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Tales from the Bush-bug Crypt: Your Vermin Horror Stories

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the

Illustration by Jeremy Nguyen

Good night, sleep tight, don't let the...

Do I really need to finish that sentence?

No. I bet you're already screaming. It's true: Vermin are everywhere in Bushwick. Just last year, Bushwick was rated the neighborhood in New York with the highest number of rats. New York Magazine visited Bushwick to discuss how people prevent getting bedbugs when moving. And finally cockroaches... well, they're just all over this damn town.

So here are the squirmiest, grossest, and most horrifying vermin horror stories, all that took place in our hood just in time for Halloween! Enjoy :)

Mickey Don't Loose That Number

Bey: "There was a mouse in my apartment, and we put sticky traps out. I heard a squeaking, and found the mouse had gotten stuck on the trap, but had PULLED ITS LEG OFF by trying to escape."

Rude awakening

Kait: "Last year my landlord decided to renovate apartment just above ours. New kitchen cabinets, bath room -- it all sounds nice, right? Well, think twice. What he found underneath the cabinets was not so nice. Hundreds of surprised sizable roaches ran into all directions to safe their lives, and they all decided to visit at some point, 'cause where would they go, right? So if you live in an old building and you're sleeping peacefully because you only see a cockroach here and there, be aware that they are in fact everywhere. In every crack, in every hole, they're just waiting to be awaken..."

Something goes crunch in the night

Dallas: "I woke up to the sound of something CHEWING. I turned on the light, but couldn't see anything. After I tried to go back to sleep, I heard it again, to find a cockroach eating a PLASTIC BAG in my room. I smashed it with a shoe and told myself I'd deal with it in the morning. To my disgust, I lifted the shoe to find the cockroach was smeared out, but its legs were still twitching."

The Rat-Pack

Yaz: "There's this rat gang that likes to hang out in front of my apartment building at night, first floor, right of the entrance. You can hear them shriek and thump around and in the cans.  They soften run between a tree across the sidewalk and the garbage can area. For some odd reason, they always decide to run across when my boyfriend walks by. He stepped on a couple rats already, and describes them as 'feeling like you stepped on a mango.' I usually dodge them. Don't wear sandals at night!"

Mass exodus

Frances: "So I got roped into cat-sitting this summer. And I am not particularly a cat person anyway, but I especially (obvs) hate cleaning the litter box. And my roommates were supposed to share equal box cleaning duties but (and swear to god, I love em to death, but they are a little messy) I did it probably 95 percent of the time. So one weekend, I cleaned it on Friday and went out of town and came back on Monday to find that it hadn't been cleaned again at all. A little peeved, I stubbornly left it for someone else. Two days later, I got back from work and was like, fuck it, I'm not gonna wait for someone to do this, it's disgusting and I'm gonna deal with it. So I pour the whole gross mess into a trader joes grocery bag to toss out, and then I notice a BIG roach left scrambling in the litter box. I start freaking out trying to figure out how to kill it, and then like two DOZEN full size, adult roaches pour up out of trader joes bag, running for their grotesque little lives. I scream at the top of my lungs and scramble out of the apartment and made my roommate clean up the remaining mess. I don't know where they went, I am sure they are just lurking in my walls, waiting for another opportunity to feast on cat shit. "

Good night, sleep tight, don't feel it when the bedbugs bite

Tony: "I have a friend who isn't allergic to bedbugs, so when they were biting him, he didn't feel it. One day he saw one, and he picked up his mattress and hundreds of them were there, just scattering across his bed. He put his bed on those bricks or whatever to try to keep them away and he saw one crawl up the wall and across the ceiling and then drop down onto his bed."

Meet the Cookie Mouster

Wesley: "One day I had cookies in the oven and accidentally startled a mouse in the kitchen. It sprinted across the counter and dive bombed into one of the burners on the stove. I heard a squeak, then silence. But the smell of burning remained for months."

Are you afraid of the dark?

Katarina: "After we moved to Ridgewood, the land of cats I thought I'd never seen a mouse again. I was falling asleep happily, feeling protected by our 3 backyard cats and an indoor cat. When one night I was woken up to a baby mouse running up my naked leg. I leaped from my bed screaming. The mouse somehow got in from our backyard and our cat was reluctant to kill it, she only wanted to play with it by putting it into her mouth (with mouse's tail hanging out) and trapping it with her paw."


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