Police in Paris were forced to close a station in the northeastern part of the city after a flea invasion made work impossible, according to a police union.
The station in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement was evacuated on Sunday. Pictures in local media show a sign on the door reading: “Police station closed until further notice.”
The Alliance police union said in a tweet that officers at the station had been under siege from the fleas for several days, which “made working conditions INTOLERABLE!!!”
“Despite the intervention of a (pest control) company, the problem persists because no TOTAL disinfection of the site has been implemented,” the statement reads, adding that some officers sought medical treatment for multiple flea bites.
“Worse still, some of these pests are likely to be brought back home, contaminating the officers’ families,” the statement continues.
Emmanuel Cravello, secretary general of the Alliance union, told the France Bleu news website that some police officers’ children had been bitten by the fleas.
Yvan Assioma, the union’s Paris regional secretary, told CNN the fleas had probably been brought in by people taken into the station for custody or questioning,
Assioma added that the police station was disinfected a week ago but that was “close to useless.”
“What is needed in order to control a flea invasion is to disinfect the whole building and even the cars of the people who work there. The higher authorities are putting band-aids on a wooden leg.”
The union is demanding a total disinfection of the station, which could take at least 48 hours.
Assioma said authorities were hesitant about closing the station, “but the truth is that it isn’t such a big problem.”
“Colleagues can take their service elsewhere for a day or two, in neighboring stations for example, and detectives can work perfectly fine anywhere thanks to the internet,” he said.
In 2017, the same station had to be evacuated because of an invasion of lice and fleas, Le Parisien reports.
CNN has contacted the French Interior Ministry for comment.