What State Has The Most Roaches? (You Might be Surprised)

After conducting a study through data analysis, we revealed the most pest-infested cities in America. Did you know that, per capita, NYC does not top the list? So, what state has the most roaches? How about the most rodents?

The study analyzed 2021 US Census data and aimed to identify the urban centers where rat and cockroach sightings are most common. Its focusing on public health and urban living conditions.

As you’ll see from the data below, NYC has the most roach sightings but is not number one on our list.

We analyzed the data per 10,000 and 100,000 residents, and due to the sheer volume of humans in NYC, they are lower on the list than Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, DC.  

To format the data more accurately, the sighting data was then transformed to show the combined sightings per 100,000 population of said area. New York City obviously has far more housing and a far bigger population than that of Riverside, California, so to show the raw data would be to show unadjusted, and skewed data.

As for the public, it shows that there are a variety of factors at play when thinking about pests. Big metropolitan areas usually see more pest problems simply due to the higher amount of waste that’s produced.

If something is discarded and not secured, there’s a pest that will eat it, multiply this by thousands of people and you make the problem worse. A proactive stance on the matter is ultimately the best solution for the problem, securing waste away properly, regular inspections, and not giving them any chance to be a problem to begin with.

Source: Pest data analyzed from the Census.gov

What State Has The Most Roaches?

whats the most pest infested city

We took the data below from the American Housing Survey (AHS) via Census.gov. We chose the top 15 metropolitan areas by population.

From rats scurrying through alleyways and roaches climbing your walls to bed bugs infiltrating homes, New York residents find themselves at the forefront of a relentless war against these resilient creatures. However, there are more roaches in Atlanta per capita.

Table 1 data shows rat sightings within homes in 2021. We used population data to standardize and account for population/housing skew.

What City has the most rats

Source: AHS: Census . Gov

Table 2 shows the same, but for cockroach sightings in the USA.

What city has the most roaches

Source: AHS Census. Gov

Atlanta: Most Roaches Per Capita

The study revealed that Atlanta is the most pest-infested city in the US. It has a combined sighting rate of 165.9 per 100,000 residents. In 2021, the town faced 115.3 rat sightings and a staggering 712.3 cockroach sightings.

Atlanta has been crowned the city with the most roaches per capita, with a staggering 712.3 cockroach sightings per 100,000 residents.

But what types of roaches are lurking in the shadows of this bustling northeast metropolis? Atlanta is home to several species of cockroaches. Some including the American cockroach, German cockroach, Wood roach, and Oriental cockroach. The American cockroach is the largest of the three and after molting can grow up to two inches in length.

German cockroaches, on the other hand, are smaller and more common in homes and restaurants. The Oriental cockroach, also known as the black beetle, prefers damp environments and can be found in sewers and basements.

With these four species of roaches and warm weather, it’s no surprise that Atlanta has earned its title as the most roach-infested city in America.

So, if you fear bugs or rodents, Atlanta may not be the best place to move!

Miami Second Up: What State Has The Most Roaches

Let’s not forget Florida, where these resilient pests feel at home. Miami followed in second place, with a combined sighting rate of 141 per 100,000 residents, including 80.6 rat sightings and 543.1 cockroach sightings, all in one year.

Miami is the second most roach-infested city in America, with a combined (baby roach, adult roach, and rodent) sighting rate of 141 per 100,000 residents.

But what is it about this city that attracts these pests? Miami’s warm and humid climate is a perfect breeding ground for roaches, allowing them to thrive year-round. Additionally, the city’s enormous population and many restaurants and hotels provide ample food sources for cockroaches to feed on.

Furthermore, the most common roaches in Miami are the German, brown-banded, and American cockroaches. They are all known for their ability to adapt to different environments and reproduce quickly.

Despite the city’s best efforts to control these pests, Miami’s warm climate and abundant food sources make it a prime location for roaches to call home.

What city has the most pest infestations

Washington, DC: Third Most Roach Infested City

According to our data analysis, Washington, DC, is known to have a significant roach problem, with a combined sighting rate of 83.7 per 100,000 residents, reporting 348.6 rat sightings and 228.5 cockroach sightings in one year.

DC is home to several species of roaches, including the German cockroach, which you’ll commonly find indoors, and the American cockroach, which is the largest and can grow up to two inches.

The city’s humid summers and large population provide ideal conditions for roaches to thrive, making it a challenging environment to control these pests.

Boston: 4th on the List: State with the Most Cockroaches

Boston secured the fourth spot, with a combined pest sighting rate of 72.8 per 100,000 residents, facing 417.8 rat sightings and 74.4 cockroach sightings annually.

But which neighborhoods in Boston have the highest numbers of pests? According to local pest control companies, communities such as Dorchester, Back Bay, Allston-Brighton, Roxbury, and Mattapan have some of the highest cockroach infestations.

These densely populated neighborhoods have many multi-unit buildings, providing ideal conditions for cockroaches to thrive. It’s important to mention that cockroach and rodent issues are more a building than a neighborhood issue.

