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Bed Bug Outbreak Taking Over Paris : The Definitive Guide On Recognising & Protecting Yourself from Bed Bugs

Paris, also known as the city of love, has been experiencing an unwanted infestation of bed bugs

Paris is bracing itself for a massive influx of tourists during the 2024 Summer Olympics. However, a troubling issue that the city is currently grappling with is the outbreak of bed bugs. These pesky insects have infiltrated a range of public places including public transport, cinemas, and hospitals, causing great discomfort and inconvenience to locals and visitors alike.

Here’s what you need to know about the current bed bug infestation and efforts to solve it.
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When did the bed bug problem start?

 
In recent times, bed bug infestation has become a rising concern in France. It all started with complaints from people who had visited movie theatres during the summer season and were bitten by bed bugs. These incidents were widely shared on social media platforms like Twitter, which led to an increase in public awareness of the problem.

Since then, bed bugs have been spotted in various places across France, including hotels, metro rail, high-speed trains, and even at the airport. This has caused great concern for residents and tourists alike, who fear being bitten and infesting their homes with these blood-sucking parasites. The severity of the problem was further highlighted during Paris Fashion Week, where there were concerns over the spread of bed bugs. This event, which attracts fashion enthusiasts from all over the world, raised the stakes for the authorities, who have been struggling to contain the infestation.
According to ANSES, the rampant infestation of bed bugs in France can be attributed in part to the country's tourism industry, which has increased the pressure for accommodation. Incidentally, rental platforms for private accommodations, such as Airbnb, have potentially played a significant role in the spread of bed bugs. Johanna Fite, an official from ANSES, revealed that bed bug populations have become increasingly resistant to conventional treatments, making it challenging to eradicate them. The underlying cause of the persistent bed bug problem is thought to be the frequent movement of people, both local and international, from one location to another. The more people travel, especially those staying in short-term rental spaces like apartments, the higher the likelihood that bed bugs will enter their luggage or suitcases and be transported elsewhere.

We do not recommend any do-it-yourself methods. Bed bugs are resistant to the insecticides in the shop and you can disperse the bed bugs further due to the residual of the product.

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Is this the first time that Paris has been affected by bed bug infestation?

 
Although bed bugs were believed to have been eliminated from France in the 1950s, these bothersome insects have returned with a vengeance in recent times. According to ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, bed bug infestations have been on the rise between the years 2017 and 2022, with over 10% of households affected. This resurgence of bed bugs in Paris has caused frustration and alarm among residents, with many struggling to remove these pests from their homes. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that bed bugs are notorious for being hard to detect and eradicate, leading to potentially costly and time-consuming efforts to rid properties of these tiny invaders. Clearly, bed bugs are posing a major challenge to the citizens of Paris and require urgent attention and action to be taken.
 
According to reports from pest control experts, as many as 400,000 addresses in Paris, comprising of hotels, apartments and private houses, received treatment for bed bug infestation in the year 2018. To combat this persistent problem, the French government initiated a comprehensive campaign in 2020, which featured a specialized hotline dedicated to bed bug-related issues, as well as a user-friendly website designed to provide information and support to those affected by bed bug infestation. These measures were taken in recognition of the significant impact that bedbugs can have on individuals and communities, and in order to promote greater awareness and understanding of how to best manage and treat this problem.

Why the bed bugs are back in Paris? 
 
In the past, potent insecticides like Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were extensively utilized to eliminate bed bugs. However, these chemicals were found to be harmful to human health and the environment, leading to their ban. Unfortunately, as a result of this ban, there has been a resurgence of bed bugs. ANSES, in a July report, attributed the rise of bed bugs to two primary factors: the increase in international travel, and the rise in bed bug resistance to insecticides.
This means that bed bugs have evolved and grown tolerant to chemical treatment, which makes them harder to eradicate and a significant problem for individuals and businesses alike. The rise in international travel allows bed bugs to migrate from one place to another, infesting homes, hotels, and public transportation. As such, the issue of bed bugs has become a significant public health concern that requires immediate attention and long-term solutions.

 

 

What is Paris doing to resolve the bed bug crisis?

 
The bed bug crisis in Paris has triggered a call to action from city officials. Reports suggest that the authorities are just beginning to address the issue and tackle its immense scale. Paris City Hall has reached out to President Emmanuel Macron's government for assistance in launching a dedicated task force to counter the bed bug infestation.
 
On the other hand, Minister Clement Beaune has shown concern by announcing that he will be meeting with transportation operators soon to discuss measures to combat bed bugs and protect commuters from their unpleasant bites. Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of Paris, Gregoire, has raised concerns about how bed bugs have affected low-income residents of the city, as they often do not have the resources to call in professional pest control.
 
