Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Apartment Saga: The End

Continued from previous post.

I took out my hand sanitizer, shared it with Seth, and figured it couldn't get any worse than this.

Thankfully, it didn't. In fact, I found out when we got home that our next door neighbor's bathroom vent had leaked brown nastiness all over his bathroom....4 times. And Jamaican Michael had guys exterminate my neighbor's apartment, too, but they had no idea what they were doing, and sprayed all over my neighbor's new furniture and couch, ruining it. And his dishwasher malfunctioned so that the water backed up in the pipes and flooded the girl's ceiling underneath him, warping his wood floors as well. And his oven only cooked the top of the food and not the bottom, so his pizza and cookies came out well-done on top, but gooey on the bottom.

And my neighbor's apartment was the apartment we thought we were getting. Apartment A, if you remember. So, I'm thankful we didn't end up with Apartment A.

Turns out the management company got smart and hired a certified extermination company to come out and spray the ENTIRE building for bed bugs. No, Jamaican Michael was not properly certified for bed bug inspection. When the certified company searched the building, they said they found no bed bugs anywhere, and what people were finding were in fact tiny spiders that look very similar to bed bugs. So the entire first floor of our building moved out for no reason at all. I'm not sure about all that, because Fred was definitely a bed bug. I saw the tiny spiders they were talking about, and Fred looked much different than the tiny spiders, and very like the picture of the bed bug on the internet. And a guy on the first floor claimed to have been bit at least 50 times, and I don't think those tiny little spiders bite that much. But hey, a certified bed bug company sprayed, and I bought a mattress cover just in case. Hallelujah. I'm over it.

I know for sure that they sprayed because I found a cockroach lying on its back on the floor next to my couch, although I refuse to dwell on the implications of such a thing.

So my story has a happy ending. We're not going anywhere, and a bunch of this bed bug stuff might have been alot of rumors and hype.

I did find out, through this series of unfotunate events, that our building, prior to our landlord's purchase and renovation of the place, was a crack house and a whore house. Supposedly, a man was murdered on the front steps, and another died on the third floor. Fourteen people shared a studio the same size as ours. Supposedly. Supposedly our buidling was infested with bed bugs. Supposedly.



Chaotic Hammer said...

For what it's worth, Nanx and I absolutely love the Hobbit Hole and think that you guys are living an amazing life, smack-dab in the middle of the one of the coolest places in the world.

Regarding the bed bugs -- apparently, the hotel where we stayed has had a lot of problems with bed bugs, also. I read one web site with traveler reviews and about half the people who have stayed there reported either seeing or being bitten by bed bugs. We looked carefully all around the bed when we got there, and did not see any signs of them. We were not bitten, and don't have any reason to believe there were any in the room where we stayed. We noticed that the mattresses all had plastic covers, and I think that's part of the plan needed to control bedbugs, since they like to live in the creases and crevices around the mattress or headboard.

Some of the reading I've done about bedbugs indicates that they are hard to control because they are so easy to get, but can also be present for long periods of time without people knowing it (until someone starts noticing bites all over their body). My guess would be that in a large building with many tenants in close quarters (like most of NYC), just one room being infested could spread quickly, as the critters move easily through cracks, crevices, ducts, etc from one residence to the next.

I also read reviews of the $500 per night hotels in Times Square having bedbug infestations too, so it's not at all a matter of a place being dirty or having poor sanitation.

And finally, not to try and minimize your fears or make light of them, because I know they are real, but really there's nothing for you to be freaked out about. Bedbugs are not known to spread any diseases to humans, and while the bites can be a nuisance, they're just bites. Mosquitoes, fleas, fire ants, chiggers, etc -- all sorts of critters bite humans and cause a mark or irritation, but as long as nobody is getting sick or dying from it, it's not that bad really.

I think just to live in the place where you guys do, and to get to see and experience what you are, is worth putting up with a whole lot of things. Don't let it get you down!

Narci said...

So glad that it ended up working out. Not to digress from the bed bugs, but my son woke up screaming last night. Thinking he'd had a nightmare, I let him sleep in our bed for the rest of the night. However, when I went to make his bed this morning, there was a single dead CRICKET lying on its back on his nightstand. Weird. . .but made me think of you. ;)

kddub said...

Those are a series of unfortunate events, but it's cool how it worked out that you are glad you didn't get apartment A.
So is your cozy hobit hole Ikea'd out?
How do you grocery shop?

truevyne said...

All that stuff written in your last paragraph? Urban Legend. I looked it up on Snopes.

FancyPants said...

C-Ham, while bed bugs may not carry the E.Coli virus, the bites are incredibly annoying, and well...ugly. Plus, the mere idea of bugs feeding upon my blood in the middle of the night, inhabiting the area where I SLEEP, is enough to send me into the far corners of despair.

But no worries. I'm not down. Not in the least. We exterminated those little bastards to oblivion.

Narci, digressing from the subject of bed bugs is welcomed, and you better go ahead and book your bug man, cuz if your son is anything like me, he's a changed child. =-) I'm telling you, crickets in the middle of the night are SCARY.

KD, yes! It is IKEA'd out. Our aching muscles reminded us the first week. Lugging all that stuff up the stairs! And then putting it all together ourselves. There's a reason why that place is so cheap. How do I grocery shop? Most of the time I just pick up a few things at a time on the way home, since I can't carry much more than that. So if we plan on cooking, (which we really haven't done yet....yeah) we'll just pick up the ingredients that day on the way home. There's just no room for it all here.

True, Snopes? huh? Guess I'll be looking that up.

kddub said...

that makes sense.... about the grocery shopping.

Are there just little markets, or a full on grocery store? (I don't know why that aspect interests me so...)

Sometimes Emma said...

Bedbugs? ~shudder~ I'm just chiming in after reading back a few posts. What a debacle.

My downstairs neighbor has an electronic bug deterrent thingie (that's the official name) and I have seen two whole spiders in the 6month we have been here on the second floor (and where I live is very spidery/buggish).

The company looked for bedbugs? Did they look in the beds? Dumb question, I realize, but sometimes you have to ask these sorts of things.

Amy said...

yay, a happy ending! (except for the bit about the cockroach, but it is NYC)

FancyPants said...

KD, there's both, but the big supermarkets aren't as big, because the infrastucture just won't allow it, and the overhead is outrageous, I'm sure. Very skinny aisles, like a maze, pretty much. But really good ones have these cheese sections with every type of cheese imaginable, and right next to it, olives that are sold like produce. Pick out your own and put it into these containers, sold by the pound. With every type of olive you could think of. Hey, I should just do a blog post on this. There's also little grocery stores, like corner stores, with fresh produce and flowers outside. You can get quite a few things there, as well as fresh deli stuff like ham and turkey.

Emma, hello! Welcome. So where could one obtain this "electronic bug deterrent thingie"? Sounds quite useful. And yes, they did check the bed. We had to remove our mattress so they could do a thorough search. We haven't seen anything since except the one cockroach. OH I hate those things.

Amy, hooray for happy endings!