1. Home
  2. Home insurance
  3. What are the biggest pest problems in the USA? | Confused.com

What are the biggest pest problems in the USA?

If you’ve ever owned or rented a home, chances are you’ve come across a pest or two before. From a minor inconvenience to a vacate-the-premises situation, there’s never a good time to find a pest in your place. But which pest is the most common in your area?

A mouse on the floor eating leftover food

What's on this page?
The biggest pest problems in the USA
Centipedes are the USA's most Googled problem
Fleas are invading American homes
Ant infestations are the third most common problem in the USA
Furniture beetle are biggest problem in the Texas area
Mosquitoes are thriving in Michigan
The least pest-ridden states

 

Using search data from across the USA, we were able to see which pest solutions were being looked for the most, and which had the most pest problems overall. 

If you’re worried about pest problems in your property, ensure you have adequate cover on your home insurance to deal with it. Depending on the policy, your buildings insurance could cover damage caused by an infestation. This might include fires or flooding caused by damaged pipes and cables. 

The biggest pest problems in the USA

Using the new research data, we’ve outlined below which states have the worst problems with pests.

A graph showing the biggest pest problems in the USA

Centipedes are the USA’s most Googled problem

Centipedes are the biggest pest issue in 15 states including Alabama, South Carolina and Ohio.

 centipede=

It’s never good coming home to an unwanted guest. With 4,830 searches on how to remove them in the last month, centipedes aren’t welcome in American homes. The state with the biggest centipede issue is Mississippi, with a 400% increase in searches for ‘how to get rid of centipedes’ in the last 12 months. While they’re known to kill more unwelcome pests in your home, such as moths, flies and termites, the creature isn’t exactly the most sought-after house guest. Centipedes often come into the home uninvited looking for dark and damp areas to invade.

Fleas are invading American homes

Getting any insect infestation in the home is a nuisance, but fleas take second place on our list causing havoc in the homes of 14 states. Contrary to this common misconception, fleas don't just enter your home by your pets. These parasites can make their way inside on any type of fabric including your clothing that has been in an infested area. Americans are desperate to rid their homes of fleas with 8,250 searches for removal techniques in the last month. This itchy issue is causing the most problems in Nevada and New Mexico who’ve seen a 300% increase in searches for ‘house flea spray’ in the last year.

Ant infestations are the third most common problem in the USA

Unwanted bugs are becoming a common theme in the homes of many Americans, and ant infestations take the third-place spot on our list.

A close up image of two ants crawling in mud

Ants are the main nuisance in 12 states with 30,200 monthly searches for removal tips. Alaska and South Dakota are the states seeing the biggest increase in searches for ‘ant killer’ and ‘how to get rid of ants’ by almost 400% respectively in the last year. Typically, ants are mostly attracted to leftover food. But ant infestations can be a sign of leaky pipes and faucets, which can moisten the wood in and around your home, making it the perfect hideout. This infestation is best not left untreated as ants can ruin the foundations of a home and cause a lot of damage. 

Furniture beetles are the biggest problem in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and the furniture beetles aren’t an exception. Furniture beetles infest the home by getting into damp wood and any places where moisture might be collecting. These critters have been causing mayhem in Texans’ homes leading to a 200% increase in searches for how to get rid of them. Similarly, New York and Pennsylvania are suffering from a furniture beetle problem with a 100% rise in demand for how to get rid of them in the last year.

Mosquitoes are thriving in Michigan

The most common sources of mosquito infestations come from standing pools of water, so homes located near lakes and rivers are at a higher risk. 

A Mosquito in some snow

Mosquitoes grow quickly, especially in a damp and warm environment. Typically, mosquitoes can lay 100 eggs at a time, so populations of this pest can get out of control quickly. Unfortunately for Michigan, these pests are their biggest issue as searches for how to get rid of them have increased by 650% in the last year. Luckily for homeowners, these bugs are usually only active between mid-spring and early autumn. They can be treated by source reduction and eliminating water sources that are favourable for mosquito breeding. 

The least pest-ridden States

Take a look below at the least pest ridden states throughout America.

A swarm of ants on honey

Wyoming has fewer pest problems of any state in USA 

If you’re a Wyoming homeowner or resident, it’s your lucky day. Only 670 pest-related queries were searched for in the last month, the lowest amount on this list by far. Despite having the lowest pest problem, Wyoming can’t escape those pesky ants as demand for removal has increased 125% this past year. Though there are only 581,075 people in the State, the pest population is also extremely low. 

Vermont is focusing on moth removal

The birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s only saw 760 pest-related searches in the last month. The state is fairly free of creatures with the exception of moths being their primary pest concern. Searches for ‘how to get rid of moths’ increased by 300% in the last 12 months.

North Dakota also has trouble with ants

Also close to the previous two states, there were 790 pest-related searches made in the last month in North Dakota. Like many other states, ants also seem to be causing North Dakotans some issues, with a 243% increase in the search trend ‘how to get rid of ants’ in the past 12 months.

How to get rid of pests from your home

It’s clear that many Americans struggle with removing pests from their space. While they’re a nuisance in the short term, the long-term repercussions are also daunting to think about. A house pest infestation could reduce the value of your home by up to 20%. This means that if you owned a two-bedroom flat in the United States and bought it for the average price of $163,000, you could risk losing up to $33,000 just through the damage done by these pests. It’s vital, then, to remove them as quickly as possible.

There are plenty of home remedies for pests. The most effective way to fully fumigate your home is to hire a specialist, but this can be expensive. Americans spend an estimated $9 billion annually on pest control, and the country has the largest pest control market in the world. Considering this, it’s an increasingly popular practice to take out home insurance that covers the removal of pests should a problem ever arise - which, we’ve learned, is worryingly likely. Homeowners and tenants are expected to keep on top of maintenance of their property as insurance won’t always cover the cost of all pest removal including mouse or rat infestation or repair the damage. 

If you need guidance on the best insurance policies to protect your home - and wallet - from the destructive effects of pests, we at Confused.com have plenty of information for you about home emergency cover

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

"No matter how often you clean your house, sometimes pest infestations are inevitable. If you spot the first signs of a pest infestation it is important to take action immediately. 

“You can get ahead of any future pest control emergencies by having home emergency cover. In the UK, emergency cover for your home is widely available as both a stand alone product, and as an add-on to your home insurance. It’s designed to cover your house for things that could damage your home, impact your health, or your home’s security.  

“Check the fine print of your policy details as some providers have different definitions as to what a ‘pest’ is. For example, the removal of a beehive might not be covered whereas a mouse infestation could be more likely to be covered.”

Methodology

The biggest pest issue in each state was determined by using Keywordtool.io. This tool allowed us to discover the average monthly search volume and trend (%) of each keyword. From this we were able to understand the most searched for and top trending keyword per state relating to pest issues. Where search volume was used we needed to understand the relative popularity in relation to the size of the location, therefore using per capita (per 100,000) we were able to standardise the impact of locations to truly show the ‘most popular.