Summer is slowly coming and with it all sorts of insects… I have already stated that I am neither fond of spiders nor happy with moths eating my sweaters, so it is time to make sure that should they find their way up to myapartment, they will not make their home here.

There are mosquito screens at all my windows which help already. Also, my apartment is almost empty so far and thus easy to clean, with one exception: the tatami. Those are all real tatami made of rice straw and other natural fibres, and they can harbour enormous amounts of insects. Obviously, this is more of an issue on the ground floor of a traditional Japanese house – where said floor is more a lattice of rough planks on which the tatami are laid directly – than in the 5th floor of a modern building of reinforced concrete. Still, I have squished a moth or two in my bedroom already, and there is no need to make them welcome at all.

spray to kill bugs inside tatamiHence, I went out – armed with detailed instructions of a friend of mine – to buy anti bug spray, specially made to be used in tatami. Yes, you have read correctly: in the tatami. The spray, which allegedly kills a variety of bugs, has a needle attached to the can with a tiny tube. The idea is to push the needle into the tatami at regular intervals (six spots per tatami) and then spray as usual, for three seconds. It is very easy and straightforward, and I finished my bedroom in less than five minutes.

So far, this is the only room I have thus treated, because I am not fond of spending time steeped in poisonous fumes. For that reason I will sleep for at least one night in that part of the living room that is designated as the guest room. I wanted to know anyway how noisy this part of the apartment is during the night. The rest of the rooms will be treated in the next few days. My friend suggests doing this both in the beginning and the end of summer. Isn’t it interesting how different climates beget different routines?