Paris Battles Bed Bug Infestation Ahead of Olympics

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

If you are looking to place an early bet on the 2024 Summer Olympics from Paris, you can currently bet whether the US (-1000) wins more medals than China


For now it's all about the bed bugs.  Will Paris be able to get rid of these pesky bugs before the Summer Olympics take place?

French officials know there is a problem.  They warned of a “widespread” outbreak of bedbugs across public spaces in the capital.

The infestation is currently taking place during Fashion Week. 

And it's not just hotels.  The critters have been spotted on subway seats and at the Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

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Deputy Mayor of Paris Emmanuel Gregoire wrote a letter on behalf of City Hall Thursday, calling on Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne to take action against the “scourge.”

“The state urgently needs to put an action plan in place against this scourge as France is preparing to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2024,” Grégoire wrote.

“No one is safe,” he tweeted last week.

Officials insist there is no threat to the Olympic games.

Bed bugs were once eradicated in France during the 1950s but a rise in international travel resulted in a resurgence during the 1990s.

By last year, the French government agency ANSES reported that 11% of French households had experienced bedbugs at some point in the years between 2017 and 2022.

Bed bugs wreak most of their havoc at night with health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.

Bed bug bites are caused primarily by two species of insects: Cimex lectularius (the common bed bug) and Cimex hemipterus.

Eliminating them from one's home becomes a problem as bed bugs are able to survive without a food source for up to 300 days, or nearly a year.

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In rare cases, bed bug bites can cause serious reactions. Signs of a serious, even life-threatening reaction (called anaphylaxis) to bed bug bites include: Difficulty breathing. Swollen tongue.

Experts stress that hygiene has nothing to do with the spread of bedbugs — rather their high fertility rate means that once they find somewhere to eat and reproduce, they spread rapidly.

The issue is so serious in Paris that Yelp even features a search on Google for Top 10 Best Bed Bugs Hotel in Paris, France - October.2023.

But Paris is hardly the only big name city where bed bug infestation is a problem. has previously reported on the occurrences of bed bugs in Las Vegas.  There is even a Bed Bug Registry for those worried.

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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