The exterminator is coming on Thursday. This will hopefully end the reign of terror that was foisted upon us beginning in July. The tally of the dead thus far:

  • Bedroom: three or four, one of which was already dead upon discovery
  • Hallway: four or five, most of which involved some level of screaming, although the last kill was just a ho-hum affair on my way back from the bathroom on Friday morning. "Oh, there's a hideous giant roach sitting outside the doorway to our bedroom? I'll just grab a paper towel and dispose of it. Yawn."
  • Bathroom: Three or four. The first killings involved a sneak attack. One roach was the decoy while another hid. This involved enormous amounts of screaming and the partial temporary destruction of the bathroom. First phase of the invasion.
  • Living room: Three. One already dead, one dying, and one not dead until I found it and made it dead.
  • Dining room (including entryway to apartment): None, although I shudder every time I think about the day, years ago, when I was eating breakfast and felt something on my bare foot, only to discover a brazen motherfucker roach walking over me.
  • Kitchen: None. Last sighting in December, when one fell from the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling.

This is the joy of living in New York City, especially in a humid summer, especially when construction is going on next door. There's nothing you can really do to control the invasion, although I would love to develop an app to map each kill site. We've been pretty lucky to have not let any of those who dared show their disgusting antennae escape our death machine, either through:

  • stomping (not preferred - very gushy; only used in a moment of utter surprise when critter is running and there's no time to get less blunt tools);
  • grabbing in a paper towel (or in one instance, a plastic garment bag used by the dry cleaner because it was handier) then flushed down the toilet or thrown out in the building trash outside the apartment; or
  • spraying to death with Raid, then grabbed with half a roll of paper towels and disposed of in trash in apartment as a warning to its friends and family.

When I spoke to the building porter today about what to do in preparation for the exterminator, he seemed surprised that we had a problem, but also reconciled to it. He's the one who pointed out that construction was going on next door, and that this is New York City. I think he didn't want me to feel bad or embarrassed. Quite thoughtful of him, really, unless he was worried that I was accusing the building of doing a bad job with pest control, which I was not. They do a great job.

Anyway, hopefully the exterminator will be our knight in shining armor. If not, I'll have to get a permit for a weapon. There's a war going on here. I know that in the end, the roaches will inherit the earth (it's inevitable), but I'm going to try to save my apartment. Just for a little while.

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