Bed bugs have infested Paris ahead of the 2024 Olympics

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Let’s be candid, Paris has not been ok this year. In March President Emmanuel Macron raised the retirement age from 62 to 64 — sacre bleu! — and all hell broke loose. There were riots, unions on strike, and somehow flaming baguettes were involved (because of course). Eventually things calmed down enough that Macron deemed it safe for King Chaz and Consort Cam to reschedule their state visit, which happened a couple weeks ago. But now another scourge is plaguing the city: bed bugs. Not wanting to cause widespread panic, the Deputy Mayor’s calm, measured public statement was: “No one is safe.” The vermin of Paris are a global concern because, come July, the world will be descending on Paris for the 2024 Olympics. Quel désastre!

Paris will welcome the world in nine months as the host of the 2024 Olympics. But right now, the City of Light is dealing with very unwelcome visitors: bed bugs.

The small, blood-sucking insects have been spotted all over the French capital — on the Metro (Paris’s public transportation system), in hotels and movie theaters and at the Charles de Gaulle airport.

“No one is safe,” Deputy Mayor of Paris Emmanuel Grégoire posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Sept. 29. “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.”

Grégoire reached out to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, writing, “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,” according to Reuters. The outlet added that Transport Minister Clement Beaune was going to address the infestation on public transportation this week…

The Mayo Clinic says bed bugs aren’t known carriers of disease and don’t present any health risks unless someone is allergic to the bites, but the bugs — small, flat, reddish-brown insects that are the size of an apple seed — can severely impact someone’s mental health.

“Psychological sequelae resulting from bed bug biting events include nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance (to keep the bugs away), insomnia, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, and personal dysfunction,” the American Journal of Medicine reports, comparing the effects of bed bugs to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“That really traumatized me,” train passenger Laura Mmadi told CNN following an encounter with the pests. “I’ll keep my luggage closed to prevent them from getting to my home.”

Bed bugs generally hide during the day, coming out at night to feed. “The fact that we can actually see them means that there are a lot of them,” another passenger, Luc Villette, pointed out to CNN, “And in addition, they’re being seen in the day… so there is a big problem somewhere.”

[From People]

Bed bug panic is no joke — I moved to New York in time to catch one of the rampant phases. A family I babysat for had to clean out everything in their apartment three times because their neighbors wouldn’t do a proper fumigation. Meanwhile another friend of mine swears up and down that the bugs got into the city in the first place via a couch of David Bowie’s that she helped to relocate. I know, it’s a looney story. But it also got me thinking… We know a British man who visited Paris recently. You guys, King Charles brought bed bugs to Paris! I have no proof, yet I also have no qualms about starting this rumor. Merci beaucoup, Charles.

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24 Responses to “Bed bugs have infested Paris ahead of the 2024 Olympics”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    I saw a comment about how the Haitian ancestors are in essence seeking revenge for their country. I cackled.

  2. Meh says:

    Well, KFC does take his mattress everywhere, so…

  3. Flowerlake says:

    Lol, omg that Prince Charles reference at the bottom

    Yeah, this is quite a hot topic in Europe. It’s already found in Public transport so wouldn’t be surprised if trains from Paris to other countries like the Thalys might become suspect too 😉

  4. Kitten says:

    Went on the trip of a lifetime to Paris with my bestie when I turned 30 and all I had to show for it at the end was bed bugs. Seriously, I am not surprised AT ALL by this. And bed bugs are little nasties that will ruin your life until you rid you space of them. Shit is no joke.

  5. Normades says:

    I live in France and I think the outbreak in New York you speak of also happened in Paris. We had them and did everything right to get rid of them including putting all our shit in plastic bags. But when the neighbors in your building don’t do their part (like putting infested shit in stairwells) they just move from one unit to another. It’s absolute hell.
    This year it’s been a perfect storm of a huge post Covid tourist invasion and unseasonably warm weather. The government is trying to lock that shit down and it will get better this winter. Doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again during the summer Olympics though.

    • Normades says:

      One thing that really helped besides calling in professional fumigators that knew how to find where they were hiding is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth anywhere they could pass. The fumigators said we only had a ‘petit’ infiltration (because like I said we went full on bag up and wash everything) so I can’t even imagine a big one.

    • Lorelei says:

      I’m still traumatized by the thought of all of the rodents and roaches (and god knows what else) that had to quickly seek higher ground last week due to the flooding in NYC!

  6. butterflystella says:

    Ugh, my daughter’s apartment building became infested with them and the mental toll it took on that poor (adult) kid was bad! She resorted to sleeping on a marble coffee table because they couldn’t get to her there. She ended up breaking her lease a couple of months early and starting over elsewhere. Total Nightmare!!

  7. Chantal says:

    Lol at C-Rex bringing bed bugs to Paris! Doesn’t he travel with his own bed or mattresses or something? But I think Camilla is the more likely culprit.

    I’m really looking forward to the Paris 2024 Olympics. And congrats to TEAM USA in women’s gymnastics for winning their historic 7th Gold medal (and Simone Biles’ 20th in total medals) in the World Championship in Antwerp yesterday! The team really pulled it together after Jocelyn got injured with Leanne Wong really stepped up in Vault. Shilese Jones did an incredible job and Simone Biles as usual was phenomenal – her floor routine and that score of 15.166 was unbelievable! Also congrats to Simone for having another skill named after her earlier this week in Vaults – the Biles Ii. And congrats to TEAM BRAZIL for winning Silver and TEAM FRANCE for winning Bronze. Best of luck to our men’s team today – it looks like a really great team so far.

