We have a roach infestation in our new apartment. Ha ha ha. What's a good gameplan? Is it weird that I've accepted it?
After this sad, pathetic yelp
of an AskMe, I made my move to Chicago. I rented a small sublet sight-unseen (that happened to have a horrible house centipede infestation, but it was cheap), slept with the lights on, lived in denial, and got excited for my real move. I found a nice one-bedroom apartment in an older, university-owned building. Because it was unversity-owned (like the dorms! in which I've never seen a single roach!) I was optimistic. I talked to the previous tenant who said he never had any kind of bug problems, even after leaving for 1-2 months for research and coming back and expecting to see some spiders or something. The neighbors all said they liked the place and concurred that it was generally bug-free. The rent was not exactly cheap, so I didn't feel like I was moving into a slum. Alas, it was an old, multi-unit building. I was in a hurry to move, but I genuinely felt safe!
Our third night, I saw a weird brown bug crawling along the baseboard. Killed it, obviously a roach. Two days later, my boyfriend saw one crawling on the kitchen counter. Smallish, brown, German cockroaches, clearly a pre-existing infestation as we barely had any food and no furniture and had barely used the sink yet. We called the (free) building exterminators, who came, sprayed around all the radiators, put some gel in the kitchen, and left in about 10 minutes.
Two days later, dead roach near the sink. Cool that it's dead and everything. About thirty minutes later, live roach swarming around the dining room floor, taking cover under plastic bags.
So now it's today and I haven't seen any, yet. I am planning on calling maintenance on Monday morning and explaining the sightings, asking for information (is this a "thing" in this apartment, has it been managed in the past), and seeing if they'll come seal up holes in the walls/between walls and floors. After that, I assume they'll tell me to contact the exterminator again in accordance with further problems.
So, like. I kind of literally can't believe it. I was thorough this time, did my due diligence, but I guess I didn't heed the old/multi-unit advice. But everyone was so assuring, I really thought that this couldn't happen... again. But it did!
So, my question is, is there any way that previous tenant could have been telling the truth? He moved out about two weeks before we moved in, and they did significant remodeling (new flooring, new bathtub, new toilet, new sink) in the bathroom and put a new oven in the kitchen. I checked the cupboards, stove and refrigerator both when the previous tenant was living here as well as after he vacated and both times, no roach droppings, no dead roaches, no live roaches, no eggs. His refrigerator was kind of messy-sticky and he kept big stacks of paper in the cupboards. Somehow I just doubt that if there were roaches, he wouldn't have been a good target, and never would have seen them. Could maintenance have knocked things around so much they they've begun to emerge? Can they be sealed back into their portal to the underworld?
One theory is that since it's been a long, unseasonably hot late summer, they multiplied more than usual and we're seeing the typical summer influx that happens in most places. The fact that previous tenant didn't see them was maybe a function of him being away for most of summer? But he made it sound like he'd never seen a single one. Oh, the other thing, we've seen a few house centipedes too, but they're always babies. The roaches are always babies-to-teenagers. No big fat bugs anywhere. Is it because the exterminators come so often... ? They're scheduled to come every 3rd Thursday, but also come on-call. In a way it's a relief, but also what the heck.
I'm strangely not freaked out by this. I think the house centipedes (ughh) desensitized me (even worse than roaches!), and the fact that they're small roaches is less gross, even though it means they're more tenacious. I want to go full-force against these things and will, but like, is it weird that I don't want to high-tail it out of here? Plenty of people must live this way, right? It's gross, and they could give me e. coli, but... probably not?
I mean, there are grad students raising babies in these apartments, are these babies all going to get asthma? What are the risks? How normal is this?
Thanks, y'all. You've been there for me through all my bug-related traumas.