15 States with the Worst Pest Problems

Woman Spraying with Insecticide Over an Ant on the Kitchen Floor. Homeowner dealing with pest infestation problem in her own apparent
© Nicoleta Ionescu/Shutterstock.com

Written by Niccoy Walker

Published: November 27, 2023

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Roaches, ants, rodents, oh my! Pests in the United States affect millions of housing units, with 14 million plagued by cockroaches and 15 million reporting mice or rats. Pest control companies across America also report a large presence of ants inside the home. Pestilence is a public health concern as it increases the spread of disease. Discover the 15 states with the worst pest problems and learn why their residents are more likely to deal with them.


Four Seasons Hotel Miami

Miami and Tampa have rat problems and much of the state deals with cockroaches.

©John Spade / CC BY 2.0 - Original / License

Due to Florida’s warm and humid climate, bugs and other creatures thrive and easily multiply. If you’ve ever lived in Florida, you probably know how easy it is for infestations to occur and how hard it is to get rid of them. Floridians deal with lots of cockroaches, ants, spiders, ticks, termites, and anything else that likes the heat. Florida tops the charts as one of the worst states for bugs and other pests. Several cities in the state also rank high for rat problems. Miami and Tampa are two of the rattiest cities in Florida.


Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown city skyline on the Cumberland River.

Tennessee has a humid climate that attracts many bugs.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Among some of the most common pests in Tennessee, ticks, termites, ants, and cockroaches tend to be the worst. Like many southern states, Tennessee has a warmer, more humid climate, which attracts pests of all kinds, allowing them to reproduce in greater numbers. Along with indoor pests, this state also has many outdoor pests, such as ticks, wasps, and bees.


New Orleans riverfront toward the French Quarter, as seen from the World Trade Center

More than 40% of New Orleans residents live with cockroaches.

©Pattie Steib/Shutterstock.com

Louisiana is another state with warm, moist climate and some of its most common pests include cockroaches, termites, beetles, ants, spiders, rodents, and bed bugs. Subterranean termites are very common in the region and cause billions of dollars in home damage every year. In New Orleans, more than 40% of residents report seeing cockroaches in their homes. With consistent warm temperatures, water surrounding most of the city, and outdated sewage systems, the area is a hotspot for pests of all kinds.


Aerial view downtown and interstate I45 highway with massive intersection, stack interchange, road junction overpass and elevated road construction at sunset from northwest side of Houston, Texas, USA

Cockroaches and termites are some of the most common pests in Texas.

©Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock.com

Texas has one of the highest concentrations of termites in the country, which is one of the most reported pest sightings in the state. But the most common household pest in Texas is the cockroach. Pests in Texas are especially bad during summer droughts, when the heat and lack of moisture pushes bugs into the home in search of shelter and water. But even during the rainy seasons, insects and other creatures multiply and spread easily, such as mosquitos, rats, and roaches. Texas is one of the most hospitable states for common household pests.


Mountain slopes and valley homes in the Granada Hills area of north Los Angeles, California.

California sees more pests after heavy rainfall.


While California lacks humidity, its warm climate still attracts its fair share of critters. In cities like Los Angeles, rats, termites, and cockroaches are common problems. After heavy rainfall, you will see a lot more bugs inside and out, especially mosquitos. Recently, San Bernadino and Riverside counties saw one of its worst oriental fruit fly infestations in the state, which is bad for crops and the economy.


Overcast Day Aerial View over the Urban Downtown Area of Bowling Green Kentucky

Kentucky’s humid weather and plentiful rain attract bugs.

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Along with roaches and termites, Kentucky sees beetles, rodents, and a variety of flying insects, like bees, flies, and wasps, during the spring and summer. Kentucky has humid weather and abundant rainfall, which attracts a lot of different bugs inside and out. Louisville, in particular, suffers from rodent and roach infestations.



Georgia has many common household pests and an ideal environment for reproducing.

©Wirestock/ via Getty Images

Atlanta has been named one of the buggiest cities in the United States. Because of Georgia’s southern location and warm, humid weather, insects and other pests don’t tend to go away, even during the winter. Similar to states like Florida and Louisiana, Georgia attracts abundant critters on the lookout for food and shelter. Some of the most common household pests in Georgia include cockroaches, termites, chiggers, fleas, ticks, bees, and mosquitos.


Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

Mississippi suffers from termite infestations, among many other pests.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Termites are the most nuisance pest in Mississippi, but this state also features large infestations of cockroaches, bud bugs, mites, and mayflies. Along with year-round mild temperatures and a humid environment, Mississippi residents have low median household incomes, which can exacerbate pest problems. The state also has many outdoor pests, like ticks and mosquitos, that can transmit diseases.

New York

Overhead view of Madison Street in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan with the downtown skyline buildings of New York City in the background

New York City produces massive amounts of trash, attracting many pests.

©Ryan DeBerardinis/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve ever lived in New York, you’re most likely aware of the city’s ongoing pest problem. One of the main reasons for the abundant bugs and rodents is the large amounts of trash that plague the city. New York City is a relatively small area that contains a massive amount of people, which means higher amounts of trash, perfect for hungry critters. Cockroaches and rodents are some of the most prevalent pests in the state, along with silverfish, aphids, ants, bats, and plenty more.

West Virginia

Aerial drone panorama of the Woodburn Hall at the university in Morgantown, West Virginia

Bed bugs and cockroaches are some of the most common pests plaguing West Virginians.

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Because of West Virginia’s lush mountainous topography and mild year-round weather, the state sees its fair share of insects and other problem species. West Virginia also has low median household incomes across many cities and towns, which can lead to higher rates of infestations. The state is also high for cockroach google searches, meaning a large amount of people are looking for ways to identify and get rid of this common pest. West Virginia has also seen an uptick in bed bug infestations over the years.


Huntsville Alabama

Alabama has a mild and moist climate that attracts year-round bugs.

©Jeffrey Schreier/iStock via Getty Images

Due to Alabama’s warm, humid climate, the state deals with many pests, such as termites, cockroaches, ticks, bees, wasps, and flies. Alabama is one of the worst states for termite infestation because of its mild weather and abundant rainfall. It lacks freezing temperatures, so bugs survive throughout the year, even during winter. Certain bugs are particularly bad during the summer, such as bees, wasps, ants, ticks, flies, and beetles. Fall and winter are some of the worst times for cockroaches.

North Carolina

Skyline of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

North Carolina sees many nuisance pests throughout the year.

©ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

Like other states in the southeast, North Carolina has abundant warm weather and humidity, lending to an uptick in pests. Some of the most common critters you will find in the state include ants, silverfish, cockroaches, water bugs, and spiders. During the summer, you will also find plenty of mosquitos and other stinging and biting insects. The state has also had an uptick in Google searches for how to remove centipedes and flies.


Columbia, Missouri

Missouri has 17 landfills across the state, which attract unwanted guests.

©Onasill - Bill Badzo - Be Well / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - Original / License

While Missouri freezes during the winter, the state gets hot, muggy, and wet during the summer, offering the perfect breeding ground for bugs. Missouri also ranks high for its number of landfills, which also attracts unwanted guests. Some of the most common summertime pests include mosquitos, ants, spiders, wasps, and wood cockroaches. In fact, Missouri residents Google search cockroaches and ways to remove them very frequently.

South Carolina

Drone Aerial of the Downtown Greenville, South Carolina SC Skyline

Roaches are some of the most abundant pests in South Carolina.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

South Carolina has a notoriously hot and humid environment, making it ideal for cockroaches and other pests. Roaches, in particular, are bad in this southeast state. Not only do they spread easily, but they are also difficult to get rid of. They are particularly bad during the fall and winter, when they retreat inside for shelter and food. South Carolina is also bad for fleas, ticks, ants, mosquitos, rats, spiders, bed bugs, and termites.


Aerial view of the Tulsa cityscape at Oklahoma

Oklahoma has problems with cricket infestations.

©Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com

Favorable year-round weather coupled with a high poverty rate means Oklahoma ranks high for pests. Summers bring heat and moisture, leading to more households suffering from infestations. Rodents, termites, ticks, cockroaches, ants, and bed bugs are some of the most common problem critters in the state. Oklahoma also has problems with cricket infestations. They begin in unkept lawns and spread to nearby homes.

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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