Sadiq Khan says bedbugs are 'a real source of concern' amid Paris epidemic

Sadiq Khan says bedbugs are 'a real source of concern' amid Paris epidemic
Flight attendant explains how to check for bedbugs when you're travelling
@cici.inthesky, TikTok

Sadiq Khan has described the threat of bedbugs on London transport “a real source of concern” after reports of a growing epidemic in Paris reached fever pitch.

Fears have continued to grow that they could become widespread on Transport for London (TfL) infrastructure, similar to the problem in Paris, after a video of what appears to be a bedbug crawling up a passenger’s leg on the Tube went viral over the weekend.

The clip, viewed more than 1.7m times since it was posted this week, shows a small brown insect crawling up the trouser leg of somebody sitting on the Victoria line.

Meanwhile, Luton borough council this week said that it was getting an “alarming number” of calls to deal with bedbugs, and offered advice on how to get rid of them.

The mayor of London said in an interview with PoliticsJoe: “People are worried about these bugs in Paris causing a problem in London.

“I want to reassure those listening that TfL [Transport for London] has the best regimes to clean our assets on a nightly basis.

“We are speaking to our friends in Paris to see if there are any lessons to be learned but for a variety of reasons we don’t think those issues will arise in London; but there is no complacency from TfL.”

It comes after the French government held an emergency meeting to discuss the infestation, after a number of social media clips showing the insects on metro trains, in cinemas and in hotels caused hysteria online.

Meanwhile, during a French National Assembly meeting, one opposition MP even took out a vial of bedbugs while calling for action.


Minding my own business on the victoria line, a f**king bed bug is on my leg. Said he’d got a great deal on the eurostar and wondered if I could take him home. No!! Sort it out @Transport for London #bedbugs #bedbugslondon #bedbugsparis #tube #infestation

And Air France, which operates up to six direct flights a day from Paris to London, said it will ground any aircraft if bedbugs are detected on board.

According to the French health and safety agency ANSES, one in 10 households in France has had a bedbug infestation between 2017 and 2022.

Bedbugs are not dangerous except in very rare cases, but cause itchy bites and sometimes rashes so people aren't thrilled about the prospect of them coming to the UK.

Bedbugs can be present in mattresses but also in clothes and luggage and come out at night to feed on human blood.

They also often cause psychological distress, sleeping issues, anxiety and depression. While the pests are not known for carrying diseases, they can cause skin irritation.

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