Feb 10


Since sometime last fall, my apartment has been a refuge for some of the local wildlife. In New York, this of course means that a family of rats lives in my walls. And not fun, genius Nimh rats. Mostly they just like scurrying in my ceilings and scratching in my walls. They have never, to my knowledge, come into my apartment. Although, at 3am with a rat scratching at a wall above your head, you might not care that they aren’t in your apartment right this second. I have lost my fair share of sleep from it.

Even better, although the rats can’t come in, it isn’t stopping the things that live off the rats. For the last two weeks, I have been bitten over and over again by bugs that I believe are rat mites. Which are biting parasites that usually bother rats, but will bite humans. They are microscopic and do die off quickly if they don’t have a rodent for food.

My landlord doesn’t speak English, and he has been around since God was knee high to a grasshopper. So, I rely on his son to take care of things. Except that his son has a stunning case of Dunning-Kruger that keeps him from comprehending the things I am telling him. Like, there is a rat nest in my walls, or that the mites that are biting me are microscopic. Instead, he thinks that if he tells me the same things over and over again that I’ll agree that there isn’t any problems.

Except… scratch, scratch, bite, bite.

He has known about the rat problem since November, and done nothing but set a trap or two, and talked my ear off about how the rats aren’t coming inside. That’s 3 reproduction cycles! I finally got him to call an exterminator, after calling him repeatedly and insisting, and now he’s acting like he should be sainted for doing something he should have done in December. And I have been so nice to him. I’ve been understanding and willing to listen to him. Except, none of that is working for me. Last week, when the exterminator came, he told the pest control guy to just look for rats and nothing else.

So, now I’m yelling. A lot. It seems to be getting the job done a little bit, I hope.  I’ve been hearing way less activity, which is awesome, and there is less biting even without the new exterminator coming tomorrow. Hopefully my apartment will be cured soon and I can get a good night’s rest.


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