Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

Paris bedbug infestation: how to check if your hotel or Airbnb is affected and what to do next

Staying in Paris? Here’s how to check your hotel for bedbugs – and what to do if you spot them

Grace Beard
Written by
Grace Beard

Where are there bedbugs in France?

Paris is at the centre of France’s bedbug infestation. The creatures have been spotted in hotels and Airbnbs as well as public areas, including cinemas, the Metro and at Charles de Gaulle Airport. 

How did Paris get infested with bedbugs?

The current outbreak began over the summer and has been linked to an increase in visitors since the pandemic – exacerbated by events like Paris Fashion Week – and a greater resistance to insecticides. A report from ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, noted that more than one in ten households were infested by bedbugs between 2017 and 2022.

How can I find out if my hotel or Airbnb is affected by bedbugs?

As the name suggests, bedbugs are likely to be found where you sleep. Start by removing the sheets and checking in the crevices and seams of your mattress. Telltale signs of bedbugs can include lots of small black dots, indicating bedbug faeces, or blood stains. Once you’ve checked the bed, move on to any other upholstered surfaces, like chairs, sofas and carpets. Bedbugs can also leave stains on walls and behind picture frames, where they sometimes hide. And if the room smells like expired fruit or coriander? That’s also a (rather gross) sign that bedbugs are present.

How to spot bedbugs

The bugs themselves are said to be around the same size as an apple seed, and brown or maroon in colour. They don’t have wings – these critters get about by crawling on your stuff. Younger bedbugs are harder to spot as they’re smaller and can be translucent. Do use your phone torch to inspect any upholstered surfaces.

How to get rid of bedbugs

First things first: prevention. When you get to your hotel room, keep your luggage in the bathroom, away from where bedbugs could be lurking. 

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to catch bed bugs, David Cain, founder and MD of Bed Bugs LTD, told the Independent: ‘Baking soda and an ice cube – make a paste, apply it to the skin for 30 seconds.’

Could bedbugs impact the 2024 Paris Olympics?

‘There is no threat to the Olympic Games,’ deputy mayor of Paris Emmanuel Gregoire told French TV station LCI, according to CNN. ‘Bedbugs existed before and they will exist afterward.’ 

But the bloodsucking creepie crawlies love crowds and an increase in visitors could well exacerbate the issue. 

Is anywhere else experiencing a high level of bedbug infestations?

The French capital is currently the only place with multiple reports of bedbugs, but these creatures can easily travel from Paris to other cities like London – and it’s likely they already have.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

You may also like
You may also like