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

Mold can be a problem. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers are really helpful. Mosquitoes seem to fly through walls... but not nets, thankfully. - Aug 2019

It's the tropics, insects are a part of life. I had a persistent issue with ants in my house and mosquitoes are everywhere. There are also black flies that bite, but they aren't as ubiquitous as the mosquitoes. There are also rodents, but they are less of an issue than in any major American city I've lived in. - Apr 2019

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 2017

Malaria medications are necessary. - Dec 2017

Ants, roaches, and termites abound. Learn to love the geckos and lizards that live in your houses because they eat them! - Mar 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 2017

Ants and cockroaches are inevitable. You just have to learn to live with them. Mosquitos were awful. - Sep 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 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 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 2012

Lots of insects everywhere. - May 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 2012

Rainy season brings bugs, and having several bouts of malaria is not uncommon. - Nov 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 2011

Ants, termites, acid flies, mango worms. - Jan 2011

Black flies, mosquitoes, acid flies, mango flies, but nothing unmanageable. - Oct 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 2009

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More