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Can Paris’s mutant bedbugs come to London this Autumn?



A photo of a train platform in Kings Cross with two Eurostar trains parked
Eurostar, which runs over 30 trains per day travelling between Paris and London, will step up cleaning on its carriages | Photo: Frederic Köberl

It is the last day of the Paris Fashion week. But the latest trend in the city doesn’t seem to come off a catwalk show, as mutant bedbugs is the latest epidemic in the city of lights. From public transport seats to hotels, cinemas and AirBnbs, the blood-sucking insects are everywhere  in the French capital.

The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Grégoire, told French TV recently: “No one is safe. You can catch them anywhere and bring them home, and not detect them in time until they have multiplied and spread.”

He said Paris authorities had received an increase in calls for help, and private companies had had an unusually high level of requests for fumigation in recent weeks.

With London being only two hours away from the bedbug-infested Paris, Eurostar, which runs over 30 trains per day travelling between the two cities, has announced that the company has stepped up cleaning on its trains. On Tuesday, it has been confirmed that Eurostar will be ramping up “preventative treatments” across its entire network to keep bedbugs away.

Bedbugs can be present in mattresses but also in clothes and luggage and come out at night to feed on human blood. The parasite had largely disappeared from daily life since the 1950s. However, recent data shows that bedbugs have increased in recent years have become significantly, with the French national health and sanitary body, Anses, highlighting that between 2017 and 2022, 11% of French homes had been infested.

The recent bedbugs outbreak in Paris haven’t stopped designers from showcasing their Spring/Summer 2024 since September 27th, when the latest fashion week started. However, with the Paris Olympics less than a year away, French authorities are running against the clock to make sure the bedbugs won’t scary way tourists.

Clement Beaune, the French minister of transport, has said that he will hold a meeting this week to “take additional measures” to safeguard the public from the alleged increase in the number of insects.

How to spot and prevent bringing bedbugs home

Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are notorious for causing itchy bites and can be challenging to eliminate once they infest your home. Here are some tips on how to spot bedbugs and prevent infestations:

Spotting Bedbugs

Check for bites: The first sign of a bedbug infestation is often the appearance of itchy, red welts on your skin, usually in a pattern of clustered bites.

Inspect your bed: Bedbugs are most commonly found in and around the bed, including the mattress seams, bed frame, headboard, and box spring. Look for live bugs, shed skins, fecal spots (small, dark, rust-colored stains), and tiny white eggs.

Search other furniture: Bedbugs can also hide in upholstered furniture, curtains, and even cracks in the walls or floors. Inspect these areas for signs of infestation.

Use a flashlight: Bedbugs are nocturnal and tend to hide in dark crevices during the day. A flashlight can help you spot them in hidden areas.

Preventing Bedbugs

Avoiding bringing bedbugs home from hotels requires vigilance and a few precautionary steps. Here is how to minimize the risk:

Research the hotel: Before booking a hotel, read reviews online and check if there have been any recent reports of bedbugs. Choose hotels with positive reviews and a good reputation for cleanliness.

Inspect the room: When you arrive at your hotel room, don’t unpack right away. Instead, take a few minutes to inspect the room thoroughly:

Check the bed: Start by inspecting the mattress, box spring, and headboard. Look for live bedbugs, shed skins, small reddish or brown stains (fecal spots), and tiny white eggs.

Furniture and wall: Inspect upholstered furniture, curtains, and nearby wall crevices.

Luggage rack: Place your luggage on a luggage rack, rather than on the bed or floor. Inspect the rack for any signs of bedbugs before using it.

Store luggage wisely: Keep your luggage elevated and away from potential hiding spots for bedbugs. Using a hard-sided suitcase can make it more difficult for bedbugs to infest your belongings.

Keep your clothing sealed: Store your clothing in sealed plastic bags or travel-sized vacuum-sealed bags. This prevents bedbugs from getting into your clothes.

Wash and dry clothes after travel: When you return home, wash your travel clothing in hot water and dry them on high heat. This can kill any bedbugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride.

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Six-in-10 Motorists Travelling to Europe Don’t Know Emergency Numbers



A man driving abroad in a motorway
Just 38% of those surveyed were aware they should call 112 in the event of an emergency in the European Union | Photo: Dan Gold

With British drivers set to take millions of car trips across the Channel this summer, a new RAC research has found six-in-10 (62%) don’t know the right number to call to get help in an emergency.

Just 38% of those surveyed by RAC Europe knew they should call 112 in the event of an emergency in the European Union. Among the others, a third (32%) worryingly have absolutely no idea which number to call if they found themselves in need of urgent help on the continent, while one-in-10 (12%) say they would dial 999 – the UK’s three-digit emergency services’ number. A similar proportion (11%) think the correct number to dial for help is 111 – the NHS non-emergency line.

Four per cent mistakenly believe the number to call is 101, which is the non-emergency line for UK police forces, and three per cent think they should dial 911, the emergency number in the United States and Canada.

What emergency number to call while travelling in Europe

Phone numberWhat it’s forWhere it works
112Emergency assistanceAll of the European Union plus many other European countries, including Switzerland, Turkey and the UK
999Emergency assistanceUnited Kingdom
911Emergency assistanceAll of North America
101Police non-emergency assistanceUnited Kingdom
111NHS non-emergency assistanceEngland, Scotland and Wales

“The 112 number is the pan-European equivalent of 999 and can be used pretty much anywhere throughout Europe for emergencies, including the UK. Every second counts in the event of a dangerous collision, so getting through to the emergency services first time round could quite literally be the difference between life and death,” warns Rod Dennis, RAC Europe spokesperson.

