Bedbugs: Eurostar introduces preventative measures amid Paris infestation

Eurostar has said trains on its Paris-London service will have “preventative measures” in place amid bedbug outbreaks in the French capital.

French social media users have posted videos of bugs found on the Paris train network in recent weeks.

Transport for London said it is not aware of any outbreaks on its network.

Dr Will Hentley, an expert on bedbugs, said the situation in France is unlikely to have any major impact in the UK.

The blood-sucking insects have also been spotted in Parisian cinemas, hospitals and in private homes, with French authorities warning that the issue must be tackled before next summer’s Olympics.

A Eurostar spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our number one priority, and the presence of insects, such as bedbugs, on our trains is extremely rare.”

They said textile seats on their trains are “cleaned thoroughly” on a regular basis – including use of a hot-water injection cleaning system and extraction cleaning – which is “highly effective in eliminating bugs”.

Transport for London said it would continue to monitor the network and maintain its “rigorous and thorough cleaning measures”.

Dr Hentley, an academic with the University of Sheffield’s school of biosciences, said that London bedbugs are already “fairly prevalent” in the UK and the situation in Paris would be unlikely to have much additional impact.

“There is limited risk in it getting any worse because the bedbugs are already here. They’re not going to suddenly come across the channel to the UK,” he said.

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Dr Will Hentley said there is no need to panic over bedbugs in London

Dr Hentley said the insects are already “fairly prevalent in every major UK city”.

Bedbugs being found on public transport in major urban areas is not a “new thing”, he added.

Bedbugs have been on the rise globally, the BBC’s Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield reports, with factors such as international trade and travel being blamed.

Dr Hentley said he could not be sure whether there has actually been a dramatic rise in outbreaks in France, or whether awareness has increased with viral social media videos.

One factor for any rise, he said, could be the cost-of-living crisis, which means fewer people are able to afford pest control services.

“Personally, I don’t think there’s any need to suddenly panic and start not going on public transport

“It’s as safe as it ever has been.”

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