Apartment pests: no matter how perfect your dream Manhattan or Brooklyn rental apartment, at some point during your years or decades or lifetime in this amazing city it’s likely you will have to deal with undesirable, unwanted neighbors–or, even more unfortunate, unwanted housemates–whether of the animal, insect, or human variety.
Believe me: every New Yorker, no matter how fancy, has a bug/mouse story, and we all have at least twice as many irritating neighbor tales. But that doesn’t mean we have to just accept these annoyances (or worse!) lying down. Not a chance. Two articles recently offered a bunch of solid advice for dealing with 1. horrible bugs and 2. terrible people.
On the New York Times site recently was a fantastic “Field Guide to the Pests in Your Apartment” that both entertains and educates. After taking a basic look at the most common NYC apartment animal and insect invaders–the best strategy, as always, is to try to stop them from entering in the first place, which you can do yourself, but which a pro can often do more effectively–it’s onto the Field Guide itself.
Here are profiles of nine of New York’s Grossest, from roaches and rats and bed bugs to ants (“The No. 1 Pest in America!), pantry beetles (the only one on the list I don’t think ever I’ve personally seen), and house centipedes which, though they “eat cockroaches”, also “have a painful bite like a bee’s” which, I think, freaked me out more than anything else I’ve read in recent memory.
They’re super fast, disgusting-looking, AND they bite?! The good news is that all of the above apartment pests CAN be controlled, if not completely eradicated, and even the Great Bedbug Scourge of the mid-aughts seems to have subsided, though I still wouldn’t advise taking home even the nicest, most innocent-looking chair you find on the street.
But on to another, more human, type of apartment pest. One ongoing topic of websites that count NYC apartment residents among their audience is the dreaded “neighbor(s) who make your life miserable”, and BrickUnderground is no exception. That blog recently had a post titled “Neighborly Nuisances and How To Avoid Them”, which included links to all of their previous posts on the subject.
The range of coverage here is truly impressive: nosy neighbors and noisy neighbors (during sex, “practicing” piano, and just in general); neighbors who smell up the hallway/your home with garbage, pot smoke, regular smoke; common-space etiquette infractions (in hallways, the laundry room, on elevators, etc.); and some super-specific cases such as, What should you do if you see your neighbor getting arrested? Best of all, many of the solutions discussed seem genuinely field-tested and might actually work.
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