Viral videos showing bed bugs infesting movie theatres, trains and homes in Paris and other French cities are causing widespread fear on social media.
- Bed bugs in Paris are causing a global panic, with many left wondering if this reported outbreak is something Aussies need to worry about too. Here's what you need to know. Viral videos showing bed bugs infesting movie theaters, trains, and homes in Paris and other French cities are causing widespread fear on social media.
Last week, Paris's deputy mayor even said that no one is safe. However, the French transport minister and French health minister have both called for calm and factual reporting, stating there is no resurgence of bed bugs.
So what actually are bed bugs? Bed bugs are small oval shaped insects that can grow up to about five millimeters long. They feed on blood and are commonly seen on mattresses, clothing, or other furniture. Their bites look like red, itchy spots and are most likely to be found on legs, arms, and shoulders. Due to France's recent warmer weather, it's not a complete surprise that the insects are active there at the moment.
According to entomologist Dr. Tom White from the University of Sydney, "Bed bug populations pick up in warm weather." An uptick in international travel over the last few decades has also meant they've been making a comeback over the years, with people bringing the hungry hitchhikers back from their holidays.
So is this something Aussies need to be worried about? Summer is right around the corner and many people have been returning from their trips to Europe. However, Dr. White has assured Australians that a huge outbreak isn't something we need to panic over. He said, "I wouldn't lose sleep over it. We get them here in Australia already. Realistically, anyone can get them. But if you find them and jump on it immediately, it shouldn't become a serious infestation."