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Securing the Apartment from the Spookies this Halloween (and Beyond)

Up until last July, I was living in a two bedroom apartment located in a more “luxurious” complex close to campus. As time went on, rent prices increased and I felt more uneasy dealing with a random roommate assignment approaching the next school year. I decided to pack my things at the end of my lease to move to a cheap, but still high quality bedroom apartment for my senior year at West Virginia University. Learning to live alone has been a transition, but I have made a cozy and clean space. It has a few decorations, a nice kitchen and a shower that doesn’t leak as much since I fixed it myself.

The new apartment and its location doesn’t come without its own problems, however. I moved into an apartment full of spiders, cobwebs and creepy crawlies I had to find and release to the outdoors. The bed was dusty, the shower faucet was loose and leaking with water, and again – spiders. EVERYWHERE!

While I was living in a relatively safe area of town, that didn’t get rid of the fact that the rundown roads, dumpster raccoons and feral cats exposed themselves after dark. The cats are harmless, yet it remains unsettling to encounter 10-15 cats with glowing eyes staring into your soul as you arrive home. Finally, another concern for the living space was safety and security. While my neighbors seemed relatively quiet, it can be unsettling to be in my apartment as there was no peephole in my front door to check the outside. I’ve seen enough of those movies. No thank you!

Spookies, Be Gone!

The last thing I wanted to happen while I was in my apartment was one of those creepy spiders in my walls climbing on my face as I slept. While spiders are generally harmless, insects on my ceiling were unsightly and made storing food a pain. Here’s what I did to address my creepy crawling problem: The best, natural way to address the problem is to gently catch the spiders with gloves and a paper towel and release these critters in the great outdoors. After catching every critter you see, it’s best to run the vacuum next. Vacuum those floors, mop floor tiles, clean up food and take out things that you might bring on your shoes such as rocks, mud and grass. Close food bags and trash cans, and don’t keep food out in the open for too long. Keep running that cleaner everywhere in your living space to reduce these spooky sights. Plus, who doesn’t want a cleaner living space?

After cleaning up, the next thing to do is to check for holes and seals to the outside. This might take a Lowe’s trip to get some cleaning and sealing supplies for holes, walls and windows, but this will keep the outside spooky critters out of there! On top of the critter protection, this will also provide protection for your electric bill if you seal everything well.

If natural solutions don’t work for you or you struggle with insectophobia, ant traps and other various bug traps on the market will also do the trick.

Spookies, Don’t Come Back!

As I live next to many different apartment complexes in my area, the last thing I want is to have people seeing inside my living space. If you hold your living space and privacy near and dear to your heart, investing in blackout curtains or blinds will do wonders. I also received a great deal on a security camera when connecting with my new internet service provider (in this case, Xfinity) – I hid this camera near my front door to secure my space. The last thing I want is people coming into my apartment, or worse – stealing my things or personal information. Properly locking doors and buying an external lock for when I’m sleeping and staying in my apartment have helped increase the security of my living space. An external lock can easily be ordered online where you lodge the lock into the door from inside the space as an extra precaution – door locks in apartments are commonly not maintained and could fail at any point throughout your lease, so an external lock would truly protect from spookies entering your place.

Spooky characters when living on your own (or with a roommate) come in many different shapes and sizes. They could be small like ants and spiders, medium-sized such as stray cats and raccoons, or even bigger such as a potential robber or a nosy neighbor. Protecting ourselves and our living spaces as much as possible would truly make our peace of mind a much better place.

Have a Happy Halloween, and if you truly think something beyond these spookies are occurring; keep a flashlight in your pocket, and light a candle as soon as possible!

Sam is a junior at West Virginia University from Littlestown, PA. She majors in Environmental Engineering and minors in Spanish. She's usually found spending time outdoors in nature, and also loves trying different smoothie flavors.