Political groups vied for initiatives on Tuesday, October 3, in front of the press at the National Assembly to encourage public authorities to address the growing anxiety caused by bedbugs.

Evoking a “scourge”, the president of the Renaissance group of deputies, Sylvain Maillard, announced the preparation of a bill, with the aim of being able to examine it during a week reserved for parliamentary initiative texts , early December. “We decided to make this subject a priority”, with Modem and Horizons, the allies of the presidential camp, explained Mr. Maillard.

The text in preparation could make it possible to recognize the problem as “a question of public health”, added his colleague Robin Reda, at the initiative of a text on the subject in 2021. “We have a first subject: (…) the census of the phenomenon. We do not know today if there are more bedbugs than in 2019,” admitted MP Bruno Studer (Renaissance), author of a text in 2022 “aimed at recognizing the scourge of bedbugs “.

For its part, the socialist group must also table a bill during the day, detailed in the morning by its spokesperson, Arthur Delaporte. This text proposes to insert “in all compulsory home insurance contracts a guarantee against the risks resulting from a bedbug infestation”, because “many people give up” on taking action “faced with the exorbitant cost treatment or treat poorly”.

Not a “cause for general panic” for Aurélien Rousseau

“We have lost six years,” the president of the “rebellious” deputies, Mathilde Panot, also declared to the press. “What we are asking for is, first and foremost, that bed bugs be recognized as a public health problem. Let us stop telling people to fend for yourself,” she had already explained on Sud Radio on September 29.

“On this subject, there should be no division,” replied Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, reproaching Ms. Panot for her “excess” and announcing “a meeting in the coming days with all the ministries concerned.” notably those of ecological transition, housing and health.

Having disappeared from daily life in the 1950s, bedbugs have made a comeback over the past thirty years in many developed countries thanks to increasingly nomadic lifestyles and consumption favoring the purchase of second hand and increasing resistance to insecticides.

Between 2017 and 2022, bedbugs would have infested 11% of French households, according to an Ipsos survey carried out in July 2022 for a working group set up by the National Food and Environmental Safety Agency and labor (Anses), which delivered a report in July on the health but also socio-economic impact of these pests. This is not “a reason for general panic,” said Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau on Tuesday, recognizing however that “when you have bedbugs, it’s hell.”