Roaches and Rats: 21 Scary Statistics About Austin Homes


You think ghosts and goblins are frightening? Some of the statistics we dug up about pests in the Austin, Texas, area are just as scary.

U.S. Census Bureau data released earlier this year from its 2013 American Housing Survey shows that rats, mice, cockroaches and untrustworthy neighbors are some of the spookiest things encountered by homeowners and renters in the Austin metro area.

Here’s a rundown of 21 of the most ghoulish problems for owners and renters of the region’s nearly 670,000 occupied housing units in 2013, including houses, apartments and condos. The percentages reflect the share of housing units affected by a certain issue.

Austin cockroach

Flickr/me and the sysop

1. Signs of Cockroaches Within Past 12 Months

28.2% (189,100 units)

2. Signs of Mice Within Past 12 Months

4.21% (28,200 units)



3. Signs of Rats Within Past 12 Months

2.1% (13,900 units)

4. Signs of Unidentified Rodents Within Past 12 Months

1.1% (7,400 units)

5. Lack of Complete Kitchen Facilities

1.6% (10,400 units)


Flickr/Sean Mason

6. Vandalized or Abandoned Buildings Within Half a Block

1.4% (9,400 units)

7. Lots of Litter or Junk on Streets or Properties Within Half a Block

2.3% (15,600 units)

8. Streets Needing Major Repairs Within Half a Block

4.3% (29,000 units)

9. Unsatisfactory Police Protection

5.8% (39,000 units)

water faucet


10. Unsafe Drinking Water

6.8% (45,300 units)

11. No Bathtub or Shower

0.03% (2,000 units)

12. No Flush Toilet

0.06% (4,000 units)

13. Holes in Floors

1.2% (8,000 units)

boarded-up window

Flickr/Dan Machold

14. Boarded-Up Windows

0.43% (2,900 units)

15. Broken Windows

2.5% (17,000 units)

16. Bars on Windows

1.2% (8,100 units)

17. Hate Their Current Homes

0.42% (2,800 units)

thumbs down

Flickr/Bryan Rosengrant

18. Hate Their Current Neighborhoods

0.90% (6,000 units)

19. Neighbors Can’t Be Trusted

9.5% (63,300 units)

20. Neighbors Unwilling to Help Each Other

8.8% (59,000 units)

21. Neighbors Don’t Get Along With Each Other

5.6% (37,700 units)

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Top photo: Flickr/Emma Jane Hogbin Westby


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.