In the two months that we’ve been in Japan we’ve probably seen as much rain as we normally get in a year in Alberta and the rainy season hasn’t even started yet! In our school mailboxes yesterday we received two pages of hints and tips for coping with this annual occurrence. Apparently, we need to prepare ahead in order to minimize mold, mildew, moths and yes, cockroaches!
Our first task will be a trip to the store in search of anti-moth products, desiccants which are used for dehumidifying, and roach traps. Next, we’re advised to make sure that winter clothing, particularly anything wool, is thoroughly cleaned and stored in bags with anti-moth stuff and desiccant. I’ve already packed our winter coats away but will have to add the products to protect them once we purchase them. We’re also advised to put anti-moth product and desiccant in all our drawers and in the corners of our closet. Apparently, if we don’t, we run the risk of finding mold on pretty much anything.
Apparently, even if we run our fans and use the dehumidifying feature on the air conditioner, everything will become damp during rainy season. As often as possible, assuming that the sun does shine occasionally during the rainy season, we should sun dry our futons to keep them from becoming musty. I don’t have any difficulty believing that this will become necessary as I already took the towels from the bathroom and hung them outside for awhile this morning because they simply wouldn’t dry in there.
In order to avoid run ins with the “little livestock”, as our handout calls the cockroaches, we must NEVER leave any food out for them, should wash all dishes immediately, should wipe our sink and counters (what counters?) with bleach and should keep all garbage bags closed and sealed. Also, I now know why there’s a trap in the kitchen sink. It’s not to keep food stuff from going down the drain. It’s to keep roaches from coming up! Eew!
We can do all of the above but I’m not sure how much it will help. There’s an open space under our bathtub where the water from the sink and tub drain. I hate to think how gross and wet it probably is under there and I don’t know of anything we can do to close it off or prevent it from attracting nasties. It’s been suggested that we pour some bleach in there to try to kill off anything that might be growing there so we’ll probably do that and hope for the best. We’ll also decorate the apartment with roach traps. Apparently, these are much like the little ant traps that we use in the basement back home. The insect carries the poison back to the nest to share with it’s roommates, thus killing them off. Gross, but hopefully effective!
The final suggestion on our handout is to always look for the beauty in the season! Apparently Japanese iris and hydrangea are at their prime at that time of year. I’ll try to remember that when I encounter my first cockroach!