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Paris Bedbugs Soar Before 2024 Olympics

Rise in Paris bedbugs before the 2024 Olympic games. Credit: CDC / Harvard University / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

A bedbug problem is spreading in Paris and other cities in France, causing fear of insects and concerns about safety prior to the upcoming Olympic Games.

What’s happening is that there have been more reports of bedbugs in Paris in recent weeks, and this issue has been growing for a few years now, reported BBC.

Every late summer, there is a significant rise in bedbugs, said Jean-Michel Berenger, an expert on bedbugs in France who works as an entomologist at Marseille’s main hospital.

This happens because people travel during July and August, and they unknowingly carry these pests back with them in their luggage, Berenger explained.

He further admitted that what’s concerning is that, each year, the number of bedbugs in Paris have been increasing year to year.

Bedbugs in cinemas and trains

Reports of bedbugs being spotted in Paris movie theaters have not been confirmed, but they are being treated with seriousness. There have also been claims of people getting bitten by bedbugs while traveling on trains.

Both the Paris City Hall and President Emmanuel Macron’s government are urging for action in relation to the bedbug issue in the city. This demonstrates the severity of the problem and how vital it is to maintain a positive image of Paris leading up to the 2024 Games.

They are not brushing off the Paris bedbug concerns as merely something created on social media, according to BBC.

Alarming stories of bedbugs in Paris are spreading rapidly on the internet, transforming what used to be a simple, slow news day topic for newspapers into a nationwide crisis.

Owners of movie theaters, who were already concerned about fewer people coming to cinemas, are now genuinely frightened. Videos showing unidentified tiny creatures on seats have been circulating, adding to their worries about bedbugs in the city.

Moreover, commuters on the Paris subway are even inspecting their seats for bedbugs, and some are choosing to stand instead, reported BBC.

Paris bedbug problem exaggerated, say some

“There is a new element this year—and that is the general psychosis which has taken hold,” says Berenger.

In a sense, this heightened awareness of bedbugs in Paris is positive because it prompts people to address the issue sooner, and early action is essential.

“But a lot of the problem is being exaggerated,” stated Berenger.

The reality is that bedbugs in Paris are experiencing a resurgence, and this trend has been ongoing for about two to three decades in the area. However, this isn’t limited to France alone; it’s a global issue, reported the BBC.

Several factors contribute to this resurgence, with globalization being the most significant. This includes factors like container trade, tourism, and immigration.

Climate change isn’t a factor here. Bedbugs, scientifically known as “cimex lectularius,” are creatures that thrive in human environments and follow human movement.

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