Cinema seats and subway and train seats. The last plague of bed bugs that suffers Paris It has spread beyond the mattresses where it is usually installed. Overwhelmed by the situation, the capital’s City Council has asked the French State for help. These tiny parasites the size of an apple seed have generated a real “psychosis” among the inhabitants of the main French city, as reflected in the newspaper “Le Parisien” on its front page this Friday.

Although there is still no updated data on the extent of this pest, the stories of neighbors, disinfection companies and users of cinemas and public transport have put the authorities on alert. The city of Paris, one of the densest in Europe, is especially concerned about the extent of bed bugs, less than a year after receiving the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2024. “Bed bugs are a public health problem and must be declared as such.

“It is necessary for the State to urgently bring together the actors involved to implement an action plan commensurate with this scourge,” the deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, told EFE. Grégoire, lieutenant of the socialist councilor Anne Hidalgo, sent a letter to the French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, to ask her to organize a “national conference” on pests and demanded that the regional health agency assume “the financial cost” of disinfections, but also “the psychological one”.

“We are worried because it is a invasive species. If we do not address the problem from the root, we could be overwhelmed,” warned Hidalgo’s number two, who proposed that home insurance – mandatory in France – also include a clause on the risk of bed bugs. While the left-wing Paris City Council awaits a response from the French Government – which is liberal and with which it has strained relations – the transport ministerClément Beaune, announced that he will meet next week with the Parisian train and metro operators (the presence of bedbugs was confirmed on line 8).

“We have to act in favor of a better service for users, to protect and reassurer”, Beaune indicated on the networks. Accustomed to various types of pests, such as rodents, Paris is a great market for disinfection companies. In the case of bedbugs they can charge up to 250 euros for a small apartment. According to the last official count, dating from June 2023, 11% of French homes were affected by bed bugs.

How to prevent these parasites?

“Cleaning does not by itself prevent a first infection, but it is true that good hygiene and rapid detection prevent major infections,” according to the French Ministry of Health, which updated this week a guide on how to act in case of bed bug infection. These insects, which act especially at night to be able feed on people’s blood and which reproduce easily, were eradicated in the mid-20th century, until they returned to the country at the end of the 90s. For Health, the reasons for his return are not completely known, although the increase in travel and the insecticide resistance These are two of the hypotheses used.