↑ Return to Housing

Summer Survival

In the midst of the hot, sticky summer in Fukuoka, here are some things to keep in mind …

Baby powder is not just for babies. It absorbs moisture on sweaty humans of all ages. Sprinkle behind the knees, on your neck or anywhere your skin comes in uncomfortable contact with itself.

Mould (カビ kabi) grows quickly in the humid summer. Some types can exacerbate respiratory problems so keep it under control. Put dehumidifying boxes in your cupboards, drawers and closets. They come in sheet, box and hanger forms at drugstores. “Mould killer” (カビキラー kabi kiraa) sprays are invaluable for cleaning growth in bathrooms and on other hard surfaces. Spray, let stand for a few minutes and wipe. Avoid contact with the skin. Be sure to ventilate the room properly after use.

The following creepy-crawlies are more prevalent in summer:

Mosquitoes (蚊 ka) repellants include:

  • Incense coils (蚊取り線香 katori senko)
  • Bug spray (虫除けスプレー mushi yoke supurei)
  • Electric repellent devices (電気蚊取 denki katori) are also available. Change the liquid inside as often as indicated on the label, usually 30 to 60 days.

Cockroaches (ゴキブリ gokiburi) invade even the cleanest homes. Nevertheless, keeping things tidy will help reduce their numbers.

  • Roach motels (ゴキブリほいほい gokiburi hoi hoi) lure bugs into the cardboard frame with bait and trap them on the sticky surface.
  • Potent roach sprays (ゴキブリ巣プレイーgokiburi supurei) are also available should they evade these preventive measures.
  • Squashing cockroaches is not advised as this allegedly spreads their eggs.

Tatami Mites (ダニ dani) leave red bite marks resembling those of a mosquito. Eliminate them with a mini bomb (バルサン barusan) set off in tatami rooms or a liquid spray pushed through the mats with a nozzle (畳に刺す殺虫剤 tatami ni sasu sacchuuzai). Make sure to find out the correct method of using these products as the smoke and liquid contained can be toxic or set off fire alarms.

Centipedes (ムカデ mukade) are common in ground floor apartments and are nearly always found in pairs. Their poisonous bites cause nasty swelling and may be fatal to young children. Attack mercilessly with cockroach spray or catch them, wrap them in paper and burn them.

Geckos (守宮 yamori) commonly come in through open windows and the air-con unit. Harmless as they may be, they have no qualms about jumping through an open bathroom window while you bathe. Keep the bathroom door closed. If they get beyond the bathroom, they hide in dark places behind curtains and mirrors or under toilet paper covers.

Snakes (蛇 hebi) in the home are exceedingly rare, but it has happened. Check for bird nests in the crevices or alcoves of your building. External plumbing makes those even on upper levels accessible..

Bug bombs (バルサン barusan) are mini chemical bombs that release smoke or spray potent enough to kill bugs for six to eight weeks. Smoke bombs are recommended above spray bombs as they leave no filmy coating.Before setting them off, food should be removed from the pantry (food in the refrigerator is ok) and open closet and cupboard doors. Return in eight hours to a bug-free home.

Throw out old bedding, especially if you are allergic to dust mites. You may have a pile up of old blankets as JETs tend to pass such items on when they leave.