If you live in a major city, you probably have a lot of roommates: some human, most insect, rodent and arachnid. It’s pretty gross to realize your apartment is crawling with creatures you didn’t invite in, but it’s actually pretty easy to get them to leave and make sure they never come back. Here are detailed instructions on how to take care of every kind of household pest — for good.
What should you do if you see a line of ants marching across your floor? You could go to the nearest store and get liquid ant traps, which work but leak gunk all over your floor and could poison your pets. If you’re trying to avoid toxicity (me too! Which is why I don’t talk to my family anymore lol), here’s an all-natural solution: go outside and dig up some dirt. Bring it in and make a nice pile on your floor. Before you know it, the ants will get industrious and turn that pile into a hill. Now you’ve created a country getaway inside your apartment — relax and enjoy!
If you’ve been waking up with big, swollen bites, go ahead and let yourself believe there’s a spider in your room that just can’t get enough of your sweet, luscious flesh. Get a small, hand-held vacuum and suck up every bit of dust and potential web from every corner of your apartment. Then hire a man to stand guard in your place until the spider rears its ugly face. Once it finally appears, the man is likely to freak out, leaving you to kill the spider yourself while the disgraced coward watches in fear. Now the spider is dead, you’ve been reminded that you’re an independent woman who doesn’t need a man…although it was nice to have one around for awhile to confirm that you’re still cute when you sleep.
No matter how brave you are, no matter how tenacious, you can’t fight this. Sure, you can put out those little traps, but do they actually do anything? Not really, and even if they work, they’re not going to kill all your cockroaches. Like Kirk Douglas and that little container of baking powder in your cabinet, roaches will outlive us all, so the only thing you can do is learn to respect them — and sleep with earplugs in.
These may be the creepiest of crawlers, but if you have them, don’t panic — and don’t try to get rid of them because they’re the only thing that may actually help you defeat roaches. Silverfish and cockroaches are natural enemies, so if you have both, let the war wage and stay the fuck out of it. And if you happen to see a cockroach and a silverfish fighting, go to PTSD counseling immediately. I can’t imagine anything more traumatizing.
It’s terrifying to see a little creature scurrying across your floor, unless you have a tiny dog, in which case it’s adorable. If you see a mouse, you have two options: let it be or trap it and adopt it. Sure, you can plug up every hole with steel wool, but that won’t keep the mouse out forever. Every kind of trap is unethical, so your only option is to put out a paper bag, fill it with peanut butter and wait to hear rustling. Once you do, grab the bag and say hello to your new pet! What else are you going to do — kill it? Yeah right. Bring it outside? It’ll come back. Bring it outside and let it free a mile or more away from your home? Now you’re the psycho walking around with a mouse in a bag. Since none of those options are appealing, name it Mickey (or Minnie! Does anyone know how to tell the gender of a mouse?), put it in a cage and learn to love it.
If you have a rat, move. It’s the rat’s apartment now.
The only way to permanently get rid of pantry moths is to throw out everything in your kitchen then set it on fire — both the stuff you threw out and your kitchen. Watch the little moths try to fly out of the fire, their wings aflame, then sink down into the smoke. When you go to jail for arson, you’ll do so with the satisfying knowledge that you won.
When you can no longer pretend those bites you’ve been waking up with for months were the work of a single spider, it’s time to admit you have bed bugs. Go ahead and wash everything you own, dry it on high heat, bag it up, throw out what you can, pay $2,500 for heat treatment, etc. Go ahead and try. But we all know the only way to permanently get rid of bedbugs is to flee. Leave everything you own behind. Say goodbye to your family, your home, your provenance. Don’t tell anyone where you’re going. Leave the country and change your name. Start a new life in the arctic. Marry a guy named Lars. Have children. Try to move on, rebuild, to feel at home in your new life, in your new identity.
And wait for them to find you because someway, somehow, they will.