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Bedbug pandemic in Paris: What to know about the insects and how to get rid of them

Social media has been awash with videos of the pests in homes as well as on the metro. What are they and are they dangerous?

Salim Dahou, biocide technician from the company Hygiene Premium, inspects an apartment in order to treat it against bedbugs in L'Hay-les-Roses, near Paris, France, September 29, 2023. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

Paris fashion week is usually renowned for its dazzling styles and glamarous celebrity appearances. But this year, there was another guest, a rather uninvited one (or many).

Bedbugs have been sweeping through the French capital. Users on social media have been posting videos of the creatures.


Bed bugs have been seen crawling all over public spaces in Paris as France battles an 'invasion' of the insects. Paris’ transport minister, Clément Beaune, said he would convene public transport operators next week “to inform them about countermeasures and how to do more for the protection of travellers”. #paris #bedbugs #france #paris2024 #olympics #bedbugsparis #bedbugsuk #bedbuginfestation

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The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, told French TV, “No one is safe. You can catch them anywhere and bring them home, and not detect them in time until they have multiplied and spread.”


I rented a one month airbnb in Paris and discovered bed bugs in the bedroom. I ended up having to pay extra money to airbnb to move out because they would only refund the stay plus a partial coupon but all the remaining available airbnbs were much more expensive. . . . #paris #parisbedbugs #bedbugs #parislife #bedbugsparis

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There are concerns that the infestations will not be dealt with in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The huge transportation necessary for the games are perfect for the bedbugs.

What are bedbugs?

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. They are known for their ability to infest homes, hotels, and other places where people sleep or rest, hence their name.

Adult bed bugs are typically about the size of an apple seed, measuring around 4-5 millimeters in length. After feeding, they become engorged and turn a reddish-brown color. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide and body heat emitted by humans, which leads them to feed on sleeping individuals.

Bed bugs are known for their ability to hide in cracks, crevices, and other small hiding spots near their human hosts. Common hiding places include mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and furniture. They can also infest wall voids, electrical outlets, and other hidden areas and reproduce rapidly.

How to get rid of them

Remove all bedding, linens, and clothing from the infested area. Wash them in hot water (at least 160°F or 70°C) and then dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes. This will kill bed bugs and their eggs.


This is one of the worst things ive experienced, ive been so scared to sleep for the last few nights and i feel so insecure with how i look. #bedbugs #bedbuginfestation #travelfail #parisbedbugs #bedbugbites #traveltok #hostelbedbug #fear #solobackpacking #hostels

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It’s usually best to hire a licensed pest control professional to apply pesticides incase you missed any. For many people this is too expensive an option, making neutralising the pests very difficult.

To prevent a future infestation, take steps to avoid bringing bed bugs home. Be cautious when traveling, inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs, and wash clothes regularly.