When not letting bed bugs bite becomes an extreme sport…
Paris, France is dancing with an unsettling bed bug ballet, as a multitude of eerie images and chilling reports infest social media platforms, setting a spine-tingling fear.
The bloodsucking creepy crawlies have completely taken over the city of light, prompting French transport minister Clément Beaune to meet transport operators.
“It’s a real nightmare,” says Yacine, a schoolteacher in Paris. “I’m so afraid to take the Metro, I don’t go to the cinema- it’s very alarmant.”
The city just finished hosting the Rugby World Cup and Paris fashion week, leaving the hundreds of thousands of visitors with some itchy souvenirs to bring home.
Railway network, Eurostar, has made efforts to reassure travelers that they thoroughly clean the textile surfaces of their trains with heat. They also added that the presence of bedbugs or any other insects is “extremely rare.”
In a statement, Eurostar said the trains would be deep cleaned “on request, or as soon as there is the slightest doubt.”
Transport for London announced it would continue to oversee the “rigorous” cleaning of its networks. Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, also made a statement announcing that while the organization was fully aware of “reported challenges” in France, “there is absolutely no indication or reports of this happening in the UK.”
Despite this, social media fuels local and potential traveler concerns with mounting evidence, challenging any attempts at reassurance.
“My friend is on a train from Birmingham to Leicester and she’s just seen a bedbug,” tweeted Tian-Demi Douglas, a Londoner. The rest of the tweet from Monday went on to say: “The whole carriage is screaming. It’s game over, lads.”
So what can be done to protect ourselves from these nocturnal, blood-sucking insects that seem to have completely taken over?
Experts have composed a list of precautions to take:
Check Your Room
When staying in a hotel, Blago Manov, the director of Bed Bug Hunters, recommends “DIY inspections” of the bed frame and sheets for traces of bedbugs. Eggs, feces, and more obviously, exoskeletons are all the signs that prove the presence of these pesky creatures. “They look like flat apple seeds, Manov explains. You can’t miss em.
Keep Your Belongings Together
Don’t unpack your suitcase and store your belongings in wardrobes or drawers in the room.
Check Yourself For Bites
“A lot of people are not actually aware that they have been bitten by bedbugs, or that they have them in at their properties,” says Manov. Look for visible signs on skin that is exposed while sleeping. Face, neck, wrists and ankles are target area, and don’t forget to check for blood stains on bedding.
Let The Professionals Have It
The chances of a ‘hot fix’ in the event of bedbugs actually fixing the problem, are slim. Don’t trust any ‘tips and tricks’ you see online. Just hire a professional to take care of the issue before the infestation gets any worse.