17 Reasons Not to Move to Fargo, North Dakota (Voted by the locals!)

North Dakota is home to Fargo, one of the largest cities in population in the entire state. It’s known for a wide variety of things and has quite a multitude of reasons to consider when moving to the city of Fargo.

The list below has a lot of good information that would be good to know, especially when learning about Fargo’s cons. Most people like to look for the good in a place, but there are also things to be mindful of.

1. Cold Winters

Fargo, North Dakota has hit a record cold of -39 degrees Fahrenheit. This is well below freezing and makes for something of a miserable winter. The coldest months of the year in North Dakota tend to be January and February. The record cold was hit during February, and it very well might happen again in the future. If cold isn’t something someone can handle, Fargo is not the place to be.

Usually, Fargo gets around 56 inches of snow each year and it can snow clear through April and May. This doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the coming springtime, as no one wants to wait for warmer days after months of enduring extremely cold days. Unfortunately, the snow and the cold isn’t the only thing that makes the winters near unbearable.

2. Windchill

The windchill in Fargo is awful. The terrain is pretty flat, which makes for strong air currents that like to blow the cold air right into people’s faces. During the winter, this is really annoying and can, at times, even pose a health risk to people. Someone out in windchill is more likely to get hypothermia or frostbite.

3. Windy

While windchill itself isn’t fun, the wind doesn’t stop there. It is windy pretty much year-round, which generates a lot of other problems. Mostly, it is an inconvenience at best. Getting windburn can be just as painful as getting a sunburn, and the only fun activity really to do with wind is fly kites. Which isn’t always the safest in Fargo, North Dakota due to a variety of reasons, most of which are weather-related.

4. Experiences Tornadoes

The weather in North Dakota is unpredictable. The summer storms are both fun to watch roll in, but can also be highly destructive, and in an area known more for farming than anything else, destructive storms can ruin a harvest or crop and set farmers back months of hard work. Additionally, the damages can sometimes be produced in other ways. There are two most common ways these damages can pop up, and neither is anything to joke about.

North Dakota is one of the plains states, and because of this, it is the perfect type of topography for tornadoes. These deadly phenomena are more prevalent than one might think. And as a result, North Dakota experiences them pretty frequently, especially during the summer storm season, which is usually known as the tornado season as well.

There have only been two big tornadoes recorded and those were several decades ago, but that’s not to say they won’t happen again. If someone has a fear of tornadoes or isn’t educated about them, living in Fargo isn’t a good idea.

5. Constant Flooding

car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road

Along with the tornadoes comes flooding. With the way the summer storms are, with almost monsoon-like downpours and with Fargo’s close proximity to multiple rivers and water sources, these are bound to flood when there is heavy rain. Flooding can cause a lot of different issues, the least of which is transportation based, as roads often close because of flooding.

Additionally, it can cause a lot of damage to infrastructure, and water damage is no joke. It can cause a buildup of mold and mildew, potentially forcing you to redo the walls in your home for safety purposes.

6. Fields

There isn’t a lot of scenery in Fargo, North Dakota. The majority of it is flat wilderness or fields, which isn’t always bad, but as far as things to do, it can get a bit boring. Fields themselves pose a lot of problems. As much as they are a benefit and produce not only livestock feed and food for the populace, they take up a lot of space that might’ve once housed wildlife.

They’re not the safest place to be and the kids might be attracted more to a field to play than they would a park. This could cause accidents and put them in dangerOpens in a new tab. needlessly, especially if they’re not aware of how to stay safe from farm equipment or wildlife. Moving to Fargo with kids could make that a huge concern for parents and also an awkward discussion point with neighbors or the community at large.

7. Dangerous Wildlife

The wildlife of Fargo, North Dakota aren’t usually dangerous if they’re not disturbed, and are mostly there because their prey is close by. The most common predator animal to run into are mountain lions and foxes. Raccoons are also common, and people often see them in the city fighting with local pets or digging in the trash.

Moose and bison are also common, and they are protective of their young, especially when threatened.

Mountain Lion propped on a log snarling

8. Wildlife on the Road

Wildlife isn’t just the predators, but also just the ones that are out there. A lot of the wildlife likes to try and cross the street at the most inopportune moments. A bison herd might cross and that would set back the time it would take to travel from one location to the next in an indeterminate amount of time. It’s not a good idea to hit a bison, as they can easily cause damage to the car and potentially to the passengers depending on the speed at which they were hit.

The same problem comes with the volume of moose in the area. In fact, any number of wildlife might cross the road and be the cause of swerves and potential crashes. Roadkill might become more of an issue during times of the year when wildlife isn’t hibernating.

