the most pest infested

cities in the us

Pests are more than just a nuisance— they can pose serious health risks to people and pets alike. They can also cause structural damage to a home and can be difficult and costly to control.

Unfortunately, several cities in the United States are particularly prone to infestations of all sorts of pests, from rodents to cockroaches. And while there are many steps homeowners can take to prevent an infestation, sometimes they are inescapable.

What Pests Are

Pests are any animals or insects considered an inconvenience or danger to human health, property, or the environment. They can contaminate food and spread illness-causing bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.

While some pests, like mosquitoes, can transmit diseases that make people sick, others, like rodents, can cause damage to homes and other structures. Still, others, like cockroaches, can trigger allergies and asthma attacks in sensitive people.

Most Common Types of Pests

Many types of pests can infest homes, but some are more common in certain areas than others.


Cockroaches are a common pest in many parts of the United States, particularly in urban areas. They are often brought into homes in boxes or luggage from other infested areas and can quickly multiply, infesting an entire house in weeks.

Cockroaches are a nuisance because they’re pretty resilient. They can withstand temperatures as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and survive for a week without its head.


Rodents are another common type of pest in the United States. They can enter homes through small openings and quickly multiply, causing damage to walls, insulation, and wiring.

Although rodents are well-known scavengers who mostly eat plants, seeds, fruits, grasses, leaves, and tree bark, some rodents can feed on insects or small animals. In a home, they can become destructive and troublesome since they can chew their way through almost anything.

Effects of Pests

Health Risks

Pests can pose a severe health risk to people, particularly those who are allergic or asthmatic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rats and mice may spread diseases through feces, urine, or saliva, and indirectly through ticks, mites, or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.

Structural Damage

Structural problems such as cracked walls, broken windows, and leaks provide ways for pests to infiltrate a home. Pests entering a home can wreak havoc and cause a lot of damage. Cockroaches, for example, can destroy insulation and wiring. Rodents can gnaw on wood, drywall, and pipes, causing severe damage.

Pest-Infested Cities in the U.S.

Many cities in the United States are particularly prone to pest infestations. These cities have several factors that contribute to their high rates of pest infestation. They are densely populated, which provides more opportunities for pests to spread.

They also have a warm climate, which is ideal for many pests. And they often have many homes that are not well-maintained, which can provide an easy way for pests to enter homes.

  • rats
  • cockroach


Philadelphia was named the “rattiest” city in 2021 after rodents overtook a local parking lot. When a cloudy city like Philadelphia experiences heavy rainfall, citizens can expect a rise in pest activity. When the weather is cooler, these bothersome critters will find a way to enter homes to shelter.


Brownstones are famous in Boston because of their quaint design, but they’re vulnerable to damage and exposure to pests due to old age. Bostonians don’t need to worry too much about roaches since sightings of these bugs are low, but they should be wary of mice gnawing their way through their homes.

New York, NY

The city of New York has its fair share of both rodent and cockroach sightings. The populous Big Apple is home to many pests and bugs. Rats are a common problem in New York and run rampant throughout the city. They become a bigger problem during fall.

Washington DC

Compared to other cities on this list, Washington D.C. sits in the middle regarding pest infestation, with numbers that aren’t too high or too low. However, more homes encounter rats than roaches in Washington D.C.


Although the statistics for mice and roach sightings in Nashville are low compared to other cities, they are often plagued by bugs such as mosquitoes. According to a report, this city came in 10th place among the cities in the US most bothered by mosquitoes.


Houston is home to around 32 species of roaches in the state alone, but the most common ones people will encounter are the American and German cockroaches. These insects have their fair share of sightings in Houston compared to rats.

Atlanta, GA

According to a study, Atlanta ranks second in America for the most roach infestations. Southern states are more likely to encounter these insects than any other states in the U.S. Metro areas such as Atlanta are more vulnerable to pests because they’re populated.

Miami, FL

In 2017, Miami ranked third as the most roach-infested city. This doesn’t come as a surprise since Miami is home to various errant wildlife. New species of these vermin tried to invade the city in the past. Regarding rodent sightings, Miami ranks lower than most other cities.


Florida has the ideal climate for insects because they love humid, warm conditions and thrive outside and indoors. On the contrary, Tampa has the lowest number of homes with rodent sightings compared to other pest-infested cities.


Phoenix has the lowest pest infestation in the southern part of the nation. This state is home to at least five species of roaches, so homeowners in this area will run into these pesky bugs at least once in their lifetimes. Thankfully, only 3% of homes in Phoenix have rodents.


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Morton, Caitlin. “America’s 50 Most Rat-Infested Cities, Ranked.” CBS News – Breaking News, 24/7 Live Streaming News & Top Stories, CBS News, 30 May 2022,