• France's news in English

Expert sounds alert on bed bug invasion

Matthew Warren · 17 Oct 2011, 11:26

Published: 17 Oct 2011 13:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Oct 2011 11:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Bed bugs, which have already caused mild hysteria in cities across the US, are steadily making their presence felt in France, according to media reports on Monday.



Pascal Delaunay, an expert in insects and parasites and who is leading a large study on the topic warned that the bugs were multiplying, fast.

"For five years companies that deal with insects have seen a five to fifteen-fold increase in the number of incidents," he told the Le Parisien daily.

Delauney called for action to tackle the problem.

"We are at the start of the contamination and in the expansion phase. The situation is not yet critical but we must take action,"

The tiny brown parasitic insects are known as "punaises de lit" in French (literally, bed drawing pins). They measure around 5 millimetres and like to live indoors, particularly in beds and curtains close to where people sleep. They feast on human blood, usually at night when they are not noticed, and leave small marks similar to mosquito bites.

In New York, official bed bug reports by the health department increased from 82 in 2004 to 4,084 in 2009. The issue became headline news across the United States in 2010 as the number of cases increased nationwide. The bugs have infested some of New Yorks' most luxurious hotels as well as cinemas and store changing rooms.

A report in online magazine the Daily Beast found that the worst cities in the US were Cincinatti, Columbus and Chicago. 

Other cities to have been infected include Sydney, Montreal and, more recently, London.

The insects can spread by travelling unnoticed in suitcases or clothes, finding a new home to settle in when they get to a new destination.

Treatment can be expensive and is not always effective.

"Getting rid of them can cost from €150 to €400 ($200 to $550)," says Pascal Delaunay.

"Certain treatments will even make the situation worse. Public authorities must take note of this problem before it explodes."



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-10-18 02:57:26 by caninelillie
See my “bed bug dog Lillie” finding bed bugs on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqjYKtkQIgM
Today's headlines
France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available