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Where Termites Tend to Be the Worst

April 9, 2021

Watch out in Miami, Los Angeles, and Tampa, Fla.: These places can be hotbeds for termites, according to Orkin’s 2021 Top 50 Termite Cities List.

Orkin, a national pest control company, reports an uptick in termite treatments across the country over the past year.

“With people spending more time at home in 2020, termites and termite damage were likely observed more frequently than in previous years,” Orkin said in its study. “Parallel to this, 2020 held a record-breaking number of storms and hurricanes offering what termites need most in life—moisture.”

The wood-chewing insects have been blamed for causing costly damage to homes. They can also derail a real estate transaction or lead to re-negotiations if found during inspections.

Orkin compiled a list of where termites can be the most problematic. The rankings are based on where Orkin performed the most first-time customer termite treatments—for both residential and commercial properties—from February 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021.

  1. Miami
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Tampa, Fla.
  4. Washington, D.C. (up two spots from 2019)
  5. Atlanta
  6. West Palm Beach, Fla. (+1)
  7. New York (-3)
  8. New Orleans (+1)
  9. Orlando, Fla. (+1)
  10. Dallas (+2)
  11. San Francisco (-3)
  12. San Diego (-1)
  13. Raleigh, N.C.
  14. Houston (+1)
  15. Baltimore (+1)
  16. Phoenix (-2)
  17. Philadelphia (+2)
  18. Charlotte, N.C.
  19. Indianapolis (+5)
  20. Greenville, N.C. (+6)
  21. Nashville, Tenn. (-4)
  22. Cincinnati
  23. Chicago (-3)
  24. Norfolk, Va. (+1)
  25. Pittsburgh (+4)

To see the entire list, visit the article published on Orkin's website.

“Weather conditions directly impact termite swarms,” says Glen Ramsey, Orkin entomologist. “Most subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, while dry-wood termites typically swarm in the late summer and fall.”

Property owners should beware that termites like to gravitate to wooden structures, such as porches and decks; firewood leaning against the house; soil that stays damp long-term from leaking faucets or water retention areas near the foundation; and dead trees or other landscaping near the house.

Orkin says the following are signs of a possible termite infestation:

  • A temporary swarm of termites in your home, in the soil, or around the exterior of the house;
  • Cracked or bubbling paint;
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped;
  • Mud tubes on the interior or exterior of walls or wooden beams;
  • Discarded wings from swarmers.

A visual guide from the pest control company, Orkin, showing indoor and outdoor hotbeds for termite infestations.