Eurostar has stepped up cleaning on its trains amid the threat of a bedbug invasion that has already engulfed Paris.
Footage of the blood-sucking insects has horrified TikTok users, leading to some standing on the infested Parisian metro instead of sitting down, or posting warnings about the creepy critters swarming their Airbnb rentals.
Eurostar on Tuesday confirmed it was ramping up “preventative treatments” across its entire network to keep the critters on the other side of the Channel.
A spokesperson told The Independent: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our number one priority and the presence of insects such as bedbugs on our trains is extremely rare. 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.”
Dylan Rubens, 33, a London-born teacher living in the artist quarter of Montmartre, Paris, spoke of his “nightmare” after finding bedbugs in the seams of his bed and bedroom curtains.
He told The Independent: “I wake up in the middle of the night and turn my phone torch on, expecting to see them in bed with me. Bed is usually a comfortable, relaxing safe space. Now I just feel itchy and paranoid.”
He added that his landlord had refused to pay for bug control services as they were spread throughout the building, costing him nearly £1,000 for three separate callouts.
David Cain, founder and managing director of Bed Bugs LTD and a qualified microbiologist, confirmed it was possible the bugs could survive the journey underneath the Channel.
Scientists have found that bedbugs are technically mutants as they possess genes from other organisms, which makes the creatures around since the age of the dinosaurs even harder to kill.
There are 400 types of bacteria that can be found in and outside bedbugs that appear to help keep them alive by fending off viruses, pesticides and other harmful substances.