Bedbugs that have plagued Paris and other cities across Europe appeared in Greece for the first time, a tourism official revealed on Greek TV.
President of the Food and Tourism Workers Union Giorgos Hotzoglou said that a hotel in an Athens resort had to close a wing to proceed with disinfection.
“Some of the guests, mainly from France, carried the insects and unfortunately they also got stuck in the hotel,” he told Open TV.
“There is a big problem with mattresses in hotels,” he added, noting that for small and medium-sized hotels it is expensive to replace mattresses.
He reassured the public, however, that this is the only known case of a hotel in Greece infested with bedbugs.
Bedbugs in France
In recent weeks, viral videos showing insects that look like bedbugs on the Paris metro and trains, and sightings of bedbugs in movie theaters and at the airport, have fueled fears of a widespread outbreak across the city.
Both the Paris City Hall and President Emmanuel Macron’s government are urging for action in relation to the bedbug issue in the city. This demonstrates the severity of the problem and how vital it is to maintain a positive image of Paris leading up to the 2024 Olympic Games.
Every late summer, there is a significant rise in bedbugs, said Jean-Michel Berenger, an expert on bedbugs in France who works as an entomologist at Marseille’s main hospital.
This happens because people travel during July and August, and they unknowingly carry these pests back with them in their luggage, Berenger explained.
He further admitted what’s concerning is that, each year, the number of bedbugs in Paris has been increasing year to year.
The bugs don’t seem to transmit diseases to humans
“Bedbugs are small wingless insects that bite humans and feast on our blood, often at night,” said Benji Jones a senior environmental reporter at Vox. “They find us by sensing the carbon dioxide in our breath and our body heat.”
“While bedbugs can carry a large number of pathogens, they don’t seem to transmit diseases to humans, though they do produce itchy welts,” he added.
Bedbugs have appeared in several other European countries. There is growing public concern about the insects, with hotels, transport companies, and local governments all facing inquiries about the issue.
Pest control company Rentokil said it saw a 65 percent increase in cases of bedbugs in the UK in the second quarter of 2023 as compared with a year earlier.
Experts warn it is vital to catch an outbreak before it spreads. An adult female can lay around four hundred eggs in her short lifespan. This is in a matter of months, depending on the temperature. The eggs take about two weeks to incubate.
Source : Greek Reporter