Adulting 101: Apartment Life and the War on Bugs
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Adulting 101: Apartment Life and the War on Bugs

One of the most important lessons of living on your own is bug prevention and elimination, so learn from my mistakes.

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Adulting 101: Apartment Life and the War on Bugs
Evolllution

Congrats! You're an adult! But can you handle the bugs that come with it?

Warning: there will be Game of Throne gifs because it's been almost two months since Winds of Winter and my heart aches for Jon Snow as yours well should too.

It's that time of year when collegiates (not including UChicagoans just yet) return to the hustle and bustle of campus life, and as such, some will be opting for apartment living rather than the dormitory. Perhaps you're moving off for a better bed than the lumpy twin dorm beds or perhaps you'd like to walk from your room to the bathroom without pants on. Whatever your reason, moving off is a big change, so here are some friendly words of advice and warnings for all of you, like me, who've decided to take adulting to the next level.

Perhaps one of the first lessons I learned in living on my own was the war on bugs that you and your roommates just got drafted into. Heed my advice, and good luck.

The Epidemic:

Oh yes. War will be waged between you and your neighbors on who can keep their apartments the cleanest and call the exterminator the most often.

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Not all of us can be Ygritte and unafraid of creepy crawlies—IT'S NOT JUST A SPIDER.

You'll know you're losing the war on bugs when you wake up at 2 A.M. to a roach gnawing at your arm, which is a completely true experience I had to live through. I didn't sleep well for weeks. Other bugs to be weary of: water bugs. I don't know much about them, but they look more like beetles than roaches. Thankfully, Raid kills them just the same. Another bug buddy to get used to (unfortunately) are centipedes. According to the internet and my experiences, centipedes come out during the fall season and love apartments near bodies of water (i.e. Lake Michigan). While yes, centipedes are gross and make me cry when they somehow manage to get into my water cup next to my bed (another true story), they do however eat roach eggs. As that is the case, they are the lesser of two evils.

The Panacea:

I can't tell you all the bad without giving you a little good! Prevention, of course, is one of the best ways to deal with the war on bugs. Keep food out of your bedroom. Try to do dishes every night, or at least do the dishes that have food on them. Keep the stove surface clean along with inside the stove. Trust me, my stove was infested with bugs from the previous tenants who didn't keep the inside of the stove food free. Take the trash out often. Put bug friendly food like baking supplies, cereal, and other grains and sugar items in a bin rather than keeping them out on a shelf or in a pantry. My favorite prevention method is the cat. Get yourself a lion, or lioness, to prowl your halls, keeping the insects cowering in the wall or skedaddling to your neighbors. (Note: a lot of landlords don't allow furry friends or have a pet fee, which can get pricey.)

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If it's too late, or you've done the prevention and the pesky pests are stillshowing up, it's time to channel your inner Jon Snow and get ready to fight. Here are some weapons at your disposal:

Raid: it will kill the roaches and water bugs. Natural insect repellant: spray, until your hand hurts, around the floorboards and doors (it's better to go natural over chemical when you're going to be breathing it in all the time). Permethrin: if you're afraid of sleeping with roaches like I am, get some of this heavy duty bug spray and coat your sheets in it. When it dries, you can't even smell it, and it lasts for multiple washes. I, and many people I know, have used it when going to Africa, so it's the real deal as far as bug-begone goes. And if you think you're losing that war on bugs, call the exterminator!

If you're worried now that your apartment is going to be crawling with bugs... well, it might, but it doesn't have to be! You are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your apartment. Spray, squash, and if you have to, scream. Just remember, winter is coming, and unlike Game of Thrones, that's a really, really good thing when it comes to the war on bugs. Let 'em freeze as you get ready for the Spring assault. You've got this!

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