One thing people forget to check about Japan is the number of pest problems they have there. Typical household bugs are in the country with a few that are specific to Japan. Keeping them out of your place is a big task, as most houses and apartments are meant to let air in. This means that all kinds of insects can easily find their way into your house. When they eventually make it into your place, you will have a few options at your disposal.
Drugstore Sprays and Pesticides
The place where you’ll find the biggest selection of sprays and other bug killers is your local drugstore. They will have a wide selection of products to choose from. There are sprays and hotels for cockroaches, and repellents to or spread around the openings of your place. You can buy some products that will keep insects at bay for a period of time. These will usually be used around the doors and small shudder openings. The boxes are easy to spot in the store as they all have pictures of the insects they are meant to get rid of on the front of the box. If you can’t find the right things you can ask one of the workers for ‘mushiyoke’, which is Japanese for insect repellent.
This may seem like an easy fix, but some people don’t truly clean the right places well. A big reason you may have a bug problem is your own mess. Everyone understands that you may be tired after work and decide to put off some household chores to relax a bit. Let it go for too long and you invite your new roommates into your home. Setting up a cleaning schedule, and sticking to it, is a good first step in making sure you don’t give them an open invitation to your home. Most of the time it will eliminate the problem entirely. Sinks can be a big problem as they all usually have a plastic filter in the drain to catch food and other things. Most people would rather not touch as it gets very unsanitary quickly, but it could be the main reason there are bugs in the kitchen. You can buy brushes to clean it yourself, or the 100-yen shops sell disposable bags that you can place in the drain. They catch all of the food and debris without letting it touch the drain. Once they are full you can tie it and throw it in the trash. It still allows water through it, so it won’t block your sink drain.
Food waste is a large contributor to insects in the house. The heat with the trash is a perfect breeding ground for flies and other bugs. The best way to deal with it is to have food waste in a separate bag that you can seal to not allow the bugs out, or the heat to cause more of them to happen. If you don’t you may find your apartment filled with tiny insects. If they end up being a problem, you can purchase hanging sticky strips that attract the bugs and catch them on the strips. The rest is simple household clean up and ensuring the screens on the doors and windows stay closed.
If you don’t want to use something that contains a lot of chemicals and want would rather use more natural ways, you can make your own sprays. A quick search online can give you different solutions for different insects. Some are as simple as putting some sugar water in a water bottle, and others can be full-fledged concoctions. Many of the fruits and oils you will need to make these repellents can be found in Japan. You can find ones for keeping the insects away from your house or killing the ones that have made their way inside. They all come in varying degrees of potency and effectiveness. There may be some things that you will not be able to find in Japan, but there are many substitutes that you can use in their place. Certain plants can help keep certain bugs away, or you can use them to attract them to a certain spot. You can find them at your local botanist or greenhouse.
If your options have been exhausted, and you can’t seem to get rid of the pest problem yourself, you can call exterminators. Finding one who can speak English will be extremely hard to do, so it would be best if you or a friend could speak Japanese. It depends on the size of your place and the pests being exterminated, but you can expect to pay somewhere around 60,000 yen. You could also try contacting the landlord about your situation. You have to explain why the problem had gotten so large under your supervision, and there may be instances where the landlord has it written in the contract that they aren’t obligated to take of things like that. This option should be a final effort after you have exhausted all other options. Your Japanese level and the temperament of the landlord could lead to a bad situation for you.
When dealing with pests it’s best to find the root of the problem first and take care of it from there. Depending on where you live you could be dealing with simple ants and cockroaches, or large centipedes. The closer to the forests you live, the more of these you will have to contend with. It may take some time, but if you find yourself with an infestation you have many ways to get yourself out of it.