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Which country is the most plagued by pests?

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

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. 

Using search data from select countries and their cities, we were able to see which pest solutions were being searched for the most over the past 12 months. We also found which country and city had the most pest problems overall.

 

The UK has a big rat problem 

Every month, there are 27,100 searches for the term ‘rat traps’ in the United Kingdom, on average. This is, by far, the most prevalent pest problem in the country and many people are evidently struggling to get rid of these rodents from their spaces.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in the UK

There’s also an average of 12,100 searches for the term ‘how to get rid of ants’, showing problems come in all shapes and sizes across the country. Also with 12,100 average monthly searches, but a much lower 12-month trend is the term ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’. This is only up by 23% as opposed to the ants’ 404%.

London is struggling with bed bugs

While rats might be the wider country’s top pest search, London tells a different story. The city sees an average of 2,400 monthly searches for the term ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, making this the most searched-for query out of any city in the UK. The country’s top search, ‘rat traps’, is the second highest in London, with an average of 2,400 searches a month. ‘How to get rid of mice’ is third, with an average of 1,600 monthly searches. This capital city has its work cut out for it to get pests under control, it seems.

Birmingham wants to know how to remove the rats

With 720 monthly searches on average, ‘rat traps’ is the top search query in Birmingham by far. The city seems to need the internet’s help when it comes to removing these rodents from its homes, working out at about 24 searches for this term every day. In second place is the term ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, with an average of 320 searches a month. In third is the term ‘how to get rid of ants’, with an average of 260 searches a month. This number has increased by 550% in the last 12 months, so ant problems could become more prevalent in the future for Birmingham if this trend continues.

Liverpool searches for ‘rat traps’ hundreds of times a month

Liverpool sees an average of 390 searches for ‘rat traps’ every month, making rats the top pest problem in the city. In second place for the northern city is ‘how to get rid of ants’, with an average of 170 searches per month. The third most searched-for pest problem in Liverpool is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ with an average of 140 monthly searches. What do you expect from the city that produced The Beatles?

 

Canada is suffering from a bed bug infestation

The largest pest problem in Canada is bed bugs, judging by the monthly searches. On average, there are 8,100 searches for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ every month. In the last 12 months, this number has increased by 49%.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Canada
 

There are also 8,100 monthly searches on average for ‘rat traps’. However, this number only increased by 23% in the last 12 months, making rats a (slightly) less dire problem for Canadians. The term ‘how to get rid of ants’ is searched for an average of 6,600 times a month in this country, making it the third most requested pest query.

Residents of Toronto are battling bed bugs

Each month on average, there are 1,300 searches for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ in Toronto, matching the top search in the country. Also matching the country-wide result is the second most searched-for term, ‘rat traps’, with an average of 880 searches per month in the city. In third is ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’, veering away from Canada’s top searches as a whole. Residents of Toronto have searched for this query 720 times a month on average.

Calgary residents search for ‘how to get rid of ants’ 390 times a month

The most populous city in the Canadian province of Alberta, Calgary, might have an ant problem. On average, there are 390 searches for ‘how to get rid of ants’ each month in this city, and this number has gone up by a huge 414% in the last 12 months. So, the problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Another sign of this? The second most searched-for term is ‘ant killer’, with an average of 260 searches a month. At least some Calgary residents aren’t having to deal with ants. Instead, there are an average of 260 searches a month coming from people trying to ‘get rid of bed bugs’.

Vancouver is home to many unwanted ants

Like Calgary, Vancouver is trying to get rid of ants. In fact, there are an average of 320 monthly searches for the query ‘how to get rid of ants’, and this number has increased by 271% in the last 12 months. There are an average of 260 searches a month for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, making it the second most prevalent pest problem for Vancouver residents. In third place is ‘rat traps’, which has an average of 210 monthly searches.

 

South Africa can't get rid of cockroaches 

In South Africa, there are an average of 4,400 monthly searches for the term ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’. Evidently, these famously difficult to defeat pests are causing significant problems for residents of this country.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in South Africa
 

The second largest problem is bed bugs, with an average of 2,900 monthly searches for the term ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’. There are also 1,900 monthly searches, on average, for ‘rat traps’, which works out as around 63 searches a day for this form of pest control.

