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  • peachkitten
  • Veteran

    • 166

    • June 15, 2013, 03:38:06 am
    • Seoul, Republic of Korea
Roaches in Apartment
« on: February 22, 2016, 04:45:48 pm »
Ok, so I finally decided to post on here. This problem has been stressing me out and frankly, I need to vent a bit as well as ask for advice.

Long story short, I discovered there were roaches in my apartment after moving in. They were very tiny, but I told my boss. He said he would take care of it and bought some of the little roach 'motels'- the roaches go in and take the food back to their nest and everyone does. I waited a month or so but it didn't seem to have any affect at all. The problem (and roaches) have gotten bigger and I told him we need to take action. He still hasn't done anything.
Honestly, I know I can fight this, but the truth is I am frankly disgusted by his behavior and I don't want to say anything to him  because I just know it will lead to an argument. So my plan at this point is to just take care of it myself and then try to get him to reimburse me. Even if he doesn't repay me, at least the problem will be taken care of.
Anyway, I will update later; I gotta run to class. Ideas/Support/Advice would be appreciated.


  • stan rogers
  • Expert Waygook

    • 577

    • August 03, 2015, 04:16:11 am
    • Jeju Island
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 06:07:00 pm »
Get a bucket, mop, dish soap, water and Clorox. Mix together (lots of Clorox) and soak your floors with the stuff. Its a smelly mopping job but it should push them back for a while.

I had a problem with them in Seoul years ago and it worked every time, but you may need to do it every 3-6 months. Bug sprays and killers won't work well. The bugs are used to that stuff and it isn't as effective. 

Forget about the boss. Do it yourself.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 06:10:53 pm by stan rogers »


  • cg
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • January 27, 2014, 03:08:49 am
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 10:02:38 pm »
Use boric acid.
A new neighbour moved in next door and she always just left her garbage in the hallway. Came back from summer vacation and sure enough my fears came true.

You can get it at the pharmacies here. I had to go to 3 different ones to find one that did sell it. But they do sell it and it's super cheap 1,000won for a box of it. Dust a thin layer at all entrances, any nooks, under the sink, along the walls since that's usually the path they travel along. Anywhere you think they'd get in from.

Also be sure to freeze your food waste in a ziplock bag.


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 566

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 09:00:42 am »
5000 years of cultural progress

Still haven't learned how to dispose of garbage properly.

Greatest self-grandized cultural export is paedo-pop.

Sparkling!

:D


  • Epistemology
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1904

    • September 19, 2010, 01:57:27 pm
    more
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 09:08:06 am »
I'm surprised you have roaches in winter. Even in the worst apartments I have lived in, Winter was usually the downtime for them, but summer was hell.
Away an bile yer heid ya numpty,ye dinnae ken whit yer talkin aboot.


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 566

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 09:12:58 am »
I'm surprised you have roaches in winter. Even in the worst apartments I have lived in, Winter was usually the downtime for them, but summer was hell.

Didn't you know?  Korean roaches are famous for not freezing in winter!

Korean roach = best roach!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 09:14:59 am by KoreaBoo »


Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 09:27:30 am »
I had the same problem in mine, turns out my neighbours hadn't cleaned for a long while and even after the landlord told them to clean up they still didn't. But since they were paying tenants they weren't kicked out.

Don't tell your boss, tell your landlord: I heard mine shouting at my neighbours because the building supervisors come in and spray if there's a problem but they have to know there's a problem first.

Boric acid is good but since the cement floor under my flooring has cracks in it the roaches got in where I couldn't put the acid. An option is to mix icing sugar (sugar powder)and boric acid together and let the roaches eat that. The icing sugar hides the boric acid. They'll go back to their nests, die, other roaches will eat them, they'll die. The problem with this is the same as the roach motels: it takes a long time and the roaches will actually come TO you.

What you can do in addition to spreading boric acid at all entrance points is to put mothballs down where you can. Put them behind your fridge and washing machine, put a couple in your dustbin, in your wardrobe and behind it, in shoes you're not going to use for a while, in drawers. Go mothball crazy and leave your windows open for a night or two to get rid of the smell.

