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Are you living in a city plagued by pests?
From rats and mice to cockroaches, spiders, bed bugs, and more, many of us have encountered our share of unwelcome guests.
Unfortunately, for some unlucky cities, these creatures are an all too familiar sight, their streets overrun with uninvited infestations that threaten the safety of citizens and impair their quality of life.
Get ready to discover the 15 worst cities facing pest nightmares so you can be prepared if you find yourself among them!
Chicago is a city with a rich history as well as a rich pest ecosystem.
Like other cities, its size puts it lower on the list despite having a higher pest sighting rate than some of the other cities on this list, with an average of 17.7 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
This includes 352.4 rat sightings and 132.5 cockroach sightings in 2021.
Finally, we have Seattle, Washington.
Seattle is a place known for its rain, music scene and an abundance of good coffee.
But it’s also known for its pests.
The good news?
The amount of pest sightings is relatively low compared to other cities mentioned here, with an average of 15.0 per 100,000 residents.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that there were only 89.2 rat sightings and 21.2 cockroach sightings in 2021.
#3. Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona is often seen as unfriendly because of its heat, but that doesn’t trouble pests much.
Phoenix, for example, has an estimated 21.9 pest sightings per 100,000 residents, for which there were 63.1 rat sightings and 288.7 cockroach sightings in 2021.
#4. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the second California city to make this list, and it’s not entirely surprising.
They have an estimated 23.8 pest sightings per 100,000 residents, with a much more substantial 279.7 rat sightings and 647.7 cockroach sightings throughout 2021.
#5. New York City
New York City comes in tenth, which might be surprising to many.
While New York City does have a major pest problem, the reality is that its size skews the data, making it so that it seems to be less of a problem than it is.
New York City has an estimated 27.2 pest sightings per 100,000 residents, for which there were a stunning 1,164.9 rat sightings and 1,225.7 cockroach sightings in 2021 alone.
Chances are, if you have a major city, you have a serious pest problem.
After all, the city is the perfect place for pests as it has everything they need to survive.
Miami is another terrible city to live in if you have an issue with pests, with an estimated 141 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
The study breaks this down to 80.6 rat sightings and 543.1 cockroach sightings in a year.
That’s a lot of pests.
#7. Washington, D.C.
There are a lot of pests in Washington, D.C., and we aren’t talking about any politicians here.
They have an estimated combined 83.7 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
Broken down, this totals 348.6 rat sightings and 228.5 cockroach sightings a year.
Houston comes in sixth place, and Dallas comes in seventh, giving the state back-to-back rankings for worst pest problems.
Dallas ranks slightly lower than Houston, with an estimated 45.6 per 100,000 residents.
They had 131.2 rat sightings and 463.7 cockroach sightings in 2021.
#9. San Francisco
San Francisco is known for many things, and unfortunately, one of them is the level of filth that seems to permeate the city.
The same goes for New York City, which is next.
As a result, it’s not a surprise that they rank among the top cities with the worst pest problems.
San Francisco has an average of 27.7 pest sightings per 100,000, with 161.9 rat sightings and 80.5 cockroach sightings in 2021.
#10. Riverside, California
Riverside, California, is a bit of an outlier on this list, given that it isn’t a major city like other mentions.
Instead, it’s a city in California with a major pest problem that beats out even some of the bigger locations that California is known for.
Riverside has an estimated 71.1 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
This boils down to 89.9 rat sightings and 134.0 cockroach sightings in a year.
Boston is a beautiful city worth visiting, but not necessarily worth staying in.
Boston, Massachusetts, boasts a massive 72.8 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
The average across the year is 417.8 rat sightings and 74.4 cockroach sightings.
Texas and California are, unsurprisingly, some of the best places for pests to live, with the bulk of them congregating in the cities.
This can be seen in cities like Houston, which has an average of 50.4 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
In 2021, there were an estimated 202.9 rat sightings and 957.5 cockroach sightings.
Are you planning on moving to Atlanta, Georgia?
While Atlanta has a lot to offer, you’ll want to reconsider your choice if you don’t like pests.
Atlanta is the top city with one of the worst pest problems, with an estimated 165.9 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
There were 115.3 rat sightings and 712.3 cockroach sightings in 2021 alone.
Although the numbers may change, it’s likely not a significant change.
Philadelphia may be a great city, but it also has a major pest problem, with an estimated 43.6 pest sightings per 100,000 residents.
Residents saw an average of 480.1 rat sightings and 219.4 cockroach sightings in 2021.
Detroit, Michigan, may have trouble hanging onto its population given the course that the city has taken, but it has no shortage of pests to populate it.
Detroit has an estimated 25.4 pest sightings per 100,000 residents, with 139.3 rat sightings and 22.8 cockroach sightings in 2021.
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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