One of our readers has been having problems with cockroaches recently. She has been cleaning the apartment regularly, placing cockroach traps and even used a "bomb" to try and get rid of them, all to no avail.

She'd like to know if it's OK to have pest controllers come in to spray once a year as she does back home, or even if she can ask the landlord to do this, as she thinks the 'roaches are coming from downstairs, where the landlord lives.

For those who have lived in Japan for any length of time, cockroaches, or "gokiburi," are simply a fact of life.