Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Another thing no one tells you about living in Manhattan
There are tons of things you should know about living in NYC that no one ever bothers to tell you and lucky me, I get to discover all the gross ones! I should warn this post isn't for faint stomachs.
So here the tip is, you can thank me later: if you live in Manhattan, you will see a water bug at some point. Maybe outside. Maybe in the hallway. Maybe in the laundry room. Maybe (gulp) in your apartment. Water bugs are aka co...cockro...gawd, I can't even say it. Just read. They are everywhere! There's a reason why they say after the Apocalypse there will be those things and Cher. My building is quite clean but I live on the southern tip of Manhattan, aka part that used to be underwater. When you expand the island via dirt and trash and then build on top of it these things will happen. Could be worse I suppose...it could be rats. *shiver*
Last year I only saw one in my apartment. I learned the hard way that they crawl up the side of my building and come in through the window. I saw the damn thing come in and then it scampered behind my media center while I screamed in horror. I didn't see it for a few days so I hoped it was dead or crawling across someone's else's floor. But these things live to be over 100 so I was just fooling myself. One night I was having a private iPod concert while working. I was singing Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin" when I saw the water bug crawl by my bedroom door. Oh the cruel coincidence of that moment. I managed to trap it and kill it (thank you, Raid!) but the creepy-crawly effects lasted for days afterwards.
Since then I don't really open my apartment windows during the warmer months. They are old windows in my nice old high rise so they have no screens. It's OK -- if I want a breeze I just go up to the roof deck. Unfortunately the maintenance staff doesn't know my neurotic rules so while working on my apartment the other day (after my closet rack collapsed under the weight of all of my clothes, hee) they opened the windows. I came home and gave my best horror film "Noooooooooo!" as I slo-mo ran to the windows. It was too late though! It was too late.
For the other morning, what did I see? You guessed it. Another damn water bug scampering by my bedroom door. Once again I managed to trap and kill it. The thing was huge! Practically the size of my Apple remote. Bleh! Bleh! Creepy crawlies. Not a fan.
So how do you keep your apartment water bug-proof? Well, you can't. But there are some things you can do to minimize the risk. This article has a good rundown. They're attracted to cold, dark and damp spots. So keep your floors clean, your sink empty and your garbage tended to. Don't store cardboard in your apartment either -- this is one of the most common mistakes. Critters are attracted to it. You can get new moving boxes when you move. It's so not worth it. Hopefully your neighbors are clean too.
A few of my friends had infestations and let me tell you it's not pretty. So be warned. You will see one; it will be gross and you will have to deal with it. My apologies in advance.