There is a great lack of education according to the director of Badbugs.fr a site specializing in domestic pests For Nicolas Roux de Bézieux, “The period in which we are most dangerous when we have bedbugs is when we have not yet realized that we have them.” Hence the interest, according to him, in doing more education.
“There is a great lack of pedagogy,” regarding prevention against bed bugs, Nicolas Roux de Bézieux, director of Badbugs.fr (a site specialized in domestic pests) and author of “Bedbugs! The guide to getting rid of them forever”. More than one household in ten is affected by this insect in France.
The Paris city council asked the government this Thursday, September 28, for a national plan to combat bed bugs, particularly in anticipation of the Paris Olympic Games next summer. Nicolas Roux de Bézieux also expects an “explosion in the number of infestations”, if nothing is done by then.
franceinfo: Why does this parasitic insect proliferate to such an extent?
Nicholas Roux de Bézieux: There is a great lack of education, many people do not know what it is. So these last few weeks it’s very good, we talked about it a lot. But the most dangerous time to have bed bugs is when you haven’t realized you have them yet. So we continued going to friends’ houses, going to the movies, going to hotels. This is how we will infest public places, and our loved ones, and risk contaminating even more people.
Could this pose a public health problem?
Yes and no. There is no public health concern in the sense that bed bugs, unlike mosquitoes or rats, do not transmit diseases that can be dangerous to humans. On the other hand, when there is a danger, it is for the people affected, which can have an extremely serious psychological and economic impact. Psychological, because the insect bites you at night in bed, making it very difficult for you to sleep well. Once the infestation is resolved, a psychosis occurs that can last for a long time. Every year there are 72,000 medical consultations due to bed bugs, mainly due to disorders similar to post-traumatic stress in people who, as soon as they bite them, feel that they are there. And here we go again, it’s a new plague that is starting. , when maybe it was just a mosquito.
What can we do at the national level, in a control plan, for example?
Unfortunately, this mainly affects private homes, but things can certainly be done in terms of prevention in public places, especially trains and cinemas. These actors have already taken care of it quite well. At the state level, I think the only really important thing is to promote this pedagogy among people so that they know as soon as possible, especially after the Olympic Games, whether they are affected or not, to prevent them from contaminating other people or their workplace. Maybe we should also fund the treatment of people who find themselves in precarious situations.
How do you know if you have or are going to have bedbugs in your house?
There are three little prevention tips that everyone should know to prevent them from recurring.
The main cause of infestation is travel. So, if you have the slightest doubt when you get home, obviously the suitcase will not return home because it is mainly through the suitcases that the bug will travel. So you put all your stuff in garbage bags. And these things, you either wash them at 60 degrees and put them in the dryer. Or you put them in the freezer for a few days. You can also do this when you buy secondhand clothes.
The second cause of infestation is affected family members and neighbors. So don’t hesitate to talk about it with those around you. Also, avoid putting coats on the bed when you have house parties or go to friends’ houses. It is the best way to get rid of them.
Thirdly, it is necessary to insure against bed bugs. It is possible and costs 2 euros, there is specific insurance. It doesn’t matter if you are an owner or a tenant if you have your home insurance with any insurer. It allows you to be supported, to have treatments that are covered, and to have psychological follow-up.
To detect them at home, the first sign will be recurrent bites. You will be bitten once, then a few days later, and again later. Then little by little it accelerates and then we will begin to find traces of bed bugs after about 6 to 8 weeks on average, with small traces of excrement on the mattress or the bed bugs themselves.