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Cimex (bedbug) infestations in France: A call for action

Cimex (bedbug) infestations in France: A call for action

 

Wael Hafez, Waleed Farouk Mohamed, Feras Al-Obeidat, Sarya Swed, Hidar Alibrahim, Haidara Bohsas, Bisher Sawaf, Asrar Rashid, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nmni.2023.101201

Centuries ago, several industrialized countries, notably France, eradicated bedbug infestations. Recently, reemergence has been observed, partly attributable to increased travel worldwide, pest management tactics changes, and chemical resistance development among bedbugs. Data from Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety indicate that bedbug infestations were discovered in 11 % of French homes in 2017–2022. According to the agency, the annual cost to householders to cure their houses for persistent bugs is €230 million.

Bedbugs have become increasingly common in France, with peak infestations occurring in summer. The city is battling a bedbug infestation as the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris draw nearby. There have been allegations of bedbug infestation in many businesses. These pests were first discovered in summer lodgings, including hotels and vacation rentals. There have been several claims from tourists about insects on the Paris transportation system, including the Métro, fast trains, and airports. Due to their concern about sitting on infected seats, several visitors have said they plan to stand when riding Métro or local trains [1,2].

Parisian authorities have reported increased requests for help, and private businesses have reported an increased need for pest control services. Public and private pest treatment companies have been actively fighting bedbug infestations such as inspections, treatment, and the establishment of best practices for prevention and control. Despite these allegations, the French Minister of Health has reiterated that the nation is not "being invaded by bedbugs" and has advised the populace to maintain their calm [3].

People in France should be cautious and take precautions to avoid bedbug infestations, particularly during peak tourist seasons. Regular inspections, appropriate cleanliness, and bed bug education are necessary to reduce the spread of these pests. In France, people have become more aware of bedbugs and how to avoid them. Educational programs and initiatives have been developed to educate the public about bedbug infestation warning signs, preventative techniques, and how to handle infestations. Bedbug control remains daunting in many areas, particularly with the growth of insecticide-resistant bed bug populations. Various chemical and nonchemical treatments have been described in the literature; however, they are often insufficient or only partially successful. Government organisations, companies, landlords, pest control experts, and the general population must collaborate to implement a thorough bedbug prevention strategy. Early identification, education, and preventive actions are critical for preventing bedbug infestations and reducing their effects on communities. Herein, we provide some proposals for resolving the epidemic as quickly as possible in Paris and preventing the further spread of bedbugs in other countries (Table 1).

Table 1. Recommendations for Prevention of Bedbugs. Control strategies for managing bedbugs require an interdisciplinary approach incorporating both chemical and non-chemical techniques, emphasising four primary goals.