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Old 03-02-2011, 09:29 PM
23 posts, read 74,839 times
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I know it's supposedly impossible to avoid bugs in NY apartments, but I have a phobia for these little creatures. How can I do my best to avoid them?

- Will living in a newer building help? Should I avoid pre-war buildings? I heard that newer buildings are more immune...

- I've seen pre-war buildings that have exterminators come every month...am I safe then? or will the bugs come back that quickly?

- What about luxury condos/apartments? Are they more immune?

- Living on ground floor - attract more bugs?

- Are there particular neighborhoods that are more infested? I'm currently looking in Queens (Astoria, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights)

- If I do find insects/rats/etc, will landlords/management companies pay for exterminators? Can I terminate my lease without penalty if there's a persistent bug problem?

What are some of your experiences? Any advice?

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:28 PM
Location: Morningside Heights, NYC
33 posts, read 117,519 times
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In my experience in several apartments in NYC, plus friends' stories... I find that you tend to have mice/roaches if you live above a restaurant. Usually it's just a few if you're lucky, and the mice get caught / holes get plugged up, no biggie. If it's an older apartment that allows pets, you're also likely to have roaches. Even though the exterminator came once a month, the problem never really got better until the neighbors with the pets upstairs moved out and took their leaving-the-food-out habits with them. I've never had the luxury of living on a ground floor, so I can't tell you much about that.

My experience with those monthly exterminators is hit or miss. Mostly miss, unfortunately for me. I have the suspicion that they purposefully don't use the top of the line killers so they have an excuse to keep coming back.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:31 AM
Location: Pelham Parkway
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I have lived in a LOT of different buildings through college abd beyond, even the ones in "good areas" had roaches. I think as the poster above mentioned living over a store esp a restaurant will increase your roach volume. But I think its more about volume of people than age of building. I know leaving pet food out all day/night is a great way to attract pests. I never had a roach problem, but we always had roaches. Its been my exp that these bugs dont like people/light/movement - so if you've got them under control. they usually dont show themselves till you click out the lights and go to bed. I have only seen brazen roaches crawling on stuff in apts that were severely infested, and i didn't live there.

Keep your sink dry and empty.
Pet food off the floor
Do your own spraying poison/glue traps etc.
Dump your garbage every night.
keep all food in closets in air tight glass jars like Mason jars.

If your front door has a large gap between floor and door try to stop it up. I would stuff a towel under our door before bed because in one apt we had in Washington Heights I would see roaches crawling in the hallway

I used to leave a light in bathroom and i "felt" it kept the roaches away - most times i didnt see them in there if I had to dip in there in the early hours of the AM.

I too am sensitive to these pests, and I felt like I couldnt never be rid of them, but your habits in your home will def keep numbers down, so they are more of an annoyance than a constant presence. If your seeing roaches in the day while the family is up and about, you've got a BAD problem.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:30 AM
Location: Brooklyn, New York
2,944 posts, read 3,241,858 times
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Originally Posted by cncm View Post
- What about luxury condos/apartments? Are they more immune?
Pretty much all new condo buildings (not just luxury high end) that do not have shops on the ground level do not have roaches, let alone mice. I live in one and our building has no roaches at all, not even in the basement.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:21 AM
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Well living in the ground floor should have more bugs/roaches then higher floors. I would imagine the higher the better!

As for terminating leases, you would have to have something in the lease arrangement to do something like that I think.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:29 AM
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The pest I would be most concerned about is the bedbug. Roaches are easier to exterminate.

Also I would not move into a building that had an active mouse/rat population. A rat (even one) would be a total dealbreaker for me. You can check to see if a building you are interested in has any record of complaints to the DOB by going on the city website. There is also a bedbug registry (privately run) but I am not sure how accurate it is.

A new building may have less chance of pests going from apartment to apartment because in general there are not as many gaps between floorboards, wall and floor, etc.

I would think the most important thing, however, is how responsive is the management when there is a problem. If a new building gets bedbugs and they start spreading via the elevator (when people take out infested furniture) or the laundryroom, hallway or between walls -- and the management doesn't take it seriously, then the whole building will have a problem on its hands. It won't matter how new the construction is.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:15 AM
Location: Helsinki, Finland
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Rats and roaches are terrible. But I'm not a big fan of pigeons either, I'm always afraid that they might fly in my face. Never happened though.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:23 AM
1,746 posts, read 1,936,526 times
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The place I lived in had a problem initially when I moved in. By keeping the sinks dry as another poster mentioned made a BIG difference. I also made a point of taking out the garbage twice a day (use a trash can with a lid and be sure to always close it). I also went to IKEA and bought airtight containers to keep dry goods/snacks in. After that I rarely saw them, and when I did it was just one or two, not a whole flock of them.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:24 PM
Location: Bronx
13,617 posts, read 16,392,660 times
Reputation: 7030
Is there an app for that to kill bed bugs? Im sure an hipster from williamsburg would have aspect already developed an app like that.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:02 PM
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It is less about the building (although it matters) and more about the tenants that are in the building. It only takes one tenant in a 100 unit building to attract roaches/rats/mice/bedbugs.


1. Maybe one tenant likes to buy second hand furniture...bed bugs can live in furniture and will infest their apt and travel to everyother apt in the building.

2. If you have one unclean/dirty/messy tenant who leaves food out etc, they will be ground zero for mice/roaches and no matter how clean you are, their apt will spread roaches/mice all over the building.

The only thing you can really do is not live in a building with a restaurant (any kind of restuarant even the "nice" ones, and also bodegas, they are known for hosting rats/mice). Other than that it is really out of your hands...it takes only one person to ruin a building.
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