How to Identify and Cope With Your Miniature Unicorn Infestation


While termites, cockroaches, and neighbors who are anti-vaxxers can be handled discretely, a miniature unicorn infestation is something you need to act on quickly as a renter. If you’ve never seen a miniature unicorn, count yourself lucky or lonely: a single unicorn can quickly multiply into hundreds, leading to terrible discomfort, psychological irritation, and, in the worst cases, investment in a healthy adult relationship with a mature individual who might not be perfect but who is looking for perfection when you can have someone real??

Early signs of an infestation include waking up with the telltale horn-nicks on your ankles, finding a tiny horseshoe pressed into the folds of your sheets, and dreaming yourself inside a Duran Duran song. You may think: this can’t happen to me, and attribute that nick on your ankle to dancing too hard the night before and that dream about careening down a slide built of double-rainbows to regular night-time cognitive cleaning. But acting on early warnings is your best chance to head off a stampede.

How do I identify miniature unicorns?

About half an inch long and not even as tall, you may have found one softly prancing around in the trim of your Urban Outfitters sham or along the rim of your half-eaten Seamless order. Your eyes are not deceiving you; these are mite-size magical white horses with sparkling horns that emit a rainbow of light whenever they rear-up on their hind legs, which, right now, is so sickeningly cute that it seems stupid-unfair that you’re not allowed to Instagram them. BUT. YOU. MUST. NOT. INSTAGRAM. An image of a miniature unicorn becomes two miniature unicorn. So, if you’ve just Instagrammed this (admittedly) beautiful itty-bitty magical miracle, you have to take the picture down, and immediately write to each of your Instagram friends and tell them that you have a miniature unicorn infestation, and that they should probably get checked, too. It’s embarrassing, but, it’s the right thing to do.

How did I get miniature unicorns/can I make my landlord pay for removal?

Sure, you’ve “never even used Instagram” and have “never seen a miniature unicorn before in your life.” You “aren’t even sure what a miniature unicorn looks like,” and can’t figure out where you could even have gotten them to begin with.

Oh, you claim not to know the answer, but here it is: ‘80s Night. If you’ve been to a party at a club or at someone’s house where music from Erasure, Prince, Blonde, New Order, Prince, David Bowie, The Runaways, Prince, U2, Prince or anything that even makes anyone think about rainbows—or purple in specific—played, you could have contracted miniature unicorns. Scientists aren’t clear on the causation, but the correlation is clear. If this kind of music (or even music designed with a faux nostalgic New Wave electronica vibe), is in the air, there’s a chance you’re about to hand wash everything in your apartment.

Check your face for glitter. Were you at a party where there was glitter? Miniature unicorns breed in holographic materials (this has been checked), and glitter can also be a sign of a unicorn nest. Contrary to popular wisdom, miniature unicorns don’t result from believing in your dreams—you’re thinking of regular unicorns. Those are different; as in medieval texts, the horns of BIG unicorns have healing powers and can make non-potable water drinkable. Big unicorns are great. It’s the little ones that are the problem.

Do I need to hire an exterminator or can I just put up with them, like I put up with every other curse this city bestows upon me?

Left unchecked, miniature unicorns will multiply, and your apartment will soon be teaming with scores of tiny—and admittedly precious—little hoofs. The drum of hoof beats is at its worst in the deep hours of the night, when the miniature unicorns tap out cute messages in morse code under your pillow—affirmations about believing in your dreams and Prince lyrics that will soon wear on you.

Can I treat the infestation with ACV?

No. Braggs apple cider vinegar isn’t going to solve this problem of yours.

Can I treat the infestation with a flurry of tiny arrows or hammers?

Tiring of cute unicorns ultimately isn’t the biggest problem—the real threat is far more insidious. If you kill a miniature unicorn, you’ve best be ready for the consequences. Witnessing the death of a miniature unicorn is like an inverse Medusa. You don’t turn to stone, you fall in love.


Yes, you will fall in total, instantaneous love with whomever you’re in close proximity with if you kill one of these perfect creatures. You have to tread lightly with this one, party people. Wipe that glitter off your face and tell us, do you like the person next to you? Is that guy who crashed on your futon last night after the party someone you feel like spending the rest of your life with? Because if you kill a miniature unicorn together, you’re going to be in shopping-at-IKEA, personalized-wedding-website, one-couple’s-search-for-a-place-to-raise-a-family-New-York-Times-The-Hunt-blog love. Forever. It’s not fair, but sometimes life isn’t about choosing between the lesser of two evils, but figuring out what kind of commitment you’re comfortable with. If you’re cool with caring for a bunch of tiny unicorns, and making your peace with a grown-up relationship that ebbs and flows with the garbage floes of Newtown Creek, you are a true New Yorker.

Take it from those who have dealt with a miniature unicorn infestation: Love is a lot of work. If you decide to turn away from love by throwing out all your stuff; your mattress, your clothes, and your Prince records, that’s fine. That’s your choice. The miniature unicorns will probably die out on their own. But be responsible neighbor won’t you? When you put your unicorn-infested stuff out on the street, cover it up with a big plastic bag. On that bag, draw a giant rainbow. Everyone will know what it means.