9. Humid During the Summer

While winter is unbearable at times, the summer isn’t any better. While it is definitely not as humid as some of the more southern states, Fargo still has to deal with its fair share of humidity. Humidity is just as annoying as dry heat is, and brings a couple of different things around that multiply because of the moisture.

Most often though, the heat combined with feeling like walking through a heavy syrup rather than air can make being outside more difficult. And since there are big areas of North Dakota that are agricultural, this can make quite an impact. Fargo itself is a big city and without proper transportation, walking or biking is usually what someone might do, which is a recipe for heat exhaustion and sunburns.

10. Mosquitoes and other Bugs

Humidity brings pests and bugs like nothing else. North American mosquitoes carry a variety of diseases that are quite common and can cause some serious health issues, such as West Nile Virus and Malaria, to name a few.

There are other bugs, of course, but the mosquitoes are what come with the humidity and moisture. When you step outside, especially during the summer, you will have to bring a ton of bug spray with you or stay under a mosquito net so you don’t get eaten alive by mosquitos.

11. Bug Pests Invade Homes

There are quite a variety of pests that like to hang out in homes in Fargo, North Dakota. Most common are the flour bugs and moths that like to nest in cupboards and flour and reproduce at an alarming rate. Having an infestation of this kind can be incredibly frustrating as they like the dark corners of places and can take a while to track down the source of all those bugs.

Additionally, bed bugs and cockroaches are known to be a problem, and while bed bugs are harmless, they’re extremely annoying and ridiculously difficult to get rid of, even if you hire an exterminator. Cockroaches are no better and are hard to kill, even with home remedies to an infestation. Cockroaches specifically like to feed off of decaying things, and with water damage from the humidity and flooding, decaying wood is extremely easy to find for those pests.

Every state has its troubles with spiders. And North Dakota is no different. Most of the time, the spiders that can be found indoors are only house spiders that are all gangly and disturbing looking and only bite in self-defense. Though, both the yellow-sac spider and the black widow spider are native to North Dakota and can be found in Fargo. Both of which are extremely venomous and should be avoided at all costs. If you do get bitten by a venomous spider, try to catch it and bring it to the hospital with you so the doctors can be sure to administer the right antivenom.

12. Sharing the Road

Now, with not a lot of roads or a lot of traffic, this might sound a bit silly. But it’s true. Sometimes the conventional vehicle isn’t the only thing on the road. Along with the wildlife crossings, there are sometimes different types of farm equipment, construction vehicles, tractors, and more all on the same road, and when these roads aren’t very big, it can get to be somewhat painful to get around very quickly.

Nothing beats trying to safely pass a tractor when it’s only a two-lane road, with the other lane going the opposite direction in traffic. You better not be in a hurry! However, this isn’t true of all places in the city, and it mostly happens when things become less suburban and more rural.

13. Crime is Higher than in Other Places

The crime rates in Fargo are far from the worst in the country, but they’re still pretty high. It’s credited as being safer than about eight percent of total cities in the United States, but looking at statistics, it’s not a place that would be super friendly to most safe and wouldn’t be the best place to let kids roam the streets alone, especially at night. There is a 1 in 215 people chance that someone would be a victim of a violent crime.

The crime rateOpens in a new tab. when compared to the rest of the state of North Dakota is significantly higher, and this might usually be due to the fact that Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota, but it doesn’t make it feel any safer. Violent crimes aren’t usually ones that can be walked away from and leave the individuals in the incident scarred and often traumatized for life.

14. Fargo is a College Town

Fargo is a college townOpens in a new tab.. A lot of the sort of college spirit is prevalent and that also means the delinquency so often associated with a college student is also prevalent. If you don’t want to deal with floods of students and parents coming into the city right before the start of each semester, you definitely don’t want to move to Fargo.

Also, college kids tend to flock to bars and fast food restaurants, which will make it hard for you to have a relaxing night out with your friends or family.

15. Gas Prices

Gas prices are high everywhere right now, and Fargo, North Dakota is no exception. What makes the high gas prices worse is that, depending on where you live, you will have to drive for quite a while to find a gas station and plan accordingly. You will no longer be able to put off getting gas.

16. Shares Space with Minnesota

Minnesota is right next door to Fargo, North Dakota, and while there are many jokes about Fargo keeping an eye on Minnesota, it also shares parts of the city and the freeway with Moorhead, Minnesota. It’s not an awful thing, but having a city that is split on a state border can be confusing.

17. Isolated Town

It’s not uncommon in North Dakota, but Fargo is an isolated space. It takes a bit to get anywhere from Fargo to other cities in North Dakota. The cities outside of it are small, and Fargo has that small-town feel while still being a large town itself. This is quite the turn-off for some people, as it just doesn’t have the atmosphere (or variety of stores) that many people want.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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