In light of the rising threat, Gregoire is calling on insurers to include bedbug coverage in their policies, enabling low-income community members to receive assistance. Furthermore, Gregoire has reiterated that bed bugs have always been a persistent problem in Paris, and will likely continue to be a challenge in the future. Instead of treating bed bugs as a temporary phenomenon, the upcoming Olympic Games scheduled for July 2024 will provide an opportunity for all members of the community to work collaboratively on the problem at hand.
 
How to protect your home from bed bug infestation?
 
While bed bugs may be small, they are visible to the naked eye and can easily spread. They have a fondness for hiding in plush furnishings like mattresses, curtains, and even behind wallpaper, as well as tight spaces such as floorboards and electrical sockets. They are primarily nocturnal creatures that emerge to feed on human blood while we sleep.
 
In bustling cities like Paris, bed bugs can quickly become a problem for tourists who unknowingly bring them back to their lodgings in their suitcases, only to spread them around on public transportation and other public areas. When dealing with bedbugs, it is vital to act promptly. All clothing and bed linens that could be affected should be immediately sealed in plastic bags and washed on a high-temperature setting.

It’s important to note that bed bugs' high fertility rate, not poor hygiene, is responsible for their rapid spread. Once they find a source of food and a place to reproduce, they can quickly multiply.

To prevent bed bug infestations, there are a few steps that you can take:
 
One of the first ways to avoid a bed bug infestation is by not storing any items under your bed. This is because storing items under your bed creates hidden spots for bed bugs to hide, and moreover, you may unknowingly store an infested item.

Another preventative measure is to store your items in plastic containers. Bed bugs find it difficult to crawl on smooth surfaces such as glass or plastic. Hence, when you keep your storage items in a plastic container or plastic bag, it becomes an effective barrier, preventing bed bugs from spreading.

It is also best to keep your clothes off the floor as bed bugs can latch onto your clothing without you realizing it. This can spread bed bugs to other parts of your home, infesting your furniture.

Additionally, covering your mattress or box spring with dust-mite-proof encasements can help prevent bed bugs. Covering your bed with these special encasements creates a barrier between you and any potential bed bugs. Dust mite-proof encasements are specifically designed to prevent bed bugs from entering and breeding in your bedding, reducing the risk of a bed bug infestation.
 
If you are a regular traveller, it's essential to take the necessary steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home. To prevent this, it is advisable to wash any clothes and clean any luggage, including suitcases, backpacks, and purses, immediately after travelling. Bed bugs can travel long distances and often attach themselves to luggage and other personal items.

Another effective technique is to wash your bed linens at the highest temperature setting about once a week. This high-temperature wash can help to kill any bed bugs and their eggs that are lurking in your bedding.
 
In summary, preventing bed bugs from infesting your home requires diligent effort and careful attention to detail. By following these prevention methods, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a bed bug infestation in your home.
 
 

What can I do if my home is infested?

 
If you suspect that your home has a bed bug infestation, it is strongly advised to seek the assistance of a professional pest control company immediately. Self-treating with amateur pesticides is unlikely to be successful, and it is essential to possess accurate knowledge of the bed bug before attempting any treatment. According to a study published in Nature Scientific Reports in 2013, bed bugs have evolved to resist some insecticides, making self-treatment even more difficult.

Using amateur products could potentially make the infestation worse, as it could cause bed bugs to migrate to other parts of your home or neighbouring properties. For this reason, it is recommended to seek professional treatment to ensure successful eradication. Trained professionals have the technical knowledge to assess and treat the infestation and have access to specialized products and equipment that are not available to the general public.
 
It is important to note that when using insecticides, it is crucial to carefully follow the instructions on the label to prevent collateral damage or personal injury. Pest technicians receive numerous calls to treat properties for bed bugs, indicating that bed bug infestations are still a prevalent problem. The bed bug survey conducted by a pest professional is a thorough and detailed process that leaves no stone unturned in the search for evidence of bed bugs. The standard treatment for any infested premises is the application of a residual insecticide on all floor surfaces, either in liquid spray or powder form. Seeking the assistance of a professional pest control company is the best course of action when dealing with a bed bug infestation.
 
In the unfortunate event that you discover bed bugs in your London home, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of professionals immediately. At Archers Pest Control, our team of dedicated experts is always on standby, ready to provide powerful solutions to the problem. With rigorous training and experience in the latest and best pest control practices, our professional bed bug exterminators in London are well-equipped to eliminate the pesky creatures from your home. Do not hesitate to book an inspection with our pest control experts.
 
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