How to kill bugs and mold?
May 27, 2008 1:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I eliminate and prevent mold and mosquitoes from my apartment?

The lowdown: I recently relocated to Macau, which is hot, muggy and prone to mold. Mold grows on the walls and floors, on clothes in the closets, and on food, sometimes almost instantly.

I seem to be allergic to the mold. Sometimes my athsma is so bad I can't sleep, even if I use aaaaaaallllll my medicines at once. A few nights ago I woke up and my cheek was numb and pulsating. I went to the mirror and noticed a gigantic bug bite lookin' thing on my face. I was afraid I'd been bitten by something weird, but the bump went down a few hours later. I went to a doctor the next day, who said the bump had some kind of medical name and was related to skin allergy, and that they appear on the body more often than the face. A couple days later I had one on my shoulder, and then on my chest.

Recently there appear to be more flies and mosquitoes in the house, which was never a problem until just the other day. I have no idea what caused the outbreak. My body is covered in marks, but I can't tell if they are bites or skin allergy thingies.

I know mold and mosquitoes love warm, damp, humid environments. We try to leave all the ACs on (only wall ACs, we don't have central air) and vent the apartment as best as possible. I got some dehumidifiers and an air purifier. But there are problems with the setup of this house.

The kitchen is tiny and doubles as the laundry room. There is no AC in there and any time you do anything in the kitchen it gets really hot. Opening the windows in the kitchen just lets bugs and humidity in. Closing windows and opening the door to the rest of the house just exposes the rest of the house to the heat/humidity - the layout doesn't allow the kitchen to properly vent.

The bathrooms are also pretty small and have no climate control. It obviously gets hot and humid whenever you take a shower, and it's pretty damp when you're done. Do I open the doors and expose the rest of the house to this heat and humidity? Or do I seal it off and let the bathrooms fester?

I think the situation is controllable, but being a rookie in these environs I let it get out of control. We're now trying to get a handle on the situation...
posted by b_thinky to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I don't know much about mold, but I can give you some guidelines to get the mosquitoes under control.

1. Use good screens for your windows allowing you to vent & get fresh air.
2. Check for gaps in the doors & windows even while they are closed.
3. Wipe down the bathroom after every use and vent through the window (not the door into the room)
4. Clean up any standing water & and maybe check for leaky pipes or faucets.
5. Keep the doors closed in between rooms to keep mosquitoes from moving around.
6. For the kitchen you can use a free-standing or mountable fan to combat the heat.
7. Before going to sleep, close the room, turn off the air conditioning or fan & spray thoroughly with mosquito spray. Let it sit for a while (while you're not in there) and then go to bed. You can use a mosquito net over the bed as well if it's really bad.
posted by Upal at 2:46 PM on May 27, 2008

Mosquito net.
posted by theora55 at 3:04 PM on May 27, 2008

Hmm. Make sure you get a nylon 'skeety' net - not my preference but from the sounds of things a cotton one would rot (ick).

After a shower dry the bathroom. Squeegees are good. (And then you won't have any wet rotting towels/bathmats hanging around.)

Cholorine bleach makes short work of mold but if your senses are being hammered as it is Lemon and Vinegar might be a kinder approach until you're feeling up to it. (Or maybe bleach and then rinse with lemon.)

I grew up in the mangroves and whenever new people came to the area they would get these massive welts. About the size of your thumb nail. I was living in some other skeety infested area a few years back and some of the big ones (shivers) gave me welts too. So if you can get them to stop biting you and they go away - there's your answer. Are they itchy? :) Do not scratch em! (And be wary of doing it in your sleep too!)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 9:51 AM on May 28, 2008

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