It’s starting to feel a lot like summer, which means terrifying bugs are probably beginning to appear from every corner of your home and every crack in your windows and doors. They may even seem to spawn to miraculously from the thin air in your shower room or kitchen sink. If you live on the first floor of an apartment complex or in a home, you’re especially vulnerable to the bites, pain, frustration and fear that huge Japanese critters can bring. Fortunately, there is hope. Here area few basic tips and products to rid your home of the peskiest invaders.
Spiders: Some of the bugs in your home may be eating the other bugs that you really don’t want to deal with. If you can live with their presence, some spiders are especially good at the home protection business. Japan is known for big spiders, but not venomous spiders. If you want them out anyway, the best I can recommend it to slap them with something heavy and flat. Books leftover from your predecessor are ideal.
Mukade: These dreaded centipedes are the stuff of nightmares. Fast and with a bite, crushing them only releases chemicals that draw their brethren closer. You’ll have to be crafty and quick to kill mukade. You can pre-empt their entry with a sprinkling of boric acid (ホウ酸、housan), available at home stores, outside your doors. If they do make it inside, you should rely on sprays to stun/stick/otherwise incapacitate them. Try trapping them under tupperware, spraying them with a generic bug spray and shaking the tupperware until they die. Minimal mess, none of their chemicals released.
Cockroaches: Their sheer size is typically their most frightening attribute, but cockroaches are generally not welcome in the home. Fortunately, they are also weak to boric acid. If they do make it past your doorframe acid trap, roach traps, roach poison and roach repellent disks are effective. I use ごきぶりホイホイ (Gokiburi Hoi Hoi) traps.
With a can of bug spray, a bottle of boric acid and some tupperware, go forth and rid your home of pests!
Joanna Clark is a first-year ALT in Kahoku City and the incoming Editor of this blog.