There are certain universal problems that people of lesser-affluence share. Besides ignoring serious medical issues, being too broke to put an egg in your Top Ramen and being forced to wear the Kardashian clothing line at Sears, there is the very frustrating issue of dealing with the Slumlord. Rents are high and only getting higher. In order to afford to live somewhere we deem cool enough, we often give up things other people can’t live without like cable or water that you don’t have to run for 45 minutes to remove the rusty hue.
Sometimes, the housing you can afford may need repairs. It might be in a less desirable part of town. You might be living with six other people. Your “bedroom” may be a corner of the dining room, closed-in by old shower curtains, fort style. Usually, this means the person allowing this hot mess to go down – your landlord – is actually a Slumlord.
A Slumlord does not care if your dryer is broken. He doesn’t care that you found a bunch of Asbestos tiles in your attic. He does all your home repairs shoddily and refuses to call a professional at any cost. He knows fuck all about plumbing, alas, will show up, wrench in hand, ready to bang away at your pipes.
Pests are everywhere. They live in walls, in the dumpsters of the restaurants in your city. If you live in the country, they’re in your barn. Quick and efficient extermination is necessary. When your Slummy doesn’t step up to the plate, it’s time to take on the creepy genocide yourself. Since you probably can’t afford to hire a real pest-killer, here’s how to tackle the problems yourself.
1. Cleaning: Clean everything. All day. Bleach it. Throw away all your food items. Take out your trash daily. No dishes in the sink. Clean until your fingers bleed and then bleach out your wounds with 409.
2. Mice: I once lived in a house that had so many mice, I couldn’t get out of my bed without checking the floor before putting my feet down. There was mice poop in my bed from apparent unknown-to-me cuddling sessions with the disgusting creatures. One night, I got up for some water and there were mice performing a song and dance routine on my kitchen counter. Mice are best disposed of by sticky traps or humane traps where you catch and release. However, if you use humane traps, make sure to release them far away.
3. Ants: Ants are incredible because one day you are ant-free and the next, they’re having a fucking parade down your hallway. They leave pheromones behind alerting literally every ant in the world of where to go. Destroy that path. Ants hate baby powder, throw that down. That’s a little too messy for me so I always used those Raid baits. Then, spray and wipe every single one you see. This should take four days or so.
4. Roaches: Roaches are so, so gross. They are also very terrifying. Much like my love of miniatures and champagne, they are notoriously hard to kill. Just pool together the money to call an exterminator, already! You can’t live like this! It’s horrid.
5. Bedbugs: I once overheard a guy at a bar saying he was going to wash his sheets and vacuum his bed to get rid of bedbugs. Nope. The first step is to kick whatever scummy people you’re letting sleepover out. Then throw away your mattress. And pillows. Throw away every fabric you see. Then bleach the floors.
6. Get a cat: Get a cat, already. Go rescue one from a rescue. Or there’s a bunch outside, go pick one of those up. The kitty will murder all these bastards. Plus, you’ll be able to tell if the person you’re bringing home is genetically weaker, ie, a person with cat allergies. Note: put a flea collar on your cat.
One day, my hope is we will all be able to afford to live somewhere without these problems. Until then, don’t be afraid to get dirty in order to get clean.