Rats: Boston ranks on list of most pest-infested cities in America, study says

BOSTON — Rats. This isn’t a list any city would want to be on.

Boston ranks fourth on a list of the most pest-infested cities in America, according to a recent study by New York-based pest inspectors Doctor Sniffs.

The study analyzed 2021 U.S. Census data that revealed the number of rat and cockroach sightings in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

Atlanta topped the list as the metropolitan area with a combined pest sighting rate of 165.9 per 100,000 residents, the study found. Miami and Washington, D.C. took second- and third-place, respectively.

In ranking fourth, Boston, a historic city with older brownstones peppering its landscape, had a combined pest sighting rate of 72.8 per 100,000 residents.

“The city faced 417.8 rat sightings and 74.4 cockroach sightings across a year time frame,” Doctor Sniffs said of Boston in a statement.

New York ranked as “the most rat-infested city, with 1,225 sightings,” the study found.

With a focus on public health and urban living conditions, the study aimed to identify the cities where these pests are most commonly encountered, according to Doctor Sniffs.

Riverside, California ranked fifth on the list, followed by Houston and Dallas, respectively.

Ninth Place went to San Francisco, followed by New York City, which came in tenth with a combined pest sighting rate of 27.2 per 100,000 residents “and a staggering 1,164.9 rat sightings, and 1,225.7 cockroach sightings, the highest on the list for both pest sightings throughout 2021.”

“Interestingly, New York tops the list for both cockroach and rat sightings. However, the city’s massive population and amount of housing resulted in the city placing lower in the ranking,” Doctor Sniffs said.

A staggering total of 9,869 rats and cockroaches were spotted in American homes throughout the 15 largest metropolitan areas, according to Doctor Sniffs.

”As urban centers grapple with the challenge of rat and cockroach sightings, the study highlights the importance of proactive pest control measures to create livable, healthy communities,” Doctor Sniffs said of the findings.

And what if you see those little critters in your home or apartment building?

“Whilst the more northerly metropolitan areas see a decrease in the number of cockroach sightings compared to the more southern areas, taking proactive measures to ensure all properties remains pest-free is ultimately the best approach to the ongoing pest problem,” the pest-control company said.

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