France is grappling with a bed bug problem, with the government warned it must tackle the pests ahead of the Olympics in Paris.
The French capital has been particularly affected by the infestation, according to reports, which has become a greater problem in the country over the past few years.
Bed bugs have been spotted in homes, cinemas, hospitals and trains – with the issue now compelling the country’s transport minister to protect passengers.
“I will bring together transport operators next week to provide information on the actions undertaken and act in the interests of passengers,” Clement Beaune posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“To protect and to reassure.”
His post came a day after Emmanuel Gregoire, first deputy mayor of Paris, wrote a letter on behalf of City Hall calling on Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne to act on the “scourge”.
“Bed bugs are a public health problem and should be reported as such,” he wrote.
“The state must urgently bring together all concerned in order to enact an action plan appropriate with this scourge as all of France prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024.”
Such is the scale of the problem in Paris that Mr Gregoire told Franceinfo on Friday the treatment against bed bugs should be included in home insurance deals.
He said this could help residents worried about affording pest control measures once they’ve found an infestation.
The city is asking the government to organise pest control meetings, he said.
In August, an X user posted pictures showing what she said were markings on her body from bed bugs in her seat at a Paris cinema.
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After numerous concerns were raised, UGC Cinemas posted a letter on 4 September apologising to customers, adding they were putting emergency procedures in place.
The ministry of energy transition states on its website bed bugs are on the rise likely because of international travel and resistance to insecticides.
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