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Kinshasa



Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Lots of bugs. Mostly ants and mosquitoes but other flying bugs and cockroaches too. Proper food storage is key. If you have cleaning staff, it likely won't be a huge problem. - Dec 21, 2017
Malaria medications are necessary. - Dec 4, 2017
Ants, roaches, and termites abound. Learn to love the geckos and lizards that live in your houses because they eat them! - Mar 2, 2017
Insects are especially bad. In addition to mosquitoes, there are black flies that cause horrible, itchy bites (and seem immune to anything but DEET). Many houses are infested with insects and cockroaches. You can get sprays locally but not glue traps, so you may want to bring some. - Jan 21, 2017
Ants and cockroaches are inevitable. You just have to learn to live with them. Mosquitos were awful. - Sep 26, 2016
During dry season black files will be the bane of your existence. They carry no diseases, which is good, but they itch like CRAZY. Mosquitoes carry malaria and yellow fever here, so you have to be inoculated against YF and you have to take an anti-malarial, but we have found that, for the most part, the mosquitos are not plentiful where we live. We have mosquito nets over our beds, but I don't think I've actually seen a mosquito in our bedroom. Native Congolese generally have malaria multiple times in their lives, so the prevention is important, but, that said, they haven't bothered us too much in terms of biting. The ants also basically own Africa, so you'll have to give up trying to eradicate them - they can be kept out of the house, but you do have to be diligent. There are other bugs of course (this is Africa), but overall we haven't found them to be any worse or different than in the Southern US (ie: there are large roaches (or Palmetto bugs if you are Southern) but they don't hurt you and don't carry disease, so you just have to get over seeing them occasionally). - Apr 26, 2016
Biting bugs of every kind have been the bane of my existence in Kinshasa. I seem to be more stricken than most, however. Mosquitos, biting flies, chiggers, no-see-ums, and any other type of small, flying biting toxin-ridden things are everywhere, year round. The ankles are particularly at risk, I find. Bug repellent with high levels of DEET are effective but must be shipped in - a difficulty with embassy shipping restrictions. Cockroaches are a fact of life at home as are many other creepy crawlies and mice. Poison, traps, and sprays are a constant, especially in the kitchen. Malaria is a real concern and bed-nets are strongly recommended, especially for children. - Jan 6, 2014
Mosquitoes are certainly a nuisance. Roaches are also common. Some houses have termite issues of varying severity. Sugar ants are very, very common, especially if you are a slob. Also lots of other cool insects outside that are not a problem. A kid that loves bugs would enjoy the DRC. - Nov 24, 2012
Lots of insects everywhere. - May 21, 2012
SO many insects and insect problems! Apartments/houses usually have roaches, although we were on a high floor and didn't see them with frequency. Mosquitoes are a big issue and are also malarial. Another common insect are "mango flies". Watch out, as they lay their eggs on damp surfaces and the eggs can embed under your skin...and then you become a host to a little maggot which you then have to "pop out" once it is mature. Lovely, huh? - Feb 13, 2012
Rainy season brings bugs, and having several bouts of malaria is not uncommon. - Nov 13, 2011
Too many mosquitos which do bring malaria. There are some ways to minimise the problem, though, starting from mosquito nets to full scale des-infectisation of your house - Aug 4, 2011
Ants, termites, acid flies, mango worms. - Jan 19, 2011
Black flies, mosquitoes, acid flies, mango flies, but nothing unmanageable. - Oct 16, 2010
Lots! Malaria-carrying mosquitos; mango flies (that burrow under your -- or, more generally, your dog's -- skin); acid flies, large roaches, zillions and zillions and zillions of ants. - Jan 21, 2009