The 50 U.S. cities most affected by termites
April 3, 2019 | 11:22 am CDT
ATLANTA - Pest control company Orkin has revealed the top 50 U.S. cities most plagued by termite infestations. The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most first-time residential and commercial termite treatments from February 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019.
Here are the top 50:
Los Angeles
New York
New Orleans
Washington, D.C.
West Palm Beach
San Francisco
San Diego
Raleigh, N.C.
Charlotte, N.C.
Ft. Myers
Norfolk, Va.
Greenville, S.C.
Charleston, West Va.
Mobile, Ala.
Kansas City
Richmond, Va.
St. Louis
Oklahoma City
Columbia, S.C.
San Antonio
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Columbus, Ohio
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Charleston, S.C.
Baton Rouge
Savannah, Ga.
Roanoke, Va.
Champaign, Ill.
When it comes to types of termites, all areas of the U.S. are prone to subterranean termites with concentrations from slight to very heavy. Pacific U.S. and coastal regions of the Southeast have an additional threat of drywood termites, said Orkin in a release.
"Species generally swarm based on favorable weather conditions. Most species of subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, a time frame when homeowners are more likely to notice signs of an infestation. Drywood termites typically swarm during the late summer or fall months, from August through November. Varying conditions may mean that swarms will occur at different times.
"When they're ready, termites emerge searching for the ideal environment of warmth, moisture, and food. And because of urbanization, there are fewer dead trees lying around, so termites will find their way to other sources of wood such as residential properties."
"Often called the 'silent destroyer,' termites can secretly hide and thrive in your home, property or yard without any immediate signs of damage for years," said Glen Ramsey, an Orkin entomologist. "U.S. residents spend an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage – which occurs in approximately 600,000 homes each year."
"Termites are the ultimate workaholics – they chew constantly causing extensive damage over time. Some enter structures through wood-to-ground contact by building shelter tubes or entering directly through cracks in the foundation as small as 1/32 of an inch – about the thickness of a business card."  
Property owners can get termites from:
  • Wooden structures, such as porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground
  • Stacks of firewood that lean against the house
  • Damp soil near foundations from leaking faucets, gutters or downspouts
  • Trees and shrubs in close proximity to the house
  • Above-ground locations in the house that remain damp enough to support termites without them needing to return to the moist conditions found in the soil
Signs of a termite infestation include:
  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home
  • Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings)
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces
  • Discarded wings from swarmers
Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects, operating more than 400 locations and employing nearly 8,000.

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About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected]