Paris Gripped By Bed Bug ‘Scourge’ Less Than 12 Months Before 2024 Olympic Games

Image of a bed bug.

Image of a bed bug. Credit: Gilles San Martin/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

WITH the 2024 Paris Olympics less than 12 months away, the city’s Council yesterday urged the Government to implement an urgent plan of action to eradicate the bed bugs problem.

In response, Clément Beaune, the Minister Delegate for Transport, announced on the social media network X this Friday, September 29, that a meeting with transport operators would take place next week.

He assured that ‘more action’ would be taken against these insects that have recently affected public transport, cinemas and hospitals, in order to ‘protect’ travellers, reported

#punaisesdelit. I will bring together transport operators next week to provide information on the actions undertaken and act more to serve travellers. To reassure and protect’, he tweeted.

Paris City Council initially called for action on Thursday 28. Emmanuel Grégoire, Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s deputy, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

It read: ‘The state urgently needs to bring together all the actors concerned in order to deploy an action plan equal to this scourge as France as the whole of France is preparing to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games’.

Speaking on BFMTV this morning, Mr Grégoire suggested that the: ‘cost of taking care of the treatment of this type of pest could raise home insurance premiums’.

Meanwhile, Mathilde Panot, the President of the Members of La France Insoumise (LFI), also called for an emergency plan to contain the ‘scourge’ of bed bugs. ‘It’s a hell lived by millions of people who don’t know how to get rid of it’, she warned.

Many reports of bed bugs in Paris have proved to be untrue

The presence of bed bugs has been reported in recent weeks in cinemas, TGVs, in the Paris Metro and in the waiting area of Roissy airport. However, not all of those claims have been proven to be true.

According to the RATP on Wednesday 27, ‘a suspicion of the presence of bed bugs in the cabin’, was reported on a train running on Line 8 of the Metro.

However, the entire train was subsequently checked and: ‘the results of this check were negative: no presence of bed bugs was found on the train’, the company announced to AFP this Friday. After the report, this train was ‘removed from commercial service to be appraised’, added the RATP.

‘All our equipment benefits from regular and thorough cleaning. In recent days, no proven cases of bed bugs have been found in our equipment’, whether Metro, RER, tram or bus’, stated the company’s spokesperson.

Similarly, at the SNCF: ‘After inspection, no proven cases of bed bugs have been confirmed in recent days on board TGV’, the railway group told AFP on Friday. The company assured that it: ‘implements both preventive and curative treatment’ in its trains.

Bed bugs disappeared in the 1950s

After disappearing from everyday life in the 1950s, these insects have made a return in many developed countries over the last 30 years. It is believed to be a result of increasingly nomadic lifestyles, second-hand consumption, and their increasing resistance to insecticides.

Bed bugs are the size of an apple seed and feed at night, mainly on human blood. They are normally found hidden in mattresses or bed bases or can be carried in clothing and luggage.

In order to eliminate them, thorough cleaning of the infested place is essential and the use of a specialised pest control service is often necessary.

However, Emmanuel Grégoire insisted on BFMTV that there was no threat to the Olympics. ‘Bed bugs, they existed before’.

He concluded by pointing out that: ‘The Olympics are an opportunity because they allow everyone to work together in the same direction and to enter into a logic of public health’.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at