With the coronavirus outbreak largely under control, Shanghai is now facing a different kind of battle.
Residents all over the city are facing termite problems as swarms of the insects invade houses, apartment buildings, shops, and even subway stations.
The annual termite influx is a yearly issue in Shanghai, though this year’s termite season is reported to be particularly severe because of especially humid weather and the use of more environmentally-friendly — but less effective pesticides.
Here’s some footage from the frontlines:
Shine spoke to one resident who has been especially traumatized by this year’s termite invasion:
They are a real nightmare for me. I see huge numbers of them flying in the corridor and under plane trees when I walk outside to dump my garbage. I thought they were moths at first sight.
When I walk to the food store, they fly around my hair and body. I saw termites flying toward the food when I bought snacks at a streetside shop, and the operator asked me to leave because the shop was closing early due to termites.
I almost cried when I got home and felt an itch on my face. I spotted a bug when I removed my face mask. It frightened me.
I did not dare to open a window when I want some fresh air for fear of seeing a termite squeezing through the screen. When I wake up in the morning, I see termite wings stuck in the window gaps.
As the woman mentions, the best way to avoid such horrors is to keep your windows closed. Of course, termites can slip through the smallest of cracks so sealing up gaps with strips and tape is also a fine idea.
Keeping your place dry and clean is of prime importance. If you do end up getting overrun, authorities recommend that you call in the professionals.
The number of pest control calls are now at least 10 a day and may well surge up to 40 or 50 soon, officials say. This year’s termite season is predicted to last until around July 10.