There are cockroaches in every neighborhood worldwide; it’s just a matter of how good you are at keeping them out of your place. Learn more on: “What causes roaches in a clean house?”

Despite the city’s efforts to control these pests, Boston’s humid summers and large population make it challenging to eliminate cockroaches.

Riverside, California – 5th on the List for Most Pest Sightings

Riverside, California, ranked fifth, registering a combined sighting rate of 71.1 per 100,000 residents, encountering 89.9 rat sightings and 134.0 cockroach sightings in one year. Since Riverside is in southern California, roaches are prevalent in a warm climate.

Last year, several restaurants in Riverside, California, were shut down due to pest issues. So, it makes sense that residents of Riverside have seen an increase in roach sightings.

The most common species of roaches found in Riverside are German, brown-banded, and American Cockroaches, all known for their ability to adapt to different environments and reproduce quickly.

Residents of Riverside should be vigilant about inspecting their homes for any signs of cockroach activity, as these pests can spread diseases and contaminate food.

Houston and Dallas Ranked 6 and 7 Respectively

Houston ranked sixth, reporting a combined sighting rate of 50.4 per 100,000 residents, with 202.9 rat sightings and 957.5 cockroach sightings in 2021. Dallas secured seventh place, with a combined sighting rate of 45.6 per 100,000 residents.

Since Texas is usually hot and humid, the environment is very hospitable to roaches. Houston and Dallas are no exception. The most commonly found insects in these cities are the American cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach.

But even with their best efforts to control these pests, Houston and Dallas’s warm climate and large population make it difficult to eliminate them.

Philadelphia # 8th as The Most Infested City

Philadelphia followed in eighth place. With a reporting a combined sighting rate of 43.6 per 100,000 residents throughout 2021 for both metropolitan areas.

Plus Philly has consistently ranked high among cities with high pest problems. Some of these include bed bugs, rodents, and general pests.

A recent article was about cockroaches swarming out of a utility hole cover on a Philadelphia street. The residents who live on that block in the Bridesburg section said they can’t go outside without seeing a few roaches.

But as we all know, cockroaches love to hang out in sewers. Plenty of food and water in sewers make them ideal habitats.

San Francisco Pest Infestations

San Francisco ranked ninth, with a combined sighting rate of 27.7 per 100,000 residents in 2021.

In San Francisco, there are more and more sightings of Turkestan roaches. Check out this article in the SF Chronicle on the invasion of these newish pests.

These roaches love warm and humid climates. So it is no surprise that they thrive in San Francisco’s rainy climate weather. While they usually live outdoors, these pests can find their way into your house if you’re not careful.

Turkestan roaches are just one of the many that San Franciscans have to worry about. Additionally there are also German, American, Brown Banded, and Oriental Roaches you’ll find throughout the city.

To note the best way to control a roach problem is by finding the source of food and water. Then work on eliminating it.

Residents should also keep their homes clean, reduce clutter, seal any potential entry points, and contact a pest management professional. It’s important to note that these pests can quickly become an infestation if left untreated.

NYC – 10th State With The Most Roaches Per Capita

Finally, New York City rounded out the top ten, with a combined pest sighting rate of 27.2 per 100,000 residents, reporting 1,164.9 rat sightings and 1,225.7 cockroach sightings, the highest on the list for both pest sightings throughout 2021.

While I know what you might be thinking: “How could NYC be last on the list?” Interestingly, New York City tops the list for both cockroach and rat sightings. Although its massive population, combined with its proactive efforts to combat pests, is what pushed it down the list.

Cockroaches are a problem in NYC, (and are one of the common bugs in apartments). We can attribute some of the roach problems to outdated infrastructure and housing policies.

Furthermore with rent prices continuing to rise, many buildings have gone into disrepair. Making them more attractive to cockroaches and other pests.

According to this data analysis study by the Census Bureau, pests thrive in buildings with structural issues! There are more cracks and crevices for them to travel between units!

Final Thoughts for What State Has The Most Roaches?

In the battle for the most roach-infested city in America, one metropolis reigns supreme: Atlanta, GA. This sprawling southern city has claimed the dubious honor of being the top contender when encountering these resilient pests.

With its scorching hot summers and high humidity levels, Atlanta provides the perfect breeding ground for cockroaches.

But Atlanta is not alone in this struggle against the tiny invaders. Other cities that have earned their place in the Roach Hall of Fame include Miami, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, and DC. Let’s not forget about NYC!

These urban centers battle it out for the title of “Roach Central,” as residents encounter these creepy crawlies in alarming numbers.

Why are these cities prime real estate for roaches? The warm climate, abundant food sources, dense populations, and favorable breeding conditions create an ideal environment for roach populations to thrive. These resilient insects can infiltrate homes, restaurants, and even public spaces. In turn, causing distress and disgust among residents.

So, next time you find yourself in Atlanta or these roach-ridden cities, be prepared for a potential encounter with these persistent pests.

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