Videos of bedbugs in Paris Metro have gone viral on social media.
France's capital Paris is battling an invasion of bedbugs, just 10 months before the 2024 Summer Olympics. The tiny pests were first spotted in hotels and rental apartments across the city during the summer. Then, moviegoers were disgusted by these bugs in theatres and now, social media users have reported bedbugs crawling around on seats in high-speed trains and Paris Metro. Photos and videos of bedbugs in the Metro train are going viral on X (formerly) with passengers warning others to pay attention before sitting on a seat or dropping their bags.
France24 said in a report that country's transport minister Clement Beaune has vowed to "protect" the public from the menace by holding a meeting of public transport operators.
Bedbugs had disappeared from daily life in France in 1950s, but their resurgence is mostly due to high population density and more mass transit.
Paris city hall has urged President Emmanuel Macron to take measures to check the infestation, including creating a dedicated task force, said the outlet.
But despite these voices, Paris' deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said that there is "no threat to the Olympic Games", and urged everyone to work together to solve the issue. "Bedbugs existed before and they will exist afterward," he added.
Transport operators have said they will remain "extremely vigilant" and The Local France said there have been no more recent sightings since the one caught on camera by a passenger last week.
Companies specialising in clearing insect infestation say they have been overwhelmed in recent weeks. One visit costs several hundreds of dollars and the pest control operation often needs to be repeated.
These blood-sucking pests have been given the name bedbugs because they have a habit of nesting in mattresses. They come out at night to feed on human blood.