A bed bug outbreak in France is sending creepy crawly vibes across the Paris metro area and threatening to ruin vacations in the process.
A recent wave of bed bug sightings have popped up across Paris from Charles de Gaulle airport to the Paris metro, high-speed trains, movie theaters, and more, Reuters reported. And they’ve caught the attention of higher-ups just nine months ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“No one is safe,” Paris’ Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. “Faced with a bedbug infestation, coordinated measures are needed that bring together health authorities, communities and all relevant stakeholders to prevent the risk and act effectively.”
Gregoire wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne the state needed to “urgently” address “this scourge as France is preparing to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024,” according to Reuters.
For his part, Transport Minister Clement Beaune said he would call a meeting this week to “undertake further action” to “reassure and protect” the public amid the reported outbreak, CNN reported.
RATP, the operator for the Paris metro, told the network it was “extremely vigilant on the matter,” but insisted there had been no recent sightings.
Bed bugs are small, flat insects that are reddish-brown in color and feed on the blood of people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can live for several months without a blood meal.
While not dangerous to most people, some can suffer an allergic reaction and they can be pervasive if left untreated and very difficult to get rid of.
If travelers encounter bed bugs, there are a few ways to help deal with them and prevent bringing them back home. First, travelers should inspect the room where they are staying for bed bugs, including checking the mattress and headboard as well as luggage racks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
To avoid bringing any unwanted souvenirs back home, travelers should unpack directly into a washing machine (since high heat and the dryer specifically can kill the bugs) and inspect their luggage, according to the agency. The EPA warns travelers to never store suitcases under their bed.