Haro on bedbugs. The Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, was forced to react after the identification by SNCF and RATP users of this pest in trains. “I will bring together transport operators next week to provide information on the actions undertaken and act more to serve travelers,” the minister announced on X (formerly Twitter) Friday morning.
This meeting, the date of which has not yet been specified, aims to “reassure and protect”, clarified Clément Beaune. The Paris town hall on Thursday called on the government to act against this scourge. In recent days, several Internet users have reported the presence of bedbugs on trains in different types of public transport: several SNCF trains as well as Paris metro trains.
Questioned by Le Figaro a few days ago, Stéphane Bras, the national spokesperson for the CS3D (Union Chamber of Rodent Control, Disinfection and Disinsection) confirms that it is indeed bedbugs. On the video shot on Friday, “there is no doubt”, he specifies, before saying: “and there, given the size, it is visibly an adult bug which has already taken part of its meal ". But the presence of it on a train is not surprising, according to the specialist. He assures him in fact that the presence of these pests “is increasingly important in our society” and “affects all sectors, not just tourist accommodation”. “There is no reason why public transport should be spared,” he says.
Faced with these accusations, the SNCF had no choice but to defend itself. The public company explains that it has “received some reports of the presence of insects in recent days on certain trains”. Presences of bedbugs which remain “to be confirmed”, we communicate internally, ensuring that we take the subject “very seriously”. However, “these are fortunately very isolated cases because we have experienced almost no cases in recent months,” specifies the SNCF. Before detailing the protocol put in place for each report: “As soon as suspicion is reported, as a precautionary measure the travelers are moved to another car and the suspect car condemned while all inspections and possible treatment are carried out”.
For its part, the RATP defends itself and promises that “to date, no proven case of bedbugs has been observed” either in the metro, nor in the RER, tram and buses. And if a report was indeed "made this Wednesday, September 27, concerning a suspicion of the presence of bedbugs in the driver's cabin of a line 8 train", the train was "taken out of the commercial service to be assessed", and this, “in accordance with the planned protocol”. “It will be treated by a specialized company if the presence of the pest is proven,” adds the group, which specifies that it is “particularly vigilant” regarding these parasites.
However, professionals in the sector are worried, and question the level of information of all the players in the risk management chain. “We have been warning about the situation of resurgence of bedbugs for several years,” explains Stéphane Bras, for whom the risk “was probably not taken at its fair value”. The specialist believes in particular that this problem “must be controlled on a societal scale”, and that it is absolutely necessary “that the risk is known, and that anticipation and treatment measures are more numerous”.
In addition, he recommends setting up “a major educational campaign on a national scale” and invites the general public to adopt “an attitude of precaution and anticipation”, avoiding displaying their belongings in all the cupboards. from a hotel or by systematically inspecting your clothes after going to the cinema, for example. Fortunately, according to him, there is a real “toolbox with multiple means of control”, including standard treatments with an insecticide base but also canine detection, or even treatments with steam, heat or cold. And proof according to him that “communication has not been good enough” on the subject, “when you see an ant, you know that it is an ant. When it’s a bedbug, you call me to check.”