Don't leave clothes/anything on the floor, don't leave water/dishes in your sink. Regularly clean your drains (about 2x a week with drain cleaner). If you can tell where they're coming in through cracks you can get a clear silicone sealant at the Daiso and fill the cracks in.


  • peachkitten
  • Veteran

    • 166

    • June 15, 2013, 03:38:06 am
    • Seoul, Republic of Korea
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 06:33:16 pm »
Hi all,
Thanks for the replies and advice.
I actually asked my boss to tell the landlady around the time I first realized this problem. According to him, the landlady has said that it isn't her problem.

What I am rather upset about is that fact that the boss knows I was really upset about this and he agreed to take care of it. I brought it up many times and the last time I told him that the problem was getting worse and we need to take care of it now. He said he would figure out which method (roach bomb/ exterminator/whatever) and let me know. However, since the last time I spoke to him, nothing more has been done.
Yeah yeah, maybe he forgot and I should 'remind' him AGAIN, but I just think... How can you FORGET that someone is living in an unclean environment with pests?  I even texted him one night because I was so freaked out when I came home and there was some roaches in my kitchen sink having a frickin' party. It's pretty clear to me that he doesn't give a crap and that offends me.
Ok I am rambling, so sorry about that. This has been one issue I am having with this job/boss and honestly when I see a roach crawling on the ceiling above me or ON MY ARM in the middle of the night, it really freaks me out and makes me sooo angry. But it's gotten to the point around this job where it is just easier for me if I don't even speak to him. I am just really disappointed and yeah I know I  could run in there, guns blazing and demand he call the exterminators here and now, but it's gotten to the point where I am just kinda... done and so that's why I decided to just try to take care of it myself and let Karma take care of him. But I kinda wanna say something, haha especially since I am typing it up now. I think I'll just wait until I leave this job and then I will say everything. And definitely not gonna recommend this job to anyone, even my future replacement.

Thanks again for the tips and perhaps I will try some of these before the exterminators.
One poster mentioned how it was weird for the roaches to be out in the winter time. Now I am super freaked out. I know I don't have THAT many roaches (although as far as I'm concerned, one roach is one too many), but now I am just imagining what it will be like in the SUMMER! So I really need to take care of this problem now and for good before it gets any warmer. Ok I'm signing off now before I start rambling more.





  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 08:39:20 pm »
OP, you should read up to learn what it is that you are doing to attract roaches.

Expecting others to care more about your situation than you is unrealistic.

Some have offered some helpful advice.

Bottom line,  you need to figure out what you are doing wrong and take action.

Are you leaving opened food, food waste, garbage, etc. lying around?

You need to be more clean and tidy, put out poison, and dump your garbage promptly and properly.  If you have food waste and it isn't garbage day, freeze it or refrigerate it.

Are you living in an apartment, villa, house, other?

Your neighbor could be attracting roaches as well, but there must be a food source, as wall paper glue isn't going to cause a huge problem.

Getting a professional to come out to assess the situation and put out poison isn't expensive.

Again, you need to care enough to solve it.

It's not anyone else's problem, but the occupant.

Think of it like cleaning your drain, unclogging your toilet, changing a light bulb...you wouldn't expect your boss to come over and fix those problems.  The roach issue is no different.

It will never be 100% solved.  It will require vigilance and effort to stay on top of it.





Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2016, 11:01:30 am »
I know that in the States a pest infestation IS the landlord's problem by law (because once you have an infestation -- not to be confused with getting the occasional visitor, that's not the same thing -- the abode is no longer considered habitable, and the landlord must remedy the situation), but I'm not sure about Korea, so, legally speaking, I don't know if you can do more than what you've already done to get the landlord to act; furthermore, even if they do have landlord/tenant laws that address a situation like this, I'd bet that what constitutes an "infestation" would probably be very vague.

So you're probably on your own with this, at least until the lease runs out and you then have the option of moving/picking your own place.

