Bedbug infestation in Paris, as the nasty critters turn a dream vacation into an itchy nightmare.
Bedbug Infestation in Paris: Tips for Traverlers
Bedbug Infestation in Paris
Paris is the world’s most-visited city, from solo travelers to couples in love, it’s a vacation destination favored by many. Statistics show that in 2022, Paris was visited by 44 million tourists. But what happens when you put these millions of tourists with hundreds of bedbugs? An itchy vacation, combined with a hint of health hazard and a whole lot of discomfort. Bedbug infestation in Paris is not a new concept, although the situation now has escalated quite a bit. According, to ANSES, the French health and safety agency, between the years 2017 to 2022, more than one in 10 French households reported bedbug infestation. ANSES stated:
“Upsurge in bed-bug infestations in recent years has been due in particular to the rise in travel and the increasing resistance of bedbugs to insecticides.”
According to the statement given by ANSES, the bedbugs in Paris have mutated and evolved into superbugs, harboring evolved defenses and better adaptation against certain chemicals and insecticides used to kill them. These insects mostly reside in bed frames and mattresses and strike when humans are most vulnerable, in a state of sleep. They lie in wait for their human prey to doze off into dreamland and then crawl out to enjoy their bloody meal.
These creatures are also quite intelligent. Where we have to pay thousands and millions to travel the world, all they need to do is hitch a ride on a suitcase, clothing, or hand luggage and travel the world, exploring new horizons, and enjoying the taste of blood from different regions of the world.
Bedbug Infestation in Paris – Is it Safe to Travel
Traveling to Paris, infested by hundreds of creepy crawlies is safe, as the city is big and even though the infestation is widely reported and being blown out of or proportion, the bedbugs aren’t everywhere. However, it’s better to take precautions, bedbug Infestation in Paris might not be in every corner, but a mere second of exposure to these things, and your vacation will be spent scarping your fingernails across your reddened skin.
Before arriving in the bedbug-infested city, make sure to contact your hotel and accommodation and ask if they are currently facing a bedbug infestation. If they aren’t, enquire about what measures are in place to prevent the infestation and keep guests safe. US government website has issue no guidance as of yet regarding bedbug infestation in Paris or any cautionary statement that might suggest that traveling to the City of Love is unsafe.
The French government on the other hand has vowed to protect the public from these critters. Even though some areas of Paris are safe from the infestation, when and where these creepy crawlies might strike again remains a mystery. Professor emeritus in the Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, Michael F. Potter gave his two cents on the bedbug infestation in Paris:
“It’s hard to predict this sort of thing, but the scenario of record increases in travel and staff shortages in the hospitality industry is concerning with respect to bedbugs,”
“The staff shortage issue is concerning because the best way for hotels to prevent infestations from escalating within their hotels is to stay vigilant. And the biggest way they can do that is by performing regular inspections of their rooms … by the housekeepers who need to be trained and educated to spot infestations at their initial stages.”
Bedbug Infestation in Paris – How to Avoid it
There are several ways you can prevent the creepy crawlies from getting to you. Martin Seeley, CEO of MattressNextDay shares what visitors can do to avoid bedbugs:
“When people arrive in their hotel room, many place their suitcase straight onto the bed and start unpacking their clothes…. However, we would suggest keeping your suitcase off your bed as this is where bedbugs are most commonly found.”
Therefore, upon arrival at your accommodation, when you start unpacking, use the luggage rack provided by hotels and make sure to keep your luggage on an elevated surface. Avoid placing your suitcases on the floor in the corner. Also, keep in mind to separate your dirty clothes from the clean ones.
“Research shows that bedbugs are more attracted to dirty clothes than to clean clothes. So, make sure to take a spare bag for your dirty clothing, and knot it each time you add to it,” says Martin.
Moreover, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) states:
“The ideal temperature for an adult bedbug to thrive is between 70-90°F, so it’s best to keep your room cool at night-time with air conditioning.”
Travelers are also advised to carry hard-cased luggage, as it is difficult for bedbugs to latch onto hard materials as compared to fibrous fabric. When you arrive home from your trip, unpack your luggage away from your bedroom, ideally on a hard floor instead of carpet as you won’t be able to spot the critters on the carpet. Moreover, check every nook and cranny of your suitcase for infestation and wash every single item of clothing, even the ones you didn’t wear.
According to Bed Bug Specialist:
“A combination of a hot wash cycle (the maximum allowed according to the labels of the clothes) along with detergent will be too much for the bedbugs, the wash cycle has to be long enough, hot enough, and the detergent has to come in contact with the bugs and their eggs.”
The American Hotel and Lodging Association also offered some helpful tips to travelers visiting bedbug-infested Paris:
- Bedbug infestation in Paris is alarming but you can take measures to protect yourself. When you arrive at your accommodation make sure to check for infestation behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
- In case you see a sign of infestation, notify the management right away and request another room, one that is not next to the infested room. However, if you aren’t satisfied, it’s best to go to some other place.
- When you spot bedbugs, put a protective cover or a plastic trash bag around your suitcase to prevent them from latching on.
Bedbugs Infestation in Paris – Telltale Signs
It’s easy to confuse carpet beetles with bedbugs, therefore before embarking on your journey to Paris and preventing an itchy vacation, make sure to educate yourself on what these critters look like. Adult bedbugs are usually about the size of an apple seed, 5 to 7 millimetres or 3/16 to 1/4 inch long. They are brown, long, and have an oval-shaped, flat body if they haven’t fed. On the other hand, if they have fed, they will appear balloon-like, elongated, and reddish brown in color.
Young bedbugs are either whitish-yellow or translucent and are smaller in size. The nymphs are nearly inviable when they haven’t fed. The size of bedbugs’ eggs is almost similar to that of a pinhead, and they are colored pearl white. Spotting bedbugs is difficult, but you can spot the telltale signs like:
- Reddish or rusty stains on the mattresses or sheets, caused when bedbugs are crushed.
- Tiny dark spots on the sheets, mattresses, and other surfaces. These spots are the excrement of bedbugs after they have fed on blood.
- The exoskeletons of bedbugs.
- If the infestation is heavy, a sweet, musty odor will hang in the area.
- Eggs and eggshells, are quite small, and spotting them is difficult, but you can find them if you look close enough.
Bedbug Infestation in Paris – Health Issues
Bedbug infestation in Paris is causing a lot of concern among the public regarding health and illness. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention however have some good news amidst the chaos, and that is, the bedbugs don’t spread any illness. Like if a mosquito feasts on your blood, it might transmit malaria or dengue, however, when bedbugs feast on your crimson life force, they don’t transmit any disease.
However, the insufferable itching can cause, discomfort, lack of sleep, as well as secondary skin infections if you scratch too hard. In case the bedbugs make a meal out of you, follow the steps given below:
- First, wash the bites with soap and water gently.
- Apply an itch cream, or lotion (hydrocortisone 1%) on your skin.
- Repeat the steps given above twice a day until the itching subsides.
For more information on the prevention and treatment of bedbugs’ bites consult the Cleveland Clinic website.
Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics: What Travelers Need to Know Before the Eagerly Anticipated Event
Apart from bedbug infestation in Paris, another event that has the city in its chock hold is the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. Check out our article to learn more about the ultimate sporting event, for which millions from around the world will swarm the city.