The French government has launched an anti-bedbug campaign on February 20 and also a dedicated website with a hotline emergency number to prevent infestation. The website provides strict measures to prevent the spread of the small, flattened insects which have settled in homes and hotels to feed on human blood. According to international media reports, the bedbugs had disappeared from France in the 1950s, however, the insects have made a resurgence.
The France government has warned people on the webpage saying, 'we all can be affected'. The website also mentions that these parasites prefer to survive and multiply in dark areas meaning the corners of the sofas and beds are at high risk. The bedbugs, also known as Cimex Lectularius, can bite up to 90 times in a single night, leaving sores similar to mosquito bites.
According to the website, international travel and increasing resistance to insecticides are to blame for the bedbugs resurgence. Furthermore, the website advises hotel guests to store their luggage on racks rather than on the floor and to check bed, mattress and other dark areas before using them. The authorities have also advised washing clothes in hot water, or heating non-washable items in a tumble dryer.
As per reports, the extermination experts in Paris said that four lakh addresses including hotels, apartments and houses were treated in 2018. It is believed that due to the banning of potent poisons the bedbugs revived and in the late 1990s, they were also thriving in New York. Another outbreak in US, back in 2010, led to them invading high-end apartment buildings, hotels and even clothing stores like the lingerie outlet Victoria's Secret.
The insects cost billions of dollars annually to exterminate by businesses and homeowners and a study also found that the bed bugs had become resistant to pesticides. Another study further suggests that the insects sought out human scents and snuggled up in worn clothes before tagging along. The bedbugs hide in linen by day and come out at night to bite people, leaving red, itchy soars, however, they do not transmit any disease.