Cape Town is trying to get rid of cockroaches

South Africa’s legislative capital searches for ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ an average of 880 times a month. This is the top pest-related query for the city, matching the country’s top search as a whole. In second place is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, with an average of 590 searches for this search term every month. It’s not just crawling creatures that are troubling Cape Town residents: the third most searched-for query in the city is ‘how to get rid of mosquitos, with an average of 480 searches a month.

Pretoria searches for ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ 480 times a month

The executive capital of South Africa, Pretoria also has ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ as its top pest search. Although fewer people are searching for it than in Cape Town - there’s an average of 480 searches for this phrase each month. The second most searched-for pest term is ‘rat traps’, with an average of 390 searches every month. The third is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, which sees an average of 320 searches per month.

Johannesburg’s itchy issue is cockroaches

Like the country as a whole, Johannesburg’s top pest search is ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’, with an average of 210 searches a month for this query. The second most searched-for pest problem in this South African city is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’. This has a total of 170 monthly searches on average. The city also struggles with mammals as well as insects, with the third most popular pest search being ‘rat traps’. This is searched for 140 times a month on average.

 

Australia has a big rat problem 

In Australia, the top pest-related search is ‘rat traps’, which has an average of 8,100 monthly searches country wide.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Australia
 

In second place is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’, which gets a total of 3,600 monthly searches on average from the country. Australia’s third largest pest problem, according to their search numbers, is mice. ‘How to get rid of mice’ is searched for an average of 2,900 times a month, so clearly rats aren’t the only rodent problem Australia is suffering from.

Sydney is in need of rat traps

The residents of Sydney search online for ‘rat traps’ 1,300 times a month on average, so they’re clearly having problems with the creatures. All of the most pest affected cities in Australia have rats as the top problem, but Sydney also struggles with cockroaches. The city searches for ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ 720 times a month, and for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ 880 times a month.

Melbourne struggles with rodents

Again, Melbourne’s top pest problem is the pesky rat. The city searches for ‘rat traps’ an average of 1,000 times a month - but this isn’t the only rodent the city has a problem with. After the pest in second place, bed bugs, which residents search for 590 times a month on average, mice also plague the city. There are around 480 searches a month for ‘how to get rid of mice’, so if anyone has a fix for getting rid of mice and rats, let Melbourne know.

Brisbane has the same problems as Sydney

Brisbane may be nearly 100km away from Sydney, but their pest problems are almost identical. Rats are in first place, with an average of 590 searches a month for ‘rat traps’. Next up are bed bugs, and residents of the city search for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ an average of 320 times a month. Finally, Brisbane can’t seem to escape cockroaches, with ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ being searched for 320 times a week, too. However, this number has gone down 56% since this time last year - compared to bed bugs’ 33% - putting these critters in third place.

 

New Zealand has a rat problem like its neighbour 

Like Australia, New Zealand’s largest pest problem involves rats. But their search volume for ‘rat traps’ is much smaller than their neighbour, with only 1,900 monthly searches on average from the entire country. The country’s second largest critter conundrum is removing ants, with an average of 1,000 monthly searches for ‘how to get rid of ants’. This number has increased by 48% over the last 12 months. In third place, also with 1,000 monthly searches but staying exactly the same over the last year, is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in New Zealand

Auckland suffers from the same problems as the rest of the country

With rats in Auckland’s top spot, the top pest problem of this city matches with that of New Zealand in its entirety. There are an average of 590 searches a month for ‘rat traps’ coming from the city. While New Zealand’s country-wide results had ants in second place and bed bugs in third, the two are switched in Auckland. ‘How to get rid of bed bugs’ is searched for 480 times a month on average, while ‘ant killer’ is typed into the search bar 390 times a month on average.

Rats continue to be big problem in Wellington

Wellington’s most prolific pests are much like the rest of the country. Rats take the top spot, with an average of 140 searches a month for ‘rat traps’. In second place are bed bugs, with the term ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ seeing an average of 90 searches a month. In third place are ants, with ‘how to get rid of ants’ being searched for 50 times a month on average.

Ants take up two spots in Christchurch’s top three

Unlike the rest of the most pest-afflicted cities in New Zealand, Christchurch’s top spot is taken up by ants. ‘How to get rid of ants’ gets 210 searches a month on average, while ‘rat traps’ only gets 170, putting these furry creatures in second place. Ants also make an appearance in third place, with ‘ant killer’ getting an average of 70 searches a month in the city.

