Japan Insect Repellent

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Thu 2010/08/26 14:15 JST in Living in Japan Guide
Tis that time of year when the creepy crawlies or cutie crawlies (depending on your preference) come out not only to play but to also bite and suck on your juicy bouncy...legs.
I say "cutie crawlie" because many folks over here love insects and keeping some of them as pets are part of Japanese Culture as we learned in the Japanese Pets post.
The insects that I see around the house would be cockroaches (an average of 3 a year), a spider or two near the windows and a load of mosquitoes in the Summer. I've seen a total of about 2 flies in the house after 5 years of living here!
Back in the UK however, we had a ton of insects - bees and wasps loved flying into my room, flies circling the ceiling endlessly and ants would make their way in somehow. I remember biting into an apple pie only to find that a family of ants had move in. Does your gaff have insects crawling out n about?
While I say that we don't have many insects, there are obviously a load that the average human optical eye cant see. To make sure we don't end up with infestation problems, we regularly "gas" the house with some of the Japanese products available.
Posted some photos from the iPhone the other week but didn't really talk about the whole process.
These red canister thingies are grenades designed to send out a gamma pulse to wipe out all insects in your house. This brand is called Earth Red and you can see it in action in the videos below.
There is another brand called Varsan which comes with its own Varsan Rider.
As you saw from the videos, a cloud of smoke shoots out of the canisters which goes absolutely everywhere. While they are designed to leave objects around the house unharmed, my girls didn't fancy being around breathing in all the smoke. Karin, Nanoha and Saber run up to the 3rd floor and ask me to help them hide in one of the cabinets.
The girls are probably the most precious items in the house so wanted to give em extra protection - placed them in a rubbish bag as the smoke will seep through the cabinet doors too.
Most Japanese rubbish bags are transparent which enables the rubbish collectors to see whats inside. If the contents are not separated out properly into recyclables, burnable and non-burnable bags then this happens.
Girls go into hibernation mode for a few hours.
This is how Earth Red and similar products like Valsan works. Water is placed in the outer can and then the Canister Of Doom is dropped inside. After 1 - 2 minutes, smoke will then start to shoot out while red lights start to flash, sirens start to wail and radars start to spin.
The Canisters Of Doom carrys a payload enough to wipe out 12 - 16 tatami mats worth of arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton.
Tatami mats differ in size depending on the region of Japan but in Tokyo a tatami mat is 88cm by 176cm. The size of a tatami is still regularly used as a measure to represent room size. For example when you buy an air conditioner, it would indicate the total of tatami mat area it covers.
These ones cost about 1000 yen each but the price goes up depending the the payload area. Ones that cover 30 - 40 tatami mats retail for about 2500 yen.
We place one canister on each of our 3 floors and slowly make our way down while activating the payload. Smoke shoots out of each canister at an alarming rate and within a few seconds each floor is filled with smoke.
Time to retreat to the 1st floor.
1st floor payload activated. ETA to complete wipeout - 30 seconds.
While the payloads are being delivered, one *must* vacate the area or end up damaging ones lungs beyond repair. We vacate for a few hours to Lazona to watch some Inception and take some video of the mall while we are there too. The recording of the live broadcast can be seen at my Twitcasting page and broadcasts are announced on my Twitter.
As mentioned, the product is designed to wipe out insects and leave everything else unharmed. Figures and computing devices are unharmed with no trace of power or anything.
Its all over when we come back home. The payload has wiped out the entire population of creepy crawlies on all 3 floors and we find a couple cockroach carcasses lying about here n there. Then we give the whole house a hoover and wipe down to get rid of the ones we cant see.
And for curious folks out there like me - don't sniff the canisters like I did - ended up with a sore throat and a cough for the evening ^^;
These products are the bees knees - have not seen them back in the UK and remember buying some to go back when we came to Japan as visitors. Wifey and I used to rent an old apartment back in Earls Court which was infested with bugs. You got anything like this in your neck of the woods?
During the Summer, mosquitoes are out in force and there are times when you just cant prevent them from sucking on your juicy bouncy...arms. Muhi is a product to help get rid of that itch. Its usually a liquid which you roll onto that pesky spot. An example of Muhi in action below - all you do is shout "Kayui" (Itchy!) and an onee-san will come running along with some.
And below is a retro Muhi CM.
And now they got these wristbands called "Mushi Guard" which is supposed to keep away the mosquitoes. Have no idea how it works.
"Mushi" means "Insect."
Saratekuto is a product which you spray on your soft n boucy bod to prevent being bitten in the first place. We use this product too which provides a cool powdery feel after spraying.