The Eurostar has said it will take preventive measures to stop bedbugs spreading on its Paris-London service, after an outbreak of the creatures in France.
The blood-sucking invasive bugs have been spotted in homes, cinemas, hospitals and trains all across the French capital.
The train service has said it will disinfect any train “as soon as there is any doubt”, as well as its usual standardised cleaning of its carriages.
Amid fears that the pests could spread to the UK, a Eurostar spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our number one priority and the presence of insects such as bed bugs on our trains, is extremely rare.
There are fears that the bugs could spread to the UK via the Paris-London Eurostar train
“The textile surfaces on all of our trains are cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis and this involves hot-water injection and extraction cleaning, which has proven highly effective in eliminating bugs.
“Any reports on hygiene matters are taken very seriously and our cleaning teams, in addition to the usual cleaning, will also disinfect a train on request or as soon as there is the slightest doubt.”
French media have reported that the government are keen to squash the outbreak well before the 2024 Olympics in the capital, with worries the issue could impact tourism.
Sniffer dogs will be used to inspect French trains as well as the metro to try and locate the pests.
However, Paris’s public transport however has “no outbreak”, with not a single bedbug being found, France’s transport minister has claimed.
“When there is a problem, we deal with it, we won’t deny it. There is no outbreak of bedbugs in public transport," the French minister Clement Beaune said.
Transport for London (TfL) has said it is not aware of any outbreak on its own services.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any outbreaks in London, but we will monitor our network and continue our rigorous and thorough cleaning measures which have been proven to keep both the interior and exterior of our trains clean.”
French media have reported the government are keen to squash the outbreak well before the 2024 Olympics in the capital
Professor Will Hentley, an expert on bedbugs, said that situation in France is unlikely to have a widespread impact across the pond.