Tiny, bloodthirsty and relentless, the insect pest that became a nightmare for millions of New Yorkers has found its way to Paris, spreading fear of an outbreak that could turn into the ultimate tourism-killer.
Bed bugs, known in French as “punaises de lit,” or “bed drawing pins,” were a rarity in France just three years ago, far less prevalent in homes than mice or cockroaches and well under the radar of public health officials. No longer.
An employee at the public health section of Paris’ City Hall who asked not to be named said more than 600 places in the city have needed treating for bed bug infection so far this year — a marked increase from 2009.
While the city is playing down the extent of the problem, rejecting the term “invasion,” exterminators said bed bugs were spreading quickly throughout the French capital and had already appeared in other parts of the country.
Full story: Paris bitten by New York-style bed bug scare