The hunt is on. After invading Parisian cinemas and national trains, have bedbugs taken over public transport? Doubt prevails, as a report has just been made by a train driver on line 8 (Balard-Créteil), who explained having found these parasites in his cabin, according to information from Le Parisien, confirmed by Le Figaro. A suspicion of presence taken very seriously by the RATP, which announced that the rolling stock concerned was “taken out of the commercial department to be assessed”.
But is that even possible? Without a doubt, replies a trade unionist from the FO branch of the RATP, who explains that their proliferation is favored in particular by “the fabrics of certain armchairs which allow animals to slip in and lay eggs inside”. Not to mention, according to him, that “travelers are not always very clean”. While waiting for confirmation, these reports to the channel worry travelers, many of whom on social networks, to scrupulously examine their seats before sitting down.
Contacted this Thursday morning, the RATP defended itself and promised that “to date, no proven cases of bedbugs have 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.
But on this subject, it is not Stéphane Bras, national spokesperson for the CS3D (Union Chamber of Rat Control, Disinfection and Disinsection), who will be able to reassure the most worried. According to him, “there is no reason for public transport to be spared”, while “we are seeing an increase in proven cases of reporting, a mini-explosion of cases which is spreading”.
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For the specialist, their presence is thus possible “wherever humans live”. “This phenomenon is present throughout society. Humans are both the vehicle and the pantry of the bedbug (...) so automatically, it takes transport,” he explains. And no sector is spared according to its experience since bedbugs have already been found “in nurseries, schools, homes and hospitals”, and “moreover in tertiary environments, in office spaces and coworking.
“We have been warning about the situation of resurgence of bedbugs for several years,” recalls Stéphane Bras again, 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”. He recommends in particular setting up “a major educational campaign on a national scale” and invites the general public to adopt “an attitude of precaution and anticipation”, by systematically inspecting their clothes after going to the cinema or passing through the Subway.