France is facing a bedbug infestation. Not only is discontent spreading in the streets, but the tiny insects are stirring up controversy in Parliament. There will be an emergency meeting on Friday.
Bedbugs are no larger than an apple core, but they are currently a major problem in France: the tiny insects are said to have infested cinemas, trains and the Paris metro, among other places. People’s reactions vary between calm and alertness.
“If I really have to take her home, I should act. But I’m not taking any extra precautions,” says a bystander. But others pay more attention. “I ventilate properly every morning, and check the covers and duvet,” says one woman. Everything she hears and reads right now scares her a little.
Two-thirds of additional bets from Pest control
According to the Professional Association of Exterminators, operations against bed bugs in France increased by 65 percent between June and August compared to the same period last year. In general, the number of missions has increased continuously since 2020, according to the association. This is partly because of that, People are now more aware and are reporting cases more frequently.
Salim Dahou, a biopesticide technician at Hygiene Premium, removes pillowcases to prevent a bedbug infestation in an apartment near Paris.
At least when it comes to public transportation, there is a complete evacuation, Transport Minister Clement Beaune said. All reported suspected cases will be examined and the results published. “None of the cases that have been reported there in the last few days have been confirmed to be actual bedbug infestations,” Boone said.
According to current knowledge, bed bugs do not transmit diseases. However, their bites can cause rashes and itching – not to mention stress if your home is affected.
Bed bugs are on the political agenda
Insects have become a political issue in France. Mathilde Panot, leader of the parliamentary group of the left-wing France Intrepid party, gave an angry speech in Parliament on Tuesday, while holding a sealed glass vial containing real bedbugs.
“Bed bugs are widespread in all areas of daily life, and they are a real martyrdom for those affected,” Bhanot said. They deprive them of sleep and cause them constant anxiety and social isolation. “We demand that pest control becomes a free public service that protects health and the environment. Prime Minister: Does your government headquarters have to be infested with bedbugs before you finally take action?”
Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne responded in a similarly harsh tone and asked for “a little decency.” “Political divisions should not play a role in this issue,” she said. “So why are you exaggerating again? Why don’t you say that the government launched a plan to combat bedbugs in early 2022? Thus, we have provided the first answers to the problem.”
This plan depends, among other things, on more information so that cases can be reported more quickly. But from the critics’ point of view, it doesn’t go far enough. However, the topic is now at the top of the political agenda again: on Friday there will be a government crisis meeting on the topic of “bedbugs”.