 

Spain's biggest pests are ants and rats 

Each of the top pest-affected cities in Spain have ants as their top problem. So, it’s no surprise that ‘ant killer’ is the top search for the wider country, too. There are an average of 33,100 searches for this term every month in Spain. 

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Spain

In second place for Spain’s biggest pests are rats. The term ‘rat traps’ is searched for an average of 1,000 times each month, so this is evidently quite a big problem for Spanish residents. In third place are ants, with the search ‘how to get rid of ants’ having an average of 260 monthly searches.

Madrid searches for ‘rat traps’ 440 times a month

Residents of Madrid search for ‘ant killer’ an average of 5,410 times a month, making this the top pest problem by far. In second place, just as in the country as a whole, are rats, with 440 monthly searches on average for ‘rat traps’ coming from the city. Ants make a second appearance in Madrid’s top queries, with ‘how to get rid of ants’ in third place with an average of 70 monthly searches.

Valencia struggles to get rid of bed bugs

‘Ant killer’ gets 1,310 searches a month on average in Valencia, but the pest in second place in the city veers away from the country-wide top three. ‘How to get rid of bed bugs’ has an average of 40 monthly searches, as does ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’. These two pests are causing Valencia residents the same amount of trouble, so they tie at second place in the city’s top three pest problems.

Cockroaches are Murcia’s second biggest pest problem

Once again, ants take up two spots in this Spanish city. The most searched-for query in Murcia is ‘ant killer’, which has an average of 270 searches per month. They also appear in the city’s third place spot, with ‘how to get rid of ants’ at 30 monthly searches every month. The tiny insects are clearly wreaking havoc here. Cockroaches also cause problems for residents of Murcia. The phrase ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ is searched for an average of 40 times each month, making these critters the city’s second biggest pest problem.

 

Gnats are a problem in Argentina 

Ants are Argentina’s biggest pest problem by far, with 49,500 monthly searches for ‘ant killer’ every month on average. Other pests that are frustrating residents, according to their internet searches, are rats and gnats.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Argentina

Searches for ‘rat traps’ hit 880 a month on average, making these creatures the second most common pest problem in Argentina. ‘How to get rid of gnats’ is searched for an average of 260 times a month, so these flying insects occupy the third spot for Argentina.

Buenos Aires is struggling to get rats under control

The capital city of Argentina’s pest problems mirror those of the country as a whole. The top problem is ants, with 6,610 monthly searches for ‘ant killer’ every month on average. Residents of the country search for ‘rat traps’ 160 times a month on average, and for ‘how to get rid of gnats’ an average of 100 times a month.

Rosario’s second most populous pests are bed bugs

Rosario’s second most searched-for pest problem is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ with an average of 40 searches a month. This makes it only one of two Argentinian cities with this as its second biggest pest problem - the other is Parana. In first and third place are ant-related queries: ‘ant killer’ and ‘how to get rid of ants’ respectively. ‘Ant killer’ has an average of 1,310 searches every month, and ‘how to get rid of ants’ gets 40 searches per month on average.

Mar Del Plata has a problem with mosquitos

Mar Del Plata has ants as its top pest problem, just like the other Argentinian cities, and residents here search for ‘ant killer’ 720 times a month on average. Unlike the other cities, though, the second most searched-for pest problem in Mar Del Plata is ‘how to get rid of mosquitos’, which has 40 searches a month. This number has gone down by 75% in the last 12 months, so hopefully the city’s getting these critters under control. Cockroaches occupy the third spot, also with 40 searches a month for ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’. 

 

Cockroaches are one of the most prevalent pests in Colombia 

Just like in the other Spanish speaking countries in this list, Colombia’s top problem is ants. Residents of this country search for ‘ant killer’ a huge 110,000 times a month, putting this problem in their top spot by a huge margin. In second place is the term ‘rat traps’, which is searched for an average of 320 times a month. 

 An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Colombia
 

Taking the bronze is the humble cockroach. The query ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ is searched for an average of 210 times a month, finishing off Colombia’s top three pest problems.

Bogota struggles with rats

Like every other Colombian city in our list, Bogota’s top pests are ants, with 27,100 monthly searches for ‘ant killer’. In second place for the city is the query ‘rat traps’. Each month, there are an average of 260 searches for these. Bogota’s third most populous pest is the cockroach, and the term ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ sees an average of 80 searches per month.