Anyway, the problem with roaches in a multiple occupant building is that you could be doing everything right, but still have roaches crawling around in your apartment -- it only takes one unclean neighbor, and then everyone pays the price. Roaches can have many nests in an apartment building. If the building is actually infested, even when adult roaches die with proper fumigation, new ones rise from the eggs left behind. That's why professionals use agents specifically tailored towards killing off unhatched eggs and even have chemicals that sterilize the existing adults. This is also why using a professional to treat a single apartment isn't effective in the long-run -- they'd have to treat the entire building to ensure they're getting them all in every nook and cranny, and that can get expensive (probably one of the reasons why your landlord doesn't want to go that route and probably won't unless you can rally most of the other tenants to band together and push her to do it, but then, the entire building may not be infested).

Regardless of infestation severity, while roaches are present in any building, they will explore for new food sources (it's in their nature), so your place can be immaculately clean and you'll still get visitors; however, there are actions you can take to try to minimize how often they visit you. With the way Korea constructs many of its buildings, many of these actions can be difficult to execute, but you still have viable options.

Also, you say that you originally saw them as small little things which grew over time -- you never saw bigger ones? This implies that the apartment had been cleaned/treated before you moved in, but that there were eggs left behind. If you're not seeing too many larger ones, it doesn't sound like an actual infestation to me, and that should be easier to treat/deal with.

Since you're finding roaches in your sink, they're clearly attracted to the food particles being left in the drain, and this is kind of unavoidable. You can do what others have suggested and pour drain cleaner down the sink once or twice a week, but this can be hard on the pipes and may lead to future plumbing problems. Keeping the drain covered when the sink is not in use is effective, as long as you get one that is really tight around the drain edges.

Obviously, never leave a dirty dish, and keep your counters and sink sanitized (it's not enough to just wipe them down with a wet rag, a roach can live a year off of a drop of grease smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, so you need to be really good about wiping down with a bleach-sanitized rag immediately after cooking -- don't forget the walls, oil and grease are always popping their way up there). If you have grease and oil that is difficult to remove with just soap/water because it's been left to harden over time (previous tenants did that to me), it'll come right out with a good degreasing agent. My stove top grate was so caked with years of grease that I had to remove it and soak it in a very strong degreasing solution for about 48 hours to get it all off.

Keep ALL food not in cans in air-tight plastic or metal containers (including in the fridge, although you can also use good ziploc bags for much of it) -- don't leave ANYTHING in boxes unless you place these boxes in an airtight container of some kind. Line floor, cupboard and drawer edges with a good boric acid mixture (like here: http://www.instructables.com/id/No-More-Roaches) -- don't forget wall sockets and the area behind the toilet or the drain (will probably have to reapply after every shower).

Sweep or vacuum your floors every day, and I'd highly recommend getting a good floor steam cleaner. I bought one from gmarket for around 95K won (free shipping), and it's the best investment I've made since coming to Korea. I use it about once a week.

Keep organic waste in a sealed container (luckily, Korea has plenty of these specifically made for leftover food and the like) -- you should also invest in something airtight to keep disposable food containers in until you can throw it all out with the rest of the garbage as well... unless you wash these containers thoroughly with soap and water before putting them into the garbage.

Mothballs can help if placed in strategic areas, but they're really smelly, and that smell returns with heat, and it soaks into your hair and clothes, so... yeah, I'm not a fan, but if you can make them work ~

Sorry to hear that you've got this problem, hope this works out for you.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 11:30:24 am by chingutee »


  • Hot6^
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1759

    • March 14, 2014, 02:46:01 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 11:18:08 am »
I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.


I cleaned the WHOLE apartment and made sure there was nothing Roach worthly.


The problem is; in Korea, the units are so close, AND buildings the the neighbor in the building next to you could have them, and they will make it to your place.


This is usually the case, as a lot of Korean homes are, well, not cleanly AT ALL.


I bought one of these:
http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/detailview/item.aspx?goodscode=378592701


I haven't had a roach since, and it adds nothing to the electric bill. I leave it on 24/7.


Whether it's because of this device or not, I don't care, as no roaches.
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.


Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 11:32:18 am »
Quote
I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.

That's a pretty good story, though while working in Hong Kong I heard a story from a teacher who was sitting in his ground floor flat on one of the islands watching TV in the dark and felt one of these

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4416120000_3afe098431_m.jpg

crawling over his shoulder.


Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 06:08:34 pm »
Quote
I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.

That's a pretty good story, though while working in Hong Kong I heard a story from a teacher who was sitting in his ground floor flat on one of the islands watching TV in the dark and felt one of these

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4416120000_3afe098431_m.jpg

crawling over his shoulder.

I don't wanna click.


  • solveit
  • Super Waygook

    • 369

    • December 09, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
    • Korea
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 01:17:05 am »
Quote
I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.

That's a pretty good story, though while working in Hong Kong I heard a story from a teacher who was sitting in his ground floor flat on one of the islands watching TV in the dark and felt one of these

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4416120000_3afe098431_m.jpg

crawling over his shoulder.

I would probably have passed out cold at that.


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 566

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Korealand
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 08:45:11 pm »
Roaches are an easy problem to fix.

Go to any pharmacy and buy roach bombs.  They cost around 2000-2500 each.

Let it go for a few hours and then air your place out.  Sweep them up with a broom.

Repeat as needed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HymxXEw2Qd8


  • peachkitten
  • Veteran

    • 166

    • June 15, 2013, 03:38:06 am
    • Seoul, Republic of Korea
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2016, 04:07:04 pm »
OP back again.
Thanks again everyone for the responses.

OP, you should read up to learn what it is that you are doing to attract roaches.

Expecting others to care more about your situation than you is unrealistic.

Some have offered some helpful advice.

Bottom line,  you need to figure out what you are doing wrong and take action.

Are you leaving opened food, food waste, garbage, etc. lying around?

You need to be more clean and tidy, put out poison, and dump your garbage promptly and properly.  If you have food waste and it isn't garbage day, freeze it or refrigerate it.

Are you living in an apartment, villa, house, other?

Your neighbor could be attracting roaches as well, but there must be a food source, as wall paper glue isn't going to cause a huge problem.

Getting a professional to come out to assess the situation and put out poison isn't expensive.

Again, you need to care enough to solve it.

It's not anyone else's problem, but the occupant.

Think of it like cleaning your drain, unclogging your toilet, changing a light bulb...you wouldn't expect your boss to come over and fix those problems.  The roach issue is no different.

It will never be 100% solved.  It will require vigilance and effort to stay on top of it.





It is certainly not the case that I actually expect my boss to care more about this situation than I do. I was, as I said in my last post, rambling a bit and I was merely venting my frustrations and feelings. I also don't think it is the same thing as a clogged drain or something. And the issue for me is that when I brought it to his attention, HE said he would take care of it, and then he FAILED to meet the expectations and promises he himself placed on himself. So that's why I felt rather irritated with him. That being said, I do think the advice you gave for dealing with the roach problem was good advice, so thank you again.

I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.


I cleaned the WHOLE apartment and made sure there was nothing Roach worthly.


The problem is; in Korea, the units are so close, AND buildings the the neighbor in the building next to you could have them, and they will make it to your place.


This is usually the case, as a lot of Korean homes are, well, not cleanly AT ALL.


I bought one of these:
http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/detailview/item.aspx?goodscode=378592701


I haven't had a roach since, and it adds nothing to the electric bill. I leave it on 24/7.


Whether it's because of this device or not, I don't care, as no roaches.

I also definitely want to check out that plug in thing. That seems like it would be a good  solution, since I'm not seeing a true infestation, so probably as others have suggested, a problem stemming from the neighbors/old building. Plus with the weather getting warmer, it seems it would be great for mosquitoes and other pests as well.


Once again, thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions!


  • Archeon
  • Expert Waygook

    • 773

    • August 21, 2012, 02:36:28 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2016, 02:42:37 pm »
I woke up to a giant roach crawling on my face.


Then another smaller one the night after.


I cleaned the WHOLE apartment and made sure there was nothing Roach worthly.


The problem is; in Korea, the units are so close, AND buildings the the neighbor in the building next to you could have them, and they will make it to your place.


This is usually the case, as a lot of Korean homes are, well, not cleanly AT ALL.


