Termite infestations are one of the leading problems in American households. It accounts to over $5 billion of annual financial damages, with more than 600,000 homes affected each year. With such a widespread infliction, we can’t help but wonder: what states have termites?
Basically, all U.S. states have cases of termites except, probably, Alaska. Still, there are some cities and states that have far higher infestation rates. Here, we’ll take a look at these places, ranked from the worst to worse.
The top 25 termite cities
Terminix, one of the leading pest control company in the U.S., released a list of top 50 cities with the highest termite infestation rate. For this post, we will tackle the first 25, what kinds of termites are commonly found, and other facts.
The ranking is based on the services rendered in more than 300 Terminix branches across the country between January and December 2018.
Here are the name of the cities:
#1. Mobile, Alabama
The place that takes the biggest bite of termite infestations is Mobile, Alabama. Mobile also took the top spot in 2016 as the most termite-infested city in the whole country.
Among the most common species that invade Mobile homes are Subterranean and Drywood termites. The Southeastern Drywood termites are also prominent in this southern part of the state.
Usually, Subterranean termites swarm in Alabama from February to May. Meanwhile, Formosan mites will swarm during late spring and during late night.
With this, Alabama experienced a four-fold increase in termite bond purchases just this year.
#2. Honolulu, Hawaii
With a majorly tropical climate, there’s no wonder why Honolulu makes a perfect place for termites. All the islands of Hawaii – Nihue, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Big Island – have active termite infestations.
The most common invaders here are Dampwood, Subterranean, and Drywood termites.
Formosan termites are also active in Hawaii, but it’s more prominent in the islands of Kauai and Oahu. This species swarm all year round in the state.
Aside from these termite species, Hawaii has endemic species too including the Hawaiian Forest Tree termite and Hawaiian Lowland Tree termites. Both don’t forage on structures.
#3. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is one of the most termite-infested places – and Louisiana city – in the United States. Aside from Baton Rouge, the likes of New Orleans and Shreveport (no. 24), Lake Charles, and Monroe also have many termite infestation cases.
In fact, New Orleans spends $300 million annually to repair damages of Formosan termites. The costs are much higher in Baton Rouge.
There are two main termite species in Baton Rouge: the highly invasive Formosan and Subterranean. This is the reason why the state created the Operation Full Stop headquartered in New Orleans. This aims to control the Formosan termite population by conducting research and educating the locals.
#4. Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock tops all cities and towns in Arkansas when it comes to termite infestations. Subterranean termites are the most common species in Little Rock. The likes of Drywood termites aren’t native here, but it still infests some homes and counties across the state.
Formosan termites aren’t identified yet in Little Rock and there’s a small chance that it’s present in other cities and towns in the state.
#5. Fort Smith, Arkansas
Another Arkansas city that suffers from intensive termite invasions is Fort Smith. Located at the northeast part of Arkansas, Fort Smith is infested with Drywood and Subterranean termites.
Aside from Fort Smith and Little Rock, cities like Rogers, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, and Pine Bluff experience termite infestations.
The Subterranean termites in Fort Smith swarm from March to June. Meanwhile, the light southeastern termites warm from August to October.
And although Drywood termites aren’t established in Arkansas, wood and cellulose-based products can bring it to the state.
#6. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is the leading city in TN that experiences the highest cases of termite infestations. Aside from that, Nashville (No. 30) and Chattanooga (no. 35) made it to the Terminix top 50 list of termite cities. Knoxville is also infested with termites.
Among the species that invade TN homes and businesses are Drywood and Subterranean termites.
Formosan termites are rare and there have only been three recorded infestations in the Shelby County. These infestations happen between 1984 and 1992. The state hasn’t discovered any Formosan infestation ever since.
Termites in Tennessee
If you live in TN and you suspect a Formosan infestation in your property, you have to report it to your local university extension agents.
Drywood termites aren’t native in Tennessee and were likely brought by outsiders.
Both the Eastern and Dark Southeastern Subterranean termites swarm from February to June. Meanwhile, the light Southeastern Subterranean termites swarm from August to October.
#7. Tyler-Longview, Texas
Texas is one of the states with the most record of termite infestations. As a southern state with warm weather, termites find the area suitable for year-round foraging.
Tyler-Longview recorded the most infestations in all of Texas. Aside from the Texas cities in the Top 25, the likes of Waco (No. 28), Austin (No. 37), and Harlingen (No. 46) also made it to the top 50.
Drywood and Subterranean termites are the most common species that infest properties in Tyler-Longview. Also, Formosan termites have been spotted in over 30 counties across the Lone Star State.