Cartagena can’t shake the cockroaches

Cartagena, like the rest of the country, has ‘ant killer’ as its top search query when it comes to pests. This term gets searched for an average of 1,310 times a month. The city’s next two largest pest problems are equally searched for. Both ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ and ‘how to get rid of mosquitos’ are searched for 40 times a month on average. Cartagena is definitely having issues with insects.

Cali’s gnat problem sets it apart from other Colombian cities

Residents of Cali search for ‘ant killer’ an average of 6,610 times a month, making their top pest problem the same as the rest of the country. Coming in second in Cali are rats, with searches for ‘rat traps’ coming in at an average of 50 a month. Unlike the rest of the country, gnats are in Cali’s top three. There are an average of 40 searches a month for ‘how to get rid of gnats’.

 

Mexico can't get rid of bed bugs 

Mexico’s most bothersome pests are, you guessed it, ants. Like all the other Spanish speaking countries we’ve looked at, ants seem to be bothering Mexico to no end, with 135,000 searches for ‘ant killer’ each month.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Mexico

Mexico’s second most searched-for pest problem is ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’ with an average of 2,900 searches a month. So while it’s not as big of an issue as the ant problem, there’s certainly a lot of need for advice on how to remove these critters. In third place for Mexico are rats, with 1,300 monthly searches on average for ‘rat traps’.

Mexico City sees a lot of monthly searches for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’

Mexico’s capital city has the same pest problems as the wider country. In first place are ants, with 18,110 searches for ‘ant killer’ per month on average. In second place are bed bugs, with an average of 800 monthly searches for ‘how to get rid of bed bugs’. The third place prize goes to ‘rat traps’, just like the country as a whole, with 280 searches a month on average.

Monterrey’s second most prolific pests are rats

As is customary at this point, Monterrey’s top pests are ants. Residents of the city search for ‘ant killer’ 3,610 times a month on average. Veering away from the country-wide results, Monterrey’s second place pests are rats, with 60 monthly searches for ‘rat traps’ coming from the city. The third most searched-for pest problem is ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’, which has an average of 50 searches per month.

Cockroaches are a problem in both Juarez and Alvaro Obregon

In both Juarez and Alvaro Obregon, the top pest problem is once again ants, with 400 and 60 monthly searches for ‘ant killer’ on average respectively. We’ve grouped the two together, though, because both of their second most searched-for problems are with cockroaches. These cities are the only two to have cockroaches as their second biggest problem. Juarez has 30 and Alvaro Obregon has 20 monthly searches for ‘how to get rid of cockroaches’ on average.

 

Peru struggles the most with ants and rats

There are 33,100 searches every month on average for ‘ant killer’ in Peru, so this is once again the top pest problem for the South American country.

An asset showing the biggest pest problems in Peru

‘How to get rid of ants’ also occupies third place in Peru’s top three, with an average of 90 searches per month. In second place, breaking up the ant searches, is ‘rat traps’ with 590 monthly searches on average.

Lima’s pest problems mirror the country’s overall problems

Lima, Peru’s capital city, has the same top three pests as the overall country. The city searches for ‘ant killer’ 5,410 times a month on average, and ‘how to get rid of ants’ 50 times on average. ‘Rat traps’ are searched for 150 times a month on average, so while these pests are affecting the entire country, they are especially prevalent in Lima.

Chiclayo residents can’t get rid of gnats and mosquitos

The top pest problem in Chiclayo is once again ants, with 730 searches a month on average for ‘ant killer’. However, the pests in second and third place do not appear in the wider country’s top three. Both ‘how to get rid of gnats’ and ‘how to get rid of mosquitos’ have an average of 40 searches a month. The search numbers for gnats have gone down by 25% in 12 months, while the mosquitos’ numbers went down by 50% in the same time period. Mosquitos seem to be becoming less of a problem for Chiclayo, then.

Moths are the third biggest pest problem in Callao

The city of Callao’s top three starts out in the same way as Peru as a whole. ‘Ant killer’ is searched for an average of 1,610 times a month, and ‘rat traps’ are searched for an average of 50 times a month. The difference in this city is that moths are also one of the biggest pest problems, unlike any other Peruvian city. ‘How to get rid of moths’ is searched for 40 times a month on average, so clearly this city is doing something that moths are a fan of.

 

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, comments: “Pests are just one of the problems to be aware of in your home. Home insurance can mean you’re protected against lots of issues, giving you peace of mind no matter how big - or scary looking - the problem is.

“Homeowners and renters should read 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.”

 

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