In Danny Westneat’s column in The Seattle Times, former Port Commissioner Rob Holland explains why he resigned from the poorly-paid position: he says he grew tired of scraping by, eating Top Ramen in his “roach-filled apartment.”
Reading that, it struck me — for all the kvetching Seattleites do, one thing I never hear anyone complain about is roaches. I grew up near New York City, where the roaches are “as big as a Buick,” to quote Woody Allen in Annie Hall. But in Seattle? Roaches and other pests don’t seem to be nearly as common. So I was surprised to read about the roach infestation in Holland’s apartment, and I wondered — how many folks deal with this problem in Seattle?
While there doesn’t seem to be any data on the roach populations of U.S. cities (a roach Census?), I did find market research numbers for the percentage of households that use pest control services. As it turns out, among the 50 largest U.S. metros, the Seattle area ranks 9th from the bottom with just 5.4 percent of households using pest control services. And since roaches are only one type of pest, the percentage who use those services for a roach problem would be lower still. This data suggests that Rob Holland’s roach infestation problem is, thankfully, unusual for Seattle.
Here are the top and bottom ranking metros for pest control service usage. Roll over the circles with your mouse to see the data.
Metro Areas with Highest and Lowest Pest Control Usage
Source: Scarborough Research, 2012 release 2