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Gen Z Side Hustlers See 22% Income Boost, Study Finds



A Gen Z male white webdesigner works from home at his computer.
37% of Gen Z are 'Tri-Hustlers,' juggling multiple side-hustles to maximize income. | Photo: Per Lööv

A new research has found that 45% of Gen Zs, people born between 1996 and 2010, now have a side hustle. The study, which was conducted by Visa, also reveals that over a third (37%) of these having more than one way to make extra income.

E-commerce (34%), social media influencers (25%) and passion-based projects (19%) are the top three types of side hustle businesses being run by Gen Zs, according to Visa.

Almost seven in ten (69%) of Gen Z side hustlers set up their business with the primary objective of earning extra income, with average earnings from a side hustle being £218.60 per month. However, the research also found that over a quarter (27%) began their venture to explore a passion and a similar number (26%) did so to develop their skills further.

Of those surveyed, a majority (61%) report that they increased their side hustle income by at least 10% of the last 12 months, with the average increase at 22% year-on-year growth. The survey also reveals that those who are more passionate about their side hustles report significantly higher income levels, whilst side hustles that have been running for more than two years, generate higher earnings.

Grace Kennington, aged 22, turned a pandemic past-time into a successful side hustle, enhancing her skills in design, marketing, and social media to sell artwork online. She comments, “I wear a million different side-hustle hats; I’ve become an expert at everything from packaging, stock management and design. It’s really made me a lot more adaptable! My biggest piece of advice to aspiring side-hustlers is to just get stuck in, even if you’ve had no training. Also reach out to people doing similar work to build your network.”

Gen Z’s friends play a key role in their side hustles; a third (33%) claim their friends inspired them to start it, with a further 39% saying their friends help to make their side hustle a success, while just over a fifth (21%) are inspired by celebrities or influencers.

Sustainability and legacy-building underpin Gen Z’s long-term outlook; over a third (35%) aspire to eventually quit their primary job to focus entirely on their side hustle, and a further two fifths (39%) hope that their side-hustle will continue on for generations in their family.

“Gen Z are already playing a transformative role in our economy, spurring on innovation and new ways of working. Through our research, we’ve uncovered some really positive signs that they will continue to change the way businesses and organisations operate in years to come,” says Mandy Lamb, Managing Director, UK&I at Visa.

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10 Thrift Stores in London to Shop on a Budget



10 Thrift Stores in London to Shop on a Budget
Octavia was founded by Victorian philanthropist and social reformer Octavia Hill, who began her work with the poor of London in the 1860s

Thrifting in London offers a fantastic way to shop stylishly on a budget while supporting sustainable fashion. Here are 10 must-visit thrift stores in London, each providing a unique shopping experience.


TRAID offers a wide range of second-hand clothing, with proceeds supporting global development projects. The store is well-organized, making it easy to find stylish, affordable items. TRAID’s commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion makes it a popular choice among conscious shoppers.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
To find your nearest Traid:

Beyond Retro

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Beyond Retro is a haven for vintage lovers, offering a vast collection of retro clothing and accessories. The store is known for its eclectic mix and affordable prices, making it a favorite among fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm; Sunday, 12pm to 6pm.
For more information:

There are even Fara thrift shops dedicated to kids

FARA Charity Shop

Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate
with 40 shops and 30 years in charity retailing, FARA Charity Shops support children in Romania, offering a wide selection of clothing, books, and homewares. It’s a great place to find unique, budget-friendly items while supporting a good cause. If you go a bit outside London, there are even  Fara shops dedicated to kids.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:

Oxfam Boutique

Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington
Oxfam Boutique offers a curated selection of high-quality second-hand clothing and accessories. Proceeds support global poverty reduction efforts, making it a great place to shop with a purpose.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:


Nearest Tube: Stratford
Crisis supports homeless people in the UK, offering a range of second-hand clothing, books, and homewares. It’s a great place to find affordable, stylish items while supporting a good cause.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:

Cancer Research UK

Nearest Tube: Gloucester Road
Cancer Research UK shops offer a wide selection of second-hand clothing and accessories, with proceeds funding cancer research. The stores are well-stocked and reasonably priced, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:

Sue Ryder

Nearest Tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras
Sue Ryder charity shops offer a range of second-hand clothing, books, and homewares. Proceeds support palliative, neurological, and bereavement support services, making your shopping trip meaningful.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:


Nearest Tube: Shepherd’s Bush
Barnardo’s charity shops offer a variety of second-hand clothing and accessories, with proceeds supporting vulnerable children and young people. The stores are well-stocked and affordably priced, making them a great option for thrifters.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:

Octavia Foundation

Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Octavia Foundation charity shops offer high-quality second-hand clothing and homewares, supporting local community projects. The stores are known for their stylish selections and affordable prices. Octavia was founded by Octavia Hill, the Victorian philanthropist and social reformer, whose ideas formed the basis of the profession of housing management. Octavia began her work with the poor of London in the 1860s; she was a pioneer of social housing, a founder of the National Trust and the first clean air campaigner for London.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm.
For more information:

Shopping at these thrift stores in London not only helps you save money but also supports various charitable causes and promotes sustainable fashion.

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