  8. Jais says:

    Yep, I lived in nyc when bed bugs got crazy. My bf at the time had them in Harlem. He’d wake up getting bit but I never reacted. However, the whole building forced everyone to get rid of their mattresses and fumigated the whole building. To no avail. He moved and luckily didn’t transport the bugs. In the past year, my sister did an Airbnb in Panama City, florida and it was infested with bed bugs. She had a severe reaction whereas her kids and husband had no reaction. They washed everything and didn’t transport them back home. I was telling her to throw away everything, diaper bags everything. They did not. But they washed everything on high heat before driving back home. She was fully refunded but the company deleted her review about the bed bugs. Anyways, a bed bug infestation in Paris for the Olympics sounds like an absolute nightmare.

    • Normades says:

      Often times they’re not even in the mattress or box spring but in an electrical circuit, crack in the wall etc… that’s why casings don’t really work. The fumigators found them in a hollow wood leg of a side table. Tip: metal bed frame at home and use the preferably metal suitcase platform at the hotel.

  9. TikiChica says:

    Just back from Paris, we were there last week. My husband had read about this and was super paranoid. Apparently they’re also on trains!
    Happy to report, we had no issues, and are back safely and no bed bugs to report.

    • Normades says:

      Yea *fingers crossed* this is just being exaggerated a bit. I had 3 US friends tell me it was the biggest story in US (don’t you have other things to worry about!) news while meanwhile none of my French friends on fb have mentioned it.

      • TikiChica says:

        We’re in the UK. He had heard about it before we flew out to Paris, but to be fair, I hadn’t, so it’s not THAT big news over there either.

    • mimic says:

      I’m going in a week and a half and am SUPER worried. Esp because I really wanted to splurge on a fancy purse, which I obviously dont want to have to throw out in case . . .

  10. Bumblebee says:

    I lived in military family housing for years and they regularly spray for bugs because people are always moving in and out, and the bugs move with them. Even across the ocean.
    Pro-tip: when you move, never pack food, give it to the neighbor who didn’t move in with bugs

    • R says:

      i get that the riots around the age of retirement seems excessive, but Macron is not the most progressive president to say the least, and he over his presidency he has slowy but surely eroded social labour laws and that’s what people have been protesting.

  11. Tila says:

    I was in South of France when I heard about this outbreak. I was obviously nowhere near Paris but was still paranoid. I’ve seen how these little fuckers wreak pure havoc.

  12. VilleRose says:

    Bed bugs are one of my worst phobias. I have unfortunately dealt with them twice. And I’m not joking, first time ever was at a hotel in Paris back in 2018 during a work trip. It was so incredibly stressful and my boss felt bad but also not very sympathetic either. I had bites all over my neck and arms and they took forever to fade. The good thing was I realized there was a problem while I was at the hotel and managed to take precautions to avoid bringing them home. The hotel was completely clueless on how to handle it, they switched me to a different room but the damage was done. I got the all clear from the exterminator a few weeks after my return to the US who told me I had done everything right to avoid an infestation in my then Brooklyn apartment. Ever since I’ve been on super high alert.

    And then last summer in 2022, I was living with my parents and some relatives who had been traveling brought them in our guestroom. I was alone when the discovery was made as my parents went abroad so I had to deal with it by myself the first few weeks. It ruined my entire summer. Luckily we caught it early and they were only found in 2 rooms, the guest room and mine (of course). I can’t tell you how exhausting the clean up/decontaminating efforts are. My clothes were in plastic bins for weeks and it took me 6 months to sleep in my bedroom, I was so afraid and paranoid. We got the all clear from the exterminator early on but for peace of mind they came to treat the affected rooms 5 times which may have been overkill.

    We now have one of those “bed bug ovens,” basically a large canvas bag with a heater attached to it. I always put my suitcase in it whenever I come back from traveling and we make guests put their bags in there as well. It gives me peace of mind since heat will always kill them. I suggest everyone buy one before you get an infestation. You’ll thank me later. You can buy them on Amazon.

    And when I worked in NYC, they were also found in my then office twice. That’s when my phobia started because I was so afraid of accidentally bringing them home. I never did and after that my office had periodic bed bug inspections because they were such a recurring problem.

    My cousin who lives in Paris also had them in her apartment last year so they are a huge problem. Not necessarily in Paris, but everywhere lol.

    Great timing since I’m going to France end of October…!

  13. Lau says:

    As a parisian I can assure you that this is not news and bed bugs have always been a problem in Paris. Now the only real problem is that it got all of our fascists to go on tv and say that it was all the fault of … migrants.
    Honestly I’m pretty sure most big cities have a bed bugs problem that just goes away and come back from time to time.

  14. Turtledove says:

    I have never had bed bugs and still have an over the top level of anxiety about them. They are gross, they are hard to get rid of, the work involved sounds exhausting and the possibility of having to replace things sounds expensive, as does the professional treatments that are required.

    Honestly, if there really is a large infestation, I would suggest that no one be allowed to travel to Paris. The idea of people coming from all over the world and bringing them home to all their various countries freaks me out beyond measure. It sounds like the plot to a zombie movie.

    Yes, I know that suggestion is outrageous. I realize it’s unreasonable and would never happen, but my phobia is strong and that was just honestly my first thought.

  15. Cel2495 says:

    Here now , thankfully have no issue ! Have 2 more days to go and I am buying super careful