Spring is great everywhere, but especially in the city where we mostly don't have to worry about flooded basements, yellow jackets nesting by the front door, and bright green car-coating pollen. That doesn't mean NYC vertical dwellers have nothing to worry about though. (What fun would that be anyway?)
Nine things not to do in (or to) your apartment this spring:
- Don't turn on your window or wall a/c if you have pigeons roosting right outside. Your apartment could inhale tiny biting bird mites, frequently confused for bed bugs. Ditto the disease spores found in dried pigeon droppings: Psittacosis (a.k.a. "bird-fancier's disease") is a cool diagnosis on House the television show, not IN your house. (See Why you mite not want to use your a/c just yet)
- Don't forget to give your housekeeper first dibs on clothing or toys purged during spring cleaning. When you haul the rest to the thrift store, don't bring back anything you can't heat up to bed-bug-killing temperatures in the clothes dryer or a PackTite heater.* (See Care for some bed bugs with your thrift store treasure?)
- Don't paint your apartment in springtime colors. They tend to be hard to live with in the long dark fall/winter months, when you spend more time indoors anyway.
- Don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and clean the lint out of the exhaust hose (an often-overlooked fire hazard), assuming you are lucky enough to (a) own a dryer that (b) vents to the outside.
- Don't put away your winter clothing just yet. You don't want to be caught in flip-flops if it flurries in April.
- Don't open your windows for the first time all year without dusting the sills first.
- In your desperate urge to get in shape for summer, don't buy a treadmill without installing sound insulation too (see Teach your treadmill to shut up)
- Don't throw a party on your concrete balcony without getting any rust, cracks, flaking concrete, wobbly railings, etc., checked out first (see How to tell if your balcony is about to fall off). And do your neighbors up and down the block a favor by bringing a bringing the party inside at a reasonable hour.
- If you have a cat that you would like to keep on having, don't open your window without putting a screen in place; childproof bars aren't enough to prevent a fatal misstep. (See High Rise Syndrome)
*Affiliate sales disclosure - PackTite Bed Bug Heater: In the course of our extensive coverage of NYC's bed bug epidemic, BrickUnderground recently established an affiliate relationship with USBedBugs.com, which pays BrickUnderground a portion of sales generated here, at no additional cost to you. As always, we only recommend products that we believe are effective against bed bugs.