwent cleaning and disinfection before they were allowed to disembark in Tangiers.

How Did the Moroccan Port Officials Deal With the Issue?

In response to this emerging issue, Moroccan media outlets reported that Tangiers port and health authorities have implemented additional monitoring protocols to detect and prevent the potential spread of bedbugs from incoming vessels from France. The demand for insect infestation treatment in Paris has surged in recent weeks, with residents spending an average of $500 to address these tiny bugs in their homes.

The Bedbugs in Paris Issue

Paris City Hall has expressed significant concerns regarding the potential risk bedbugs pose to visitors during the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer. Deputy Mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, stressed that bedbugs are a public health issue that demands official recognition. In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, he urged the government to formulate a comprehensive action plan to tackle the problem at a national scale.

Transport Minister Clément Beaune has responded to the situation by scheduling a meeting that week with different public transport operators. The aim of this meeting was to enhance traveler reassurance and protection in response to the bedbug issue.

Not the First Time!

In Paris, the persisting fear of infestations among apartment residents (with one in ten having encountered bedbugs in the last five years, according to official data) has been exacerbated by new sources of anxiety. Although reports of bedbugs in cinemas remain unverified, they are being treated with utmost seriousness. Similarly, claims of people being bitten by bedbugs on trains have emerged.

Both Paris City Hall and President Emmanuel Macron’s government are now advocating for decisive action. The gravity with which they are addressing this issue, and their dedication to safeguarding Paris’s image in preparation for the 2024 games, is evident in their refusal to dismiss the bedbug concerns as mere social media hype.

Would bedbugs ruin your planned trip somewhere? Or is this situation something you would be willing to risk for a fun time?

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Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!