There is mounting concern that the recent and extensive bed bug outbreak in Paris and other French cities will spread across the channel, if it hasn’t already, with one major UK hotel chain reportedly asking new guests whether they have travelled from France, and if so, organising a deep clean of their room when they leave.
Hotels across the country are preparing to deploy pest control experts with sniffer dogs that can detect the insects to combat the potential bed bug invasion, and guests should carefully check their room on arrival for the presence of these resilient parasitic insects. The first place to look is under the bed sheets and on the bed frame, and it is advisable to strip a hotel room as far as possible, as bed bugs can be present in various places including mattresses, carpets and other furnishings.
Apart from hotels, bed bugs have been spotted in multiple other public spaces in Paris, with phone footage capturing their presence on buses, trains, and in hospitals, GP surgeries, schools, workplaces, shops and cinemas, among other places. Several French schools have been forced to close temporarily after becoming infested with bed bugs, while public transport services are routinely deep cleaned and disinfected.
France appears to be overwhelmed by the bed bug ‘invasion’, with city residents dumping mattresses in the streets, burning bed linen and luggage, and even evacuating their homes. Pest control companies in the UK report being ‘snowed under’ with bed bug callouts, while Transport for London has started to disinfect seats on a daily basis after a widespread outbreak on the Paris Metro.
One problem is that getting rid of a bed bug infestation can be a lengthy and complicated process, particularly now that modern bed bugs have evolved and developed resistance to chemicals in the insecticides traditionally used to eradicate them. Until new insecticides are developed, bed bug infestations will continue to be difficult to deal with, including the stress and toll they can take on a person’s mental health.
If you or your children have been bitten by bed bugs, contact Bartletts Solicitors for free legal advice and to claim compensation for the physical injury, associated mental trauma and financial repercussions: