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Exterminators lock horns with 'super gokiburi'

32 Comments

The previous summer's record-setting heat may have withered agricultural output, but, as hot, humid weather is wont to do, it produced a bumper crop of insect pests, particularly the odious cockroach.

If it were only a matter of more vigorous swatting and spraying, the infestations of roaches might be manageable. But Weekly Playboy (Oct 11) warns that Japan is now confronting a bigger, tougher breed of "super gokiburi," that isn't fazed by ordinary insecticide sprays.

"These 'super gokiburi' are the result of overuse of insecticides by humans," says Hisashi Sato, president of a cockroach extermination specialty firm named Albatross. "Chemicals may kill most of them, but the survivors pass it on to the next generation, and now we're seeing an increase in hardier varieties.

"When chemical A fails to be effective any longer people will switch to chemical B," Sato explains. "Each time, the survivors develop a stronger immunity. What's more, roaches seem to be getting smarter, as if their unicellular intelligence somehow warns them: 'This bait is poison -- don’t eat!'"

According to the article, the two most common cockroach species found in the Kanto area are the "chabane gokiburi" (commonly known as the German cockroach) and larger "kuro gokiburi" (Periplaneta fuliginosa or smoky brown cockroach). The former tend to inhabit restaurants and the latter human dwellings.

"But more and more, we're also finding restaurants inhabited by large 'wamon gokiburi,' (Periplaneta americana or American cockroach), which can measure from 4 to 5 centimeters in length," says Sato. "We might find hundreds of them nesting in the space between exterior and interior walls, or in ceiling spaces. The noise they make when they swarm right over your head is really revolting.

"And isn't this assignment turning out to be fun?" he asks sarcastically, after noticing the expression of disgust on the reporter's face.

"The coveralls you wear on the job should have as few pockets as possible," he advises. "The last thing you want to do is carry a few home with you and start a new colony."

Tingling with trepidation, the reporter joins Sato on an extermination expedition to an izakaya that had been forced to delay its opening after it found that the former tenant had left the premises swarming with "goki." The first forays at fumigation saw a slight improvement, but the bugs made a quick comeback, strongly suggesting the invaders were indeed super cockroaches.

Sato quickly spotted their hideouts: behind the refrigerator...under the pots...behind the menu board.

"Here's a good photo opportunity for you," he tells the reporter, pulling off the kitchen drain cover and watching several scurry out.

Sato's extermination routine began with a special atomizer spray insecticide of microscopic capsules that cause instant death when ingested into the cockroaches' breathing apparatus.

Then after this fumigation, he inserts a "bait gun" into crevices, and ejects a ribbon of soft toxic gunk with the sticky consistency of soft caramels.

"It hardens after several days," he explains. "The roaches eat it and return to their nest to die. Their corpses or droppings are eaten by other roaches, and it kills them as well."

Returning to the izakaya about three hours after the fumigation, the reporter sees several dozen dead roaches. A few, despite clearly being on their last legs, were mating frantically, indicating an astonishing instinct for survival of the species.

"Many of today's young people can't stand the sight of roaches," Sato reflects. "One young guy who called us was too scared to go back home, and spent five days sleeping in a sauna. And I heard about one gal who couldn't bring herself to squash a 'goki' in her flat, so she went out and coaxed a man off the street just to go up to her pad and whack it."

For crying' out loud, exclaims Weekly Playboy's reporter -- a guy shouldn't be so gutless that he can't at least summon the courage to smack a "goki" with a slipper.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
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After growing up with roaches, centipedes, and all manner of other creepy crawlies in Hawaii, I moved to Yokohama and lived there 10 years without seeing so much as an ant (we were on the 40th floor, which I suppose helped). After moving to Tokyo last year, I've seen a total of three roaches in my apartment, all of which probably came from outside (there's a yakiniku place next door). A generous placement of mini-Combat bait units throughout the kitchen and bath seem to have kept them away, even through this last long, hot summer!

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I use a "barrier system", don't recall name off-hand comes in a blue-tin with a big switch on top.

It is a non-smoke device place it, step on it and go outside for 2hrs. Come back and you are pest free for about 2~3 months. Lays a coverage on surfaces so watch dishes, etc.

This systems also kills eggs, flies, tani, nomi and unfortunately a lot of helpful critters, like the hunting spiders we get(they are back now).

Living on the 1st floor in an old wooden apartment we get a lot of "Visitors".

Tried the other systems but found them pricier as you need to redo afte 2 weeks to catch the new hatchlings.

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Forgot.

Lived in a few places.

Natal Ferraries(South Africa) are big and faaast, said that first time I had one doing a dive-bomb attack on me was in Japan. Didn't know the buggers came in a flying version.

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Chemical sprays? Never! Don't use them. I live in a building which I believe is roach-friendly. Best product I've found comes in a yellow rectngular box. It has these little plastic done-like things, with a hard white substance inside. The white substance is boric acid (which kills the roach if it eats it) plus some other (natural?)stuff which either attracts / repulses by its odour (I forget which). Costs over 1000yen, and this stuff is the bee's knees. I see c. 2 roaches a year, and then they turn up dead.

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Maria.

You see 2 roaches = 20+ visiting. The stuff I use keeps them out of the apartment = no collateral damage unless they are in-house when the barrier gets put down.

