You know what they say when you have a cockroach infestation: “It’s not about how clean you are, it’s about how clean your neighbors are.” I read that on r/nyc as I poured a bag of Cheetos down my throat, which reassured me that there’s no way I could be responsible for these creepy crawlers.

I’m like every other New Yorker: I come back after a night out, snack on some junk food in the kitchen, and unlike most people, I sweep up the crumbs a few weeks later. I know it’s not my fault that I (correction: my BUILDING) has a cockroach infestation, because I placed a few Combat traps around a few months ago. I don’t even know how they’re getting in, because I used some Scotch tape to cover most of the gaps in my snack cabinet. Unfortunately, my extensive preventative measures haven't stopped them from sneaking into my bed while I’m trying to eat my cheese and crackers in peace.

Before you say anything, I have proof that this infestation is my neighbors’ fault. For instance, I always smell them cooking breakfast and dinner (sometimes even lunch on the weekends). They must be cooking a ton of food that attracts these things, because I always smell at least three different ingredients per MEAL. I don’t eat as much as them—I always just get a gyro and a Souvlaki platter from the Greek truck outside of my building or order some bacon cheese fries and a burrito. Plus, I’m super meticulous with how I eat—I don’t own plates (which is helpful because roaches are drawn to clutter), but I always make sure that most of the food stays in the tin foil by doing a quick check under the couch while I’m chowing down.

I can’t help but be annoyed at my neighbors’ blatant disregard for hygiene. Okay, I’ll admit it: as someone who bleached my tub once, I might be considered a bit of a neat freak. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask for them to take some preventative measures, like picking up some boric acid and dumping it on the floor or whatever you’re supposed to do with it. I was thinking about trying that sometime.

I do everything that I can to prevent the roaches to no avail. The other day, I squirted some tea tree oil hairspray that I bought on Amazon a while back around my kitchen because I read that roaches don’t like tea tree oil. Unless it said mint, but they probably don’t like tea tree oil either.

Plus, there’s no way that they’re drawn to my unit because I have a cat, and roaches are smart so they can sense that she’s a predator. My neighbors (who didn't even think to adopt a pet who literally eats bugs for a living) should do the right thing and own up to the anguish they've put me through.

These things are everywhere in my apartment—honestly, it's a mystery that I haven't seen any in the hallway yet. The other day I even found one INSIDE of my closed Tupperware under the sink, and it’s not as if there was an insane amount of food crumbs left in it or anything. At first, I wondered how the hell it could have gotten in there, but then I realized that they must have eaten all of my neighbors’ food and needed more.

I’m at my wit's end because this infestation is disgusting. Today, I found a frat house of cockroaches congregating around the gunk under my stove. By the way, do you know if there are any household items I could use to dissolve gunk so I don’t have to trek to the discount store down the street?

The worst critters are the thick cephalopod-looking ones. I’m forced to ignore them because I don’t like the crunchy sound when you squish them. But I guess I don’t have to worry about those ones because I read on the internet that they’re not actually roaches, they’re water bugs.

And don’t even get me started on the whole bed bugs situation.