The Paris Bedbug Infestation Is the Stuff of Pure Travel Nightmare

Viral TikToks are documenting the City of Lights being seemingly overtaken by bedbugs.

Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Catarina Belova/Shutterstock
Catarina Belova/Shutterstock

Right now, everyone is in Paris for Fashion Week. The influencers, the celebrities, the celebrity adjacent influencers. But there’s another special guest in Paris right now, and they’re grabbing way more headlines than any fashion designer. Bedbugs have begun a full on Paris invasion, infesting hotels, Airbnbs, subway seats, and just about every other fabric surface in the city.The issue is so severe that the First Deputy Mayor of Paris issued a statement asking for the Prime Minister to take action in clearing the city of the insects.

“Faced with the scourge of bedbugs, we must act!” First Deputy Mayor of Paris Emmanuel Gr√©goire wrote on X. “This is a public health problem where all stakeholders must be brought to the table.”

For those unfamiliar, bedbugs can leave nasty bites and are incredibly difficult for the average person to get rid of. In 2023, several popular Las Vegas hotels were revealed to have experienced bedbug infestations, and TikToks on how to check your hotel for the insects have gone viral. The fear of these bugs is well-founded; female bedbugs can lay anywhere between 200 and 500 eggs during their lifetimes of between a year and a year and a half, on average.

The infestation in Paris has been so severe that visitors and Parisians alike have been avoiding sitting on the trains to avoid getting bit.Fortunately, a visit to Paris doesn’t have to automatically mean you’re going to bring back the worst souvenir of all time. Martin Seeley, the CEO and mattress expert at MattressNextDay, shared a few tips with Thrillist on how to avoid a bedbug snafu and how to spot them on your next hotel stay:

How to spot bedbugs in your hotel room

  • Look for rust-colored sports on the mattress, which indicate bugs that got squished.
  • Look for eggs, which are about one millimeter wide and are typically a pale yellow color.
  • A musty odor is an indicator of an infestation. Bedbugs excrete an odor through their scent glands that is typically characterized as strong and musty.
  • Old upholstery should always be checked for infestations, as they are less likely to be well cleaned.

How to keep bedbugs from coming home with you

1. Never store your clothes in hotel drawers. You are much better off storing your clothes in your own suitcase or hanging in the wardrobe. “It is safer to hang your clothes in a wardrobe than in drawers (especially if they are the drawers of your bed), as bedbugs can’t fly, so they are less likely to be able to get to your clothes in a wardrobe,” Seeley explains.

2. Don’t put your suitcase on your bed. First, because your suitcase has been on the ground. And as a general rule in life, anything that touches the ground should never touch your bed. But you should also keep it off the bed because that’s where bedbugs are most likely to be found. A good rule of thumb is keeping it as far away from your bed as possible.

3. Keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones. Bring a plastic bag to store dirty clothes. When you dirty more clothes, add to that bag and knot the bag.

4. Use your A/C. Bedbugs tend to thrive in warmer climates. A cool bedroom can make it inhospitable for the insects.

5. Be careful when washing your clothes on your trip. The convenience of washing your clothes on your trip can’t be overstated, but it’s also yet another way for bugs to catch a ride in your clothes. “When you transport your items to be washed, keep them in a plastic bag. Once they are washed, remove them from the dryer and place them straight back in the bag. Fold them back at your hotel room where it’s safer to do so,” Seeley says.

6. Unpack away from your bedroom. Don’t unpack your suitcase near your bed-it’s an easy way for suitcases to serve as launch pads from your clothes to your own bed. “Next, inspect your suitcase closely and use a flashlight to revise the seams, folds, and pockets of your suitcase. You should then vacuum your suitcase before placing it back in storage,” Seeley outlines.

7. Wash everything, even if you didn’t wear it. Bedbugs are much less likely to survive a tumble through a hot water and dryer cycle.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on¬†Instagram,¬†TikTok,¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook,¬†Pinterest, and¬†YouTube.

Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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