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Barf!! The flying roaches are horrible, but now there's a super gokiburi?? no way I'm going to stop using my spray, although this summer I saw only a couple, on the street. People like to smash them and step on them but when you think about the gross white gooey stuff that comes out...eeew

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1st floor dwellings and places above restaurants will always get "visitors" but the simple fact for most people is that they need to keep their places cleaner. No food means no long stays and by no food I mean you scrub your kitchen daily. How many people actually clean their burners after each meal? Tons of grease, oil and small food stuffs there.

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bonword.

Very true.

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I would like to see an article about bedbugs.Same deal..they were pretty much eradicated until it became easy for humans to travel.Now they are a huge problem world-wide and even harder than cockroaches to eradicate.DDT and the like doesn't touch them now.Youth hostels are the worst places (here in Japan too)to sleep. I have been lucky at my first-floor place.Barusan smoke bomb when we moved in and we haven't had a roach problem yet.Touch wood.

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Ahh, the joys of dealing with "goki-chan." I've noticed some of them play dead when you spray them. That's when you whack em with a rolled up newspaper.

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if you live in Sydney, you get used to cockroaches,,,well not really, NSW is the cockroach state of Australia they are huge over there, and can fly, and instead of running away from you, run at you, and sometimes up your pant legs,,,,very grosss i never had problem with Japanese cockroach, coz it is like small german cockroach, not so smart, and one whack and it is dead BUT this summer, those huge black ones came inside,,,to escape the heat ,,,,maybe,,,? but they dont die if you spray them, so my husbands heavy work shoes got used almost twice a day,,,,this is because we live level 1 apartment (ground floor), our apartment is cheap,,,and just behind us is a mini farm,,,, this summer was the worst for cockies,,,,,im definitely moving back to NZ,,,,we only have weta there,,,and they are not too bad

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gokiburi hoi hoi. I Just like to say that.

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I don't get it -- if Japanese are so fond of 'nature', why can't they live in harmony with their gokiburi? Let the roaches be sold in pet shoppes, like kabutomushi, and kept at home in little plastic cages having slots through which the kodomo can feed them sections of watermelon rind.

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" And I heard about one gal who couldn’t bring herself to squash a ‘goki’ in her flat, so she went out and coaxed a man off the street just to go up to her pad and whack it. "

LOL, I crack up imagining the pickup line. Do you want to come to my apartment and squash a goki?

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This summer's heat killed off nearly all the roaches in my place. I didn't see any from the beginning of August until finally I saw a couple this week. I trapped one of them in my gokiburi hoihoi.

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"Do you want to come to my apartment and squash a goki?"

I'm going to print T-shirts with the message "I'm a certified gokiburi killer."

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Zenny - the bomb thing is good I'm sure, but as you say, it releases a chemical spray which lands on anmything that isn't covered. a) I have a lot of stuff. b) I had, until last year, a house pet. The risks to her health were not worth it. c) The yellow things I use work great - like I said, nary a roach enters the house. There may well be 200+ more, but they must be in the other flats.

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I sealed my apartment up bigtime. If they can't get in then no problem. Every tiny crack gap between fittings needs to be sealed up. Roach free since last summer :D

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Maria.

Agree, I keep a Rabbit but he is doing fine. Was just mentioning another option.

As was said 2 good options for keeping roaches out 1.) Keep the kitchen tidy and clean. 2.) Make sure that there is no standing water in the bathroom, etc.

Reason for 2 Roaches normally don't live in the apartment but come in from the outside for food and water.

Related, over the summer we saw an increase of small black bugs bout 5mm and roundish. Found out they are attracted to ground coffee beans(for the percolator, we grind the beans so there is always a little bit of a spill)), resealed all my coffue bags in a plastic container and they stopped coming.

Said that we don't get much roaches, small hunting spiders plenty but they are left alone and welcome and some small brownish bugs(not roaches).

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As for the super roaches, it was recently addressed in an Anime and Game, features small Robots that will track and hunt down pests as they got immune to poison, etc.

Main robot is called a Hoi-Hoi-San and there is also a Pest X-San and Combat-San. Even been a few plastic models released of the robots.

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I'm going to print T-shirts with the message "I'm a certified gokiburi killer."

Sarge-LOL! Good one!

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'super gokiburis' I thought that was the Yomiuri Giants?

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Nobody has mentioned dish soap. apparently it suffocates them. personally, i have no idea.

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I used shaving foam to off one last week, stopped dead in his tracks so to speak. He was kind of a little one though.

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Roaches have a kimon (trachea) and anything that clogs it will kill them. One surprised me in the bath and squirted him with liquid shampoo, did the trick in nothing flat.

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Haven't seen a cockroach for six years. We use a plug-in noisemaker (inaudible to humans) from Costco that must be working well.

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Used to live in a tiny wooden place the was absolutely infested with big, super fast gokiburi. As my son was still a toddler, did not want to use any poisons. Found just the trick: super hard hairspray. Suddenly not so fast anymore. Adds some extra crunch as well! Killed dozens that way.

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You could also get a cat or two. Mine just love killing gokiburi.

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Exterminators and gokiburis both have horns?....I'd like to see that!

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Weekly Playboy (Oct 11) warns that...

---- Always thought that playboy looked like a different type of mag over here.

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Isn't a few of Kamen Rider's nemeses Dekka Gokis?

Imagine one of those paying a house visit.

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There are many different ways to battle this biblical pest. You can use 1) Baking soda and sugar since they have a pretty high acid content in their stomachs. 2) Baking soda, bacon grease, flour and sugar. Make a few dough balls and the result should be the same. 3) Boric acid will also do the trick, just make sure you don't use it around "little kids and pets" this should do the trick and all your cockroach problems should be resolved.

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