Almost as if planned, the very day before Parasitec began bedbugs featured in the French media.
The problem grabbed public attention when France Info, a radio news station, reported on 16 November that several Parisian hotels had been infested. It said one threw out all of its carpets and furniture after guests complained.
The report quoted an employee at the public health section of Paris” City Hall, who asked not to be named, who said more than 600 places in the city have needed treating for bedbug infection so far this year, a marked increase from 2009.
Also quoted was Reynald Boudet, owner of the Aurouze DIY extermination shop in Paris, recently made famous when it appeared in the Disney film, Ratatouille, who said: “Let”s say it started in 2007. Back then we had ten requests per year. Now it”s more like a hundred. We are getting more and more orders for (extermination) products from all over the country.”
But speaking to the professionals within the industry, Marc Esculier, managing director of servicing company, Hygiá¨ne Habitat, said: “Over the last six years or so, the number of bedbug infestations we have treated has gradually increased and has certainly picked-up over the last two years. About 80% of our treatments have been in domestic premises – maybe hotels are just keeping quiet about the problem to protect their reservations. Like other countries, in France we are preparing a Bedbug Code of Practice so we can be well prepared should the position escalate.”
Having witnessed the media frenzy concerning the infestation outbreak in New York, it is hardly surprising if the French hotels are keeping quiet. If you do a Google search for ‘Bedbugs in Paris’ there is a whole raft of comments posted by tourist who have been attacked by ”punaises de lit”.
The blame seems to be being laid at the door of American and Canadian tourists bringing these unwanted travellers with them.
Similar reports have also been appearing in the Irish press. Trevor Hayden, owner of Complete Pest Control, told the Sunday Tribune in their article: “A lot of the call-outs we are dealing with are from people who have returned from New York carrying the insects. Traditionally, this is the time when a lot of Irish people go to New York shopping and they are unwittingly bringing back the insects,” he added.
Nightime in Paris may soon take on a different meaning!