How to: keep your Beijing home bug free

Best ways to bug-proof your house in Beijing's sweltering summer

As the heat rises, things get jumping- and crawling and slithering. We have the best ways to keep your home bug-free.

Mosquitos (wenzi, 蚊子)


They love Your blood.

Find them Everywhere, unfortunately.

We’re waiting for the day that science finally catches up with these bloodsuckers and wipes ’em out for good. In the meantime, anti-mosquito plug-ins are the easiest way to put your mind at ease.

Global brand Raid (Leida, 雷达), and Chinese brand Qiang Shou (Qiangshou, 枪手) are the most foolproof and are available in a lot of supermarkets. Opt for versions with a cable and bottle holder so you don’t have to worry about keeping the device upright.

Alternatively, fill your home with a citronella (xiangyu, 香茅) plant, a strong-smelling natural mosquito repellent.

To clear the room of mosquitos in a flash, new kid on the block Wenzai Papa 360 (蚊仔怕怕360), available from large pharmacies and JD, does the trick using ‘advanced Japanese technology’. The handbag-friendly spray holds 360 squirts and is great for travelling; you only need to spray four times in a room, and its mosquito-busting effects will last up to eight hours.

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 or plumbing.

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. Not all apple ciders work, however – these flies are picky. Those that do include La Costena Apple Cider Vinegar, which you can get from ‘foreign supermarkets’ like April Gourment.

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 (rather than skate, feed and breed).

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, Borax or boric acid (pengsuan, 硼酸) is an extremely powerful insecticide against ants and cockroaches. It’s generally considered safe to use inside the home, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, at least. You can buy it on Tmall as a pure powder (20RMB including shipping). Mix with peanut butter, honey and water to make a delicious bait, which the ants carry back to the colony. Ready-made bait is also available from the brand Shanjia (山甲牌; around 28RMB for 12 sachets). Choose the variant made for the colour ant you have.

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. Those cunning 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). It comes in the form of a poison-filled syringe, which can be injected in the gaps and corners where your guests scamper.

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, Rentokil are the international experts in pest control. The British company offers both commercial and home extermination services in Beijing (400 820 8770;