And the ‘bug capital’ of America is…

There are two reasons I moved to Florida and one of them has nothing to do with pest control. When my career was seemingly going nowhere in Maryland my wife & I decided to make a change. We had visited Florida on vacation and as I always do whenever I travel I checked out the yellow page ads to check out the local pest control action. To my amazement the section for pest control was almost as thick as the lawyer ads and Doctors. Wow I thought, this would certainly be a place where I could advance so being nosey I made a few calls and set up some interviews. I was hired everywhere I went which made me feel good but then when pay was discussed, oh boy, that wasn’t to thrilling.

On the opposite side of the country was where most of my family lived and still eager for a change we decided to check out the opportunities there. Both in Portland Oregon and Washington (just over the river) I again was hired almost as soon as I hit the door. The pay was much better but what troubled me was that these companies only ran full time 7 months out of the year. I asked what the techs did for the other 5 during the winter and ‘unemployment’ was the usual answer and for me, that would never do.

Getting home and somewhat disappointed I received a call from Florida and the promise of big pay, company car, suit and tie, the whole works. Within a few months we had sold our home in Baltimore, bought our home in Ocala and the rest is as they say, history. You can read more about it here. Oh and the other reason I chose Florida? While running around the town looking for a house etc. I came across a HUGE paintball field which is a sport I loved and have been playing about as long as I have been in the pest control industry. In the end I guess I made a pretty good choice because there seems to be no end of bugs in sight and by the grace of God I’m not anywhere near the unemployment line. As for paintball that has worked out pretty well also. I joined a scenario paintball team that has played in two National championships winning one and coming in second in the other.

I sometimes think of what life would be like if I had made the other choice or just decided to go somewhere else in the States and practice pest control? While the amount of pests in a given area is not the best gauge for the success of a pest company it certainly doesn’t hurt, especially if you’re not a great salesman which I most certainly am not. I found this list of the most buggiest states in America and thought you might like to see where you rank. I could only find the top and bottom of the results but I’d be interested to hear some feedback if you think the poll was accurate and if the absence or abundance of pests had any real impact on your life either as a homeowner or pest control professional. As far as paintball is concerned, it doesn’t matter where you live, Florida is the paintball capitol and you’ve still gotta face us to make it to the top. 🙂

Here are the top 10 overall buggiest states, as ranked by homeowners and confirmed by product sales data:

1. Florida………………. 6. New York
2. Louisiana…………… 7. Mississippi
3. Texas……………….. 8. Alabama
4. California………….. 9. Missouri
5. Georgia……………. 10. South Carolina

Not necessarily “bug free” states by any means, the following ranked in the bottom 10 of the survey:

41. New Mexico…….. 46. New Hampshire
42. Utah………………. 47. Idaho
43. Illinois……………. 48. Connecticut
44. North Dakota….. 49. South Dakota
45. Delaware………… 50. Washington, DC

Two other oddities of my research for this article; Most infested bed bug cities were Cincinnati and Columbus Ohio in most polls and not New York. The other was that Washington DC was least buggy’ – Oh yea, now I remember, they were #1 for RATS that keep getting PUT BACK into government offices.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Marnie Anderson

    Bug Doctor – Great article! Information from the BASF news release on the “Buggiest States” also generated a USA Today Snapshot feature, which appeared on the cover of Tuesday’s edition.

    -Marnie Anderson
    On Behalf of BASF Pest Control Solutions

  • Hey Marnie, You’re big timing it there! I can only dream of the day when I’m featured in U.S.A. Today– Hopefully it’s not a mug shot. LOL

    Thanks for reading my blog and the link

    The Bug Doctor