Sniffer dogs will help inspect French trains and the Paris metro for bedbugs after dozens of reports of infestations, the transport minister said on Wednesday, adding that so far not a single bedbug had been found.
Clement Beaune said there had been about ten traveller reports about bedbugs at Paris public transport operator RATP and 37 at rail operator SNCF in recent weeks.
“When there is a problem, we deal with it, we won’t deny it. There is no outbreak of bedbugs in public transport,” Beaune said after meeting with transport operators and travel associations.
French social and traditional media have reported extensively about bedbugs on trains and in cinemas and the government worries about the impact on tourism and the Paris Olympics, which start in less than a year.
Beaune said all French public transport operators will boost health procedures in general and the fight against bedbugs in particular, notably with canine sniffer teams, which he said were the most effective means of detection.
He added that every three months, data will be published about all bedbug reports and any confirmed infestations.
“Total transparency will bring total confidence,” he said, adding that there was “no need for psychosis or fear”.
Beaune also plans to meet pest control companies and aims to organise a conference about solutions to any potential problem by the end of this month.