I bought one of these:
http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/detailview/item.aspx?goodscode=378592701


I haven't had a roach since, and it adds nothing to the electric bill. I leave it on 24/7.


Whether it's because of this device or not, I don't care, as no roaches.

I've never seen this thing before, does it make a sound or smell that repulses bugs?

My guess would be sound... but I can't really understand from the link.
I will tolerate your existence only so far as it doesn't infringe on science.


Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2016, 09:38:05 pm »
Hi all,
Thanks for the replies and advice.
I actually asked my boss to tell the landlady around the time I first realized this problem. According to him, the landlady has said that it isn't her problem.

What I am rather upset about is that fact that the boss knows I was really upset about this and he agreed to take care of it. I brought it up many times and the last time I told him that the problem was getting worse and we need to take care of it now. He said he would figure out which method (roach bomb/ exterminator/whatever) and let me know. However, since the last time I spoke to him, nothing more has been done.
Yeah yeah, maybe he forgot and I should 'remind' him AGAIN, but I just think... How can you FORGET that someone is living in an unclean environment with pests?  I even texted him one night because I was so freaked out when I came home and there was some roaches in my kitchen sink having a frickin' party. It's pretty clear to me that he doesn't give a crap and that offends me.
Ok I am rambling, so sorry about that. This has been one issue I am having with this job/boss and honestly when I see a roach crawling on the ceiling above me or ON MY ARM in the middle of the night, it really freaks me out and makes me sooo angry. But it's gotten to the point around this job where it is just easier for me if I don't even speak to him. I am just really disappointed and yeah I know I  could run in there, guns blazing and demand he call the exterminators here and now, but it's gotten to the point where I am just kinda... done and so that's why I decided to just try to take care of it myself and let Karma take care of him. But I kinda wanna say something, haha especially since I am typing it up now. I think I'll just wait until I leave this job and then I will say everything. And definitely not gonna recommend this job to anyone, even my future replacement.

Thanks again for the tips and perhaps I will try some of these before the exterminators.
One poster mentioned how it was weird for the roaches to be out in the winter time. Now I am super freaked out. I know I don't have THAT many roaches (although as far as I'm concerned, one roach is one too many), but now I am just imagining what it will be like in the SUMMER! So I really need to take care of this problem now and for good before it gets any warmer. Ok I'm signing off now before I start rambling more.

Bolded: spoken like a true slumlord.  Anytime you rent a cheap old building here, you get that kind of BS behavior.  Your boss is a cheap @$$ and he's saying he will look into it to stall and shut you up because he wants to nickel and dime and not spend the money.  You can be more demanding, tolerate it and do it yourself, demand to be moved elsewhere, look for another job, any one of those options.  It sucks and I'm not sure what advice to give.  But given your bosses character, make sure you get paid on time and call the pension office and national health office to make sure the boss is paying it and reporting your income. 


I'm curious what Hot 6 is mentioning.  The thing you're plugging in. 

When I lived in an old building, I had problems, though not roaches in winter.  In my newer building the landlord actually fixes $h!t and doesn't neglect the building.  It's also well built and insulated so I never had the bug problems in summer or mold problems in winter that I had before. 


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2016, 06:28:24 am »
For what it is worth...

As a landlord/slumlord in the US, pest infestations can be both the landlord and the tenants responsiblility.

Every state's rules are a bit different, but I have never heard of it ever being the sole responsibility of the landlord, as the tenants can and usually are the ones who create the problem.

We have regular inspections and have pest control management routinely visit our properties throughout the year.  That said, if the tenants don't follow the rules in the lease by not maintaining the property (like mowing the lawns regularly, properly storing and disposing of food and garbage, etc.), issues can arise.

My point, not sure about Korean rules regarding this issue, but to think or believe it is simply the landlord/slumlord's responsibility would be a mistake.


  • SeoulNate
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • May 25, 2011, 09:17:34 pm
    • Seoul, Nowon
Re: Roaches in Apartment
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2016, 07:41:43 am »
****** hell, stop being so passive about it.

Roaches in your place = inability to sleep/rest at home = inability to work. Go into your bosses office and tell him that you are not going to work next Monday unless something is done about it now.