This Is the Most Roach-Infested City in America

It is notoriously hard to get rid of cockroaches. Here's the one city that has an especially hard time keeping these critters out.

Cockroach on woodluis2499/Shutterstock

Cockroaches can invade even the most pristine homes or offices—and your location could be a large part of your risk factor. These critters are more prevalent in highly-populated cities and thrive under humid conditions. Pest control company PF Harris looked at data from the American Housing Survey and they discovered the cities with the absolute worst roach infestations.

The city with the worst infestation is New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 40 percent of New Orleans households reported roaches in 2015. Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; Raleigh, North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; Dallas, Texas; New York, New York; and Memphis, Tennessee rounded out the top ten. Here’s how you can tell cockroaches have infested your home.

Keeping your home free of cockroaches is challenging no matter your location—but taking precautions is worth it for your health. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), cockroaches could pose a severe health threat. Specifically, roaches could spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, in addition to parasites and other pathogens. Plus, their saliva, urine, and fecal droppings can elicit allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

To deter roaches, the NPMA recommends two main courses of action: putting up barriers and cleaning your home. Fill in any small cracks in the walls or gaps near electric sockets and switch plates with silicone-based caulk. Ventilating crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup is also a good tactic. Here are 13 things in your house that are attracting pests.

All food, crumbs, and even dirty dishes are inviting to cockroaches. Therefore, keep counters, sinks, and plates clean and clear of leftover food. Storing food in airtight containers and putting away everything, even pet food, are also good practices. Now, find out the things your exterminator won’t tell you.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is a former staff writer at Reader’s Digest. There’s a 90% chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she’s not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts and liking one too many astrology memes.