How to keep your Shanghai home bug free

As the heat rises in Shanghai, things get jumping, crawling and slithering. Try these tips to keep the bugs at bay

Photograph: VCG 

As the heat rises, things get jumping and crawling and slithering. Here are some of the best ways to bug-proof your home before Shanghai’s sweltering summer. 

Who you gonna call? 

Things getting out of hand? Go to your building management (wuye, 物业) and ask if they can recommend a professional exterminator in your local area. For a full-on English-speaking service, Innovative Pest Control Service (653 67350; are the local experts. The company offers both commercial and home extermination services in Shanghai.

By Yuan Ren

 Mosquitos (wenzi, 蚊子)

Mosquitos (wenzi, 蚊子)

They love Your blood.
Find them Everywhere, unfortunately.

Anti-mosquito plug-ins are the easiest way to beat these bloodsuckers. Global brand Raid (Leida, 雷达), and Chinese brand Qiang Shou (Qiangshou, 枪手) are the most foolproof and available in a lot of supermarkets. Alternatively, fill your home with citronella plants (xiangcao, 香茅), which are a strong-smelling natural mosquito repellent. To clear the room of mosquitos in a flash, Wenzai Papa 360 (蚊仔怕怕360), available from large pharmacies and, does the trick. The handbag-friendly spray is also great for travelling.

Cockroaches (zhanglang, 蟑螂)

Cockroaches (zhanglang, 蟑螂)

They love Your food (particularly carbohydrate-based grub); organic matter; warm, moist environments.
Find them Near sinks, rubbish bins, toilets and kitchens. 

Whoever said pest control has to be boring? Not the guys behind a cockroach ‘fun house’, ARS, that’s for sure. The pop-up, self-assembly trap (around 30RMB for five traps), available in most supermarkets, has a number of ‘rooms’ that are in fact dangerous traps for roaches, including a super sticky ‘glue garden’ and a ‘sweets room’ with a display of poisonous bait masked as coloured candy at its centre, you know, to trick the cockroaches. For a more straightforward (boring!) solution, Green Leaf (Lü Ye, 绿 叶) is a powerful range of cockroach killers that’s available in large pharmacies and online (Amazon, Tmall).

Fruit Flies (guoying, 果蝇)

Fruit Flies (guoying, 果蝇)

They love Fruit, sugar, heat, moisture, cracks and crevices (for egg laying) and bright lights.

Find them In kitchens, toilets, places with bad drainage. 

They may be similar in genetic make-up to humans, but that doesn’t mean leniency should be shown. A homemade fruit fly trap will remove these nasty suckers en masse. All you need is apple cider vinegar, a bit of liquid detergent, a plastic bottle and paper twisted into a cone. To make your own trap, pour an inch of apple cider vinegar into a bottle or jar, add a drop of detergent and insert the paper cone into the neck to make escape unlikely. The detergent breaks the surface tension, causing the flies to get bogged down.

Ants (mayi, 蚂蚁)

Ants (mayi, 蚂蚁)

They love Sugar, especially the honey jar.

Find them Crawling over your food and drink.

Ants are harder to get rid of because they stick together. To make sure you deter them, stock up on natural ant-deterrents in your pantry: lemon (or lemon juice), cinnamon and peppermint. Put these near cracks, corners and entrances. Even washing your kitchen floor with lemon-infused water helps. For something much stronger, boric acid (pengsuan, 硼酸) is an extremely powerful insecticide against ants and cockroaches. It’s generally considered safe to use inside the home. Buy it on Tmall as a pure powder (20RMB, including shipping) and mix with peanut butter, honey and water to make a delicious bait (just keep away from pets and children).