Bedbugs sightings has increased over the last weeks in Paris provoking a wave of insectophobia.
The situation has also raised questions about health and safety during the 2024 Olympic Games, billed to hold in the country.
There have been stories, though unproven that bedbugs were recently seen in cinemas, as well as claims that people have been bitten on trains, with circulated videos showing unidentified mites on a seat.
French residents are now calling in exterminators to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire had warned against “hysteria” over the issue, as increasing number of Parisians were referring to the town hall’s information services for information on bedbugs”.
“Professional companies which intervene in residential areas are telling us that currently the proportion of interventions for bedbugs is atypical compared to normal and is increasing rapidly,” he said.
Three years ago, the French government launched an anti-bedbug campaign, but Gregoire said despite that plan, “there are 3.6 million people who come into Paris every day, and bedbugs do not stop on the outskirts of the city.”
In another development, France’s health minister Aurelien Rousseau has assured the French public that there’s “no reason for widespread panic”
The National Institute for the Study and Control of Bedbugs (INELP) had earlier told the CNN that the level of bedbug infestation in France is worse than previous years but treatable.
Though the news is circulating at a time when Paris is ready to host the 2024 Olympics Games, officials say they are not worried
Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals, with humans being the preferred hosts for the two main species.
They are called bedbugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: Sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They also prefer the dark.