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Paris School Infested with Bedbugs, Teachers Strike

Paris School Infested with Bedbugs, Teachers Strike

Paris School Infested with Bedbugs, Teachers Strike

Paris School Infested with Bedbugs, Teachers Strike

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  • French government addresses bedbug infestation concerns.
  • High-ranking officials meet to coordinate plans against bedbugs.
  • Proposal for a national bedbug observatory to assess the issue.
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The French government is actively addressing a growing concern regarding bedbug infestations, with a recent incident in a Paris school highlighting the issue.

High-ranking officials from the health, economy, and transport ministries are convening at the prime minister’s office on Friday to coordinate a comprehensive plan to combat these pests.

One of their key initiatives is to expedite the development of a national observatory dedicated to monitoring bedbug occurrences.

The objective is to obtain an accurate assessment of the extent of this problem.

Experts in entomology and public health have cautioned that while there has indeed been a noticeable increase in bedbug populations, not only in France but also in other regions, many recent reports of infestations are inaccurate.

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This has raised concerns about unnecessary panic.

Nicolas Roux de Bézieux, the founder of the pest control website badbugs.fr, has revealed that three out of four inquiries he receives from worried homeowners ultimately do not involve bedbug issues.

Romain Morzaderc, a pest controller in Brittany, told Ouest-France newspaper that “in 99% of cases, yes there are nasty black insects, but no, they are not bedbugs”.

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The government is deeply concerned about how the bedbug issue has taken center stage in both domestic and international news.

There is a growing fear among ministers that this negative publicity may harm Paris’s reputation and potentially impact tourism, particularly with the upcoming Olympics scheduled for next year.

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However, they face the challenge of striking a delicate balance between reassuring the public and simultaneously creating awareness about a problem that requires swift intervention for effective control.

Transport Minister Clément Beaune stated on Wednesday that out of almost 50 reported sightings of bedbugs on metro and SNCF trains, none have been confirmed as genuine infestations.

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“I wouldn’t like to see a kind of French-bashing take hold… as it does sometimes in Anglo-Saxon countries,” he said.

“The problem needs to be taken very seriously. No denial. And no hysteria.”

Over recent weeks, pest-control companies across France have reported a huge increase in bedbug call-outs. Experts say there is always a pick-up after the summer holidays, and every year the surge is getting bigger.

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“It’s happening in cities everywhere,” said Mr Roux de Bézieux.

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Bedbugs have been reported in various places such as cinemas, trains, hospitals, and schools. The prevalence of social media has significantly amplified public anxiety about the issue, although many of the videos circulating online turn out not to involve actual bedbugs.

In the most recent confirmed case, teachers at the Elisa-Lemonnier lycée (high school) in the 12th district of Paris refused to work on Friday due to the discovery of bedbugs in several classrooms, offices, and changing areas.

The government is considering several measures, including price regulation for eradication services, clarification of financial responsibilities between property owners and renters, and the creation of a registered list of pest control companies.

Concerns about potential scams by unreliable service providers can lead property owners to delay seeking assistance.

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According to France’s foremost bedbug expert, Jean-Michel Berenger, many pest controllers have limited training and may be unscrupulous in their interventions, even when they are aware that bedbugs are not the issue.

Despite the hype, public education about bedbugs has made significant progress, which is crucial for addressing future outbreaks. One interesting fact that has emerged is related to the reproductive behavior of bedbugs, scientifically known as cimex lectularius.

Bedbugs are one of the few species that engage in “traumatic insemination.” The male bedbug, equipped with a barbed needle-like penis, can pierce the female’s body at any point, and his sperm travels through her bloodstream to reach her reproductive organ.

Over time, females have evolved to develop an abdominal dent to encourage males to pierce them at that specific spot. Male bedbugs also exhibit homosexual behavior and attempt to inseminate other species.

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