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Los Angeles's Rat And Roach Problem Ranked Nationally

Photo by Josephine Runneboom via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Some of us live in older buildings and hate doing the dishes (a fact we won't apologize for), but the situation leaves us at an increased risk for an infestation of ants, roaches, or even rats. If there is a silver lining to this messy state of affairs it is that we live in Los Angeles.

Let's back up. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a biennial American Housing Survey to gather information on myriad factors, including how homeowners finance their home, what subsidies renters receive, if people feel safe in their neighborhood, and if people have seen evidence of rats and roaches in their homes. That last statistic is the government's best way to gather an estimate for roach and rat populations across America.

So where does Los Angeles stand in all of this? In a pretty good position, relatively.

According to the 2015 data, Los Angeles-Long Beach ranks seventh among America's metropolitan regions for evidence of roaches. Just north of 15 percent of respondents said they found evidence of cockroaches in their house. The Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan region reported evidence in just shy of 15 percent of households -- placing them eleventh nationally. San Francisco ranked seventeenth, with about five percent of households reporting evidence. By comparison, New Orleans, which ranked first, over 40 percent of households reported roach evidence.

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As for rats, California fared better.

Los Angeles-Long Beach is ranked number 20 among American metropolitans for households reporting evidence of rats. Riverside-San Bernardino came in at number 19, and San Francisco at number 17.

The so-called "Boston-Washington Corridor", which in runs the length of the megalopolis from Boston, through New York City and Philadelphia, down to Washington, D.C., grabbed the top four spots. Philadelphia, which ranked first nationally, had nearly 20 percent of households reporting evidence of rats. Washington, D.C., which ranked fourth, had about 13 percent.

According to Bloomberg, "[t]o fully appreciate the size of the Big Apple's pest population [which ranked third, nationally], it's necessary to consider the numbers in aggregate: Some 1.1 million households saw evidence of cockroaches in 2015; 1.1 million saw mice or rats."

"These numbers show only how many respondents said they had or had not seen one of these critters in their home," the Beverly Hills Patch adds. So, who knows how deep the problem goes. In the meantine, buy some Raid, and clean those dishes.