Florida and New York Top List of States with the Worst Bug Problems

Survey respondents say Sunshine State is nation’s “buggiest”

ST. LOUIS, Mo.--()--Florida has a bad reputation, at least when it comes to bugs. In a national survey, homeowners ranked Florida as the state with the worst bug infestation problems – including ants, termites and cockroaches. Louisiana and Texas were runners-up.

Bugs clearly are widespread across America: A whopping 90 percent of homeowners said they have experienced an insect infestation, according to the recent telephone survey, conducted by Infogroup | ORC, sponsored by BASF Pest Control Solutions.

When it comes to bed bugs, respondents agreed New York has the worst problem. California and Florida were first and second runners-up for bed bugs, respectively.

Ant infestation was rated the most common insect annoyance by homeowners interviewed. Nearly 60 percent of those questioned said ants were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to infest their homes. In contrast, about a quarter (27 percent) of respondents said they were “likely” to suffer from a termite infestation.

“The survey findings mirror what we see in real life,” said Dr. Bob Davis, Chief Entomologist at BASF. “Ants are pervasive throughout the United States, while termites tend to be most prevalent in the West, South and Southeast.”

Sales of insecticides also validate homeowners’ beliefs about the “overall buggiest states.” Researchers compared the survey results with sales of Termidor® termiticide/insecticide along with sales of over-the-counter products containing permethrin, a major ingredient in many insecticides sold at home-improvement and hardware stores.

“What’s really impressive is that homeowners’ perceptions of the states with the worst bug problems as shown by the survey results are very accurate, especially with regard to the top 10,” Davis said.

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

While they can’t necessarily be called the “least buggiest” locales, the following ranked in the bottom 10 of the survey, in terms of respondents’ perceptions:

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

The survey also provided insight on the debate over “doing it yourself” versus calling a professional. Among the 90 percent of homeowners who have had a bug infestation, 63 percent of them tried to treat it themselves and only 23 percent called a professional right away. Forty-percent of those who tried to treat it themselves had to call in a professional anyway and 86 percent of those who called a professional reported success.

“Calling a professional pest control expert really makes a difference when dealing with a structural infestation,” Davis said. “Most homeowners don’t know exactly what bugs they’re dealing with or how best to treat the structure. Pest management professionals are equipped to deal with just about everything.”

“Homeowners need to be vigilant,” Davis cautioned. “Some species of ants and termites are wood-destroying pests and termites alone cause $5 billion in property damage each year. If you think your house is infested, you need to call a pest management professional.”

For more information about identifying bug infestations or preventing and eradicating insects, consumers should visit termiteinstitute.com, antinstitute.com or bedbuginstitute.com.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted among a national probability sample of 675 adults comprising 321 men and 354 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. All respondents were homeowners. Interviews for this telephone survey were conducted by Infogroup | ORC during the period June 10-13, 2010. Margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 4 percent. For purposes of the survey, when ranking “overall buggiest” states, respondents were asked to consider ALL of the following bugs: spiders, ants, bees/wasps, termites, cockroaches, bed bugs.

About the Crop Protection division

With sales of €3.6 billion in 2009, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com.

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BASF - The Chemical Company.

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $13 billion in 2009. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, or to sign up to receive news releases by e-mail, visit www.basf.us.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner, BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €50 billion in 2009 and had approximately 105,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

A Termidor® termiticide/insecticide application can only be performed by a licensed pest control professional.

Users must always read and follow label directions.

Termidor is not registered for termite use in the state of New York.

©2010 BASF Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Contacts

BASF Corporation
John Anderson
Padilla Speer Beardsley
on behalf of BASF
612-455-1756
janderson@psbpr.com
or
Kimberly Huston
Padilla Speer Beardsley
on behalf of BASF
612-455-1704
khuston@psbpr.com

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Contacts

BASF Corporation
John Anderson
Padilla Speer Beardsley
on behalf of BASF
612-455-1756
janderson@psbpr.com
or
Kimberly Huston
Padilla Speer Beardsley
on behalf of BASF
612-455-1704
khuston@psbpr.com