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How Paris’ Epic Bedbug Infestation Rolls To London (And On To New York)


Forbes Lifestyle ForbesLife How Paris’ Epic Bedbug Infestation Rolls To London (And On To New York) Guy Martin Senior Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Following Oct 29, 2023, 12:41am EDT | Press play to listen to this article! Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 9: Aldo Massaglia from a company called Doggybug guides a sniffer dog . .

. [+] through a cinema to look for the presence of bedbugs on October 9, 2023 in Paris, France. France has seen a resurgence of bedbug sightings in places such as schools, trains and cinemas, sparking a frenzy of activity to detect them and get a grip on the situation.

The blood-sucking insect, cimex lectularius, is increasingly difficult to exterminate because of heightened resistance to products that are used to eradicate them. Officials are equally worried about the impact this might have on the Olympic Games 2024, that Paris hosts in 10-months time, with hundreds of thousands of visitors staying in hotels and other lodgings in and around the city. (Photo by Remon Haazen/Getty Images) Getty Images Naturally, Fashion Week in Paris ended on October 3 with a glorious, kissy-face gala, but a bracing morning-after coda was provided to the assembly by a curious, if not outright itchy, worry plaguing the tres-chic hordes: Whether the dozens of obligatory fly-bys to the many venues across the week had led to an unwanted encounter with one of Paris’ leading entomological citizens, cimex lectularius , or the common bedbug.

Paris has been experiencing a steep spike in the blood-sucking critters lately, not that they have ever been truly eradicated from any world capital. But the recent spike in Paris has been painful, and two concurrent events, Fashion Week and the month-long Rugby World Cup, won by South Africa by one point on October 28, have ensured that the additional few million October visitors to France will be checking their clothes and luggage closely upon their return home. But before we strap on the metaphorical HAZMAT suits and respirators for a deep dive into proven methods of detection and combat, first, a brief Baedeker on the taxonomy and habits of the highly agile, and ancient, parasite.

Bedbugs have been our fellow travelers for millennia, and will continue to be so. The reason, it’s thought, is cimex lectularius are nocturnal and have adapted to attack their hosts for blood as they, the hosts, are most vulnerable, namely, as they are unconscious. As humans moved from a nomadic to a more domesticated existence, the parasites found us to be more opportunistic prey in that we slept, more or less dependably, in the same place.

But of course they were with us before that — which, according to the theory, is the evolutionary key to the bedbugs’ fantastic ability to “hitchhike” in latter-day clothing, bedding, accoutrements, furniture, luggage, upholstery, and places of assembly. Put another way, there is no such thing as “eradication,’ there’s only combat, as our friends the French are discovering. And there are bigger worries in Paris immediately down the line: Next year’s Olympics are going to be a nightmare as the city fills literally to the gills with delegations, families, officials and the like.

The government expects 15 million spectators over the course of the Olympiad, locals included. MORE FOR YOU Good News For Stargazers: The Clocks Will Soon ‘Fall Back’—Here’s When African Elephants Mysteriously Dropped Dead Scientists Think They Finally Know Why At Least 20 Minutes Of Daily Physical Activity May Offset Higher Risk Of Death From Sitting Too Much Study Suggests Not so fast, say the scientists. The reason that there seemed to be a resurgence of bedbugs in Paris around this fall’s fashion week is that some pesky ‘influencers’ (and the attendant press) magnified the experience of human-bedbug encounters to the point hat it simply seemed as if there had been a cimex lectularius spike.

No less an entomological authority than Scientific American weighed in on the Fashion Week debate. Virginia Tech professor Dini Miller told the magazine: “It has the media excited, but in all honesty, these populations don’t develop just overnight. And I promise these bed bugs have been there for a while.

” . Guy Martin Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions.

From: forbes

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