Bedding down

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The bedbug scare is growing

Concern is growing among health experts in Wales that fans returning from the Rugby World Cup in France could spark a major outbreak of bedbugs, The Eye can reveal.

One official told us anonymously: “It’s a major worry for us. We have enough on our plates without people telling us they have bedbugs in the house.

“I know my colleagues feel the same way, but I can’t put my name to this because my bosses don’t like us speaking out publicly”.

The scare in France is not only about bedbugs, but a growth in reports about black insects there generally.

They have prompted an emergency meeting at the Prime Minister’s office, with the outbreak being seen mainly in Paris, although other French cities are also affected.

This has been emphasised by comments from Romain Morzaderc, a pest-controller in Brittany, who told the Ouest-France (West-France) newspaper that “in 99 per cent of cases, yes there are nasty black insects, but no, they are not bedbugs”.

Wales awaits the returning rugby fans with trepidation!

The Wales rugby team have played in Nantes, a city in the Upper Brittany region of Western France, where fans have followed them.

The mounting bedbug crisis in France has prompted a political row, as Paris City Hall said the invasion must be tackled before next year’s Olympic Games, and the Transport Minister summoning train and bus operators to prevent the bugs multiplying on seats.

There has been an emergency meeting over what to do

A wave of panic and disgust spread across the country as travellers posted photos and videos purportedly showing the insects on local transport systems, high-speed trains and at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Some travellers on the Paris Métro or local trains insisted they would stand up from now on, as they fear sitting on seats.

Some prefer to stand…

Over the summer, when a Paris cinemagoer posted on social media details about bedbugs, cinema companies issued statements about how they treated seats.

Meanwhile, fumigation companies in France reported an increasing demand to clear private homes.

Bedbugs, which had largely disappeared from daily life by the 1950s, have made a resurgence in recent decades and have become increasingly resistant to chemical treatments.

Fear, and sleeping problems are caused

They can be present in mattresses, but also in clothes and luggage, which is perhaps particularly relevant in the current context. They come out at night to feed on human blood.

They also often cause psychological distress, sleeping issues, anxiety, fear and depression.

The newspaper Le Parisien ran a front-page article on the panic over bedbugs, calling the problem a form of “domestic terror”.

Mathilde Panot said the problem had “caused hell”

Mathilde Panot, head of the leftwing La France Insoumise party in the French parliament, said bedbugs had “caused hell for millions of families in this country”, and that the government had to act.

She told French radio: “We want this to be recognised by the government as a public health problem. They must stop telling people to just deal with it themselves as if it’s an individual problem, while companies charge exorbitant tariffs to spray chemical products that bedbugs are resistant to. It’s a health problem, and it’s also a mental health problem, with people who can’t sleep, are traumatised or have to take antidepressants”.

How long before politicians in Wales raise the bedbug issue?

Ms Panot may be joined now by politicians in Wales, with concerns about a bedbug outbreak – if the concerns of health experts contacted by The Eye are real, and the returning rugby fans could bring home unwelcome French souvenirs!


The memories of our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry’s astonishing decades-long award-winning career in journalism (during which he has reported numerous controversies but NEVER about bedbugs!) as he was gripped by the rare disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!


Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

Also on The Eye – why it’s important to tell the truth about revered individuals, and how Wales is at the centre of it all. 

Tomorrow – how for Phil reporting the truth has always been central but he’s suffered enormous abuse because of it, and now he fears that the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could actually see the levels INCREASE.