#8. Miami, Florida
Like Texas, Florida is notorious for termite infestations. The humid temperature makes it a favorable place for a variety of termite species.
The vacation destination city of Miami is the leading area in Florida with the most termite infestations. Subterranean termites are the most common species that invade homes and businesses in Miami.
Species like Drywood and Dampwood termites are also present in the Florida area. Since various termite species are present in the city, the pest swarms all year round, contributing to the massive infestations.
#9. Phoenix, Arizona
As the state capital of Arizona, Phoenix is easily infiltrated with termites due to the entrance of various goods where termites could have harbored during transit. The most destructive to AZ home is the Arid-land Subterranean termites, Desert Dampwood termites, Western Drywood termites, and Desert Subterranean termites.
Due to Phoenix’s humid and hot temperatures, termites can forage all year round.
The Dark Western Drywood termites aren’t native to AZ but are transported from to place through furniture and other wood products.
#10. Dallas, Texas
Another spot for Texas goes to Dallas. Both the Formosan and Subterranean mites invade homes and commercial establishments in the city.
Formosan termites are the most prominent in Dallas counties like Collin, Denton, and Johnson. These mites swarm during late spring at night, making it difficult to spot.
Since Texas has arid lands, it’s also home to Western Drywood termites and Arid-land Subterranean termites.
#11. Los Angeles, California
Who would’ve thought that the City of Angels is harboring the biggest termite infestations? LA is home to several species of termites, particularly due to its vibrant and favorable weather.
The most common termites in LA are the Western Drywood and Western Subterranean termites. Drywood mites are the most prominent in the northern area of LA and along the coast. It’s also spotted in the Central Valley region.
Dampwood termites are rare in LA but can be present in several infestations. Meanwhile, Formosan termites can also be found in LA, but on very rare occasions. It was first spotted in the San Diego County in 1922.
#12. West Palm Beach, Florida
South Florida is the nest of many termite species, especially the city of West Palm Beach. It’s adjacent to the Palm Beach, making it a favorite spot for Subterranean termites.
Formosan termites are also becoming prominent in this side of the state. Even businesses are starting to experience these wood-boring insects.
Take note that the Western Drywood termite has been identified to be highly present in the coasts of Florida. It swarms every month, except the month of December.
#13. Houston, Texas
Known for its scientific contributions, the city of Houston is yet to formulate the solution for their termite infestations. Aside from Houston, cities of San Antonio (No. 21) also made it to the Top 25 list of Terminix.
Massive infestations were also spotted in the Fort Worth area as well as Amarillo, Midland, and Corpus Christi.
Subterranean and Drywood termites are the main enemies of exterminators in Houston. Formosan termites are also identified in the area with Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Chambers, Brazoria, Colorado, and Liberty Counties.
#14. Paducah, Kentucky
Aside from Paducah, some of the termite-infested cities in Kentucky in the top 50 list include Lexington (no. 50) and Louisville (No. 42). The area of Richmond, KY also recorded high infestation rates.
Subterranean termites are the most active species in the Kentucky state. Meanwhile, Drywood and Formosan termites have not been reported in any of the infestations. The closest distance that Formosan termites got to KY is at the western area of North Carolina.
The eastern subspecies of Subterranean termites swarm in KY from February to May. Meanwhile, the dark southeastern sub-species swarm from March to June.
#15. Jacksonville, Florida
Termites are very active and widespread in Florida. It’s no wonder why the infestations are present from Miami to Jacksonville. Homeowners in these areas are encouraged to conduct regular termite inspections. Purchasing a termite bond is also advisable for continuous monitoring of termites.
Take note that all the Dampwood termite sub-species swarm at dusk or in late night.
#16. Orlando, Florida
Sitting at the middle of the Sunshine State, Orlando also ranks high on the cities with the worst infestations. The city is home to Drywood, Dampwood, and Subterranean termites.
Regular inspections are essential to suppress the pest population. This is especially true since termite damage repairs in FL cost an average of $3,300 annually per household.
#17. Tampa, Florida
The Tampa area is known to heavy populations of the rough-headed Drywood termite. It’s the most destructive sub-species of Drywood mites and is also found in Fort Lauderdale, St, Petersburg, and Miami.
Since Tampa is just a few hours away from Orlando, the spread of the pests become easier. Being surrounded with coastal areas makes Florida a notorious place for termite infestations
#18. Oklahoma, City, Oklahoma
OKC tops all the cities of The Sooner State when it comes termite infestations. Aside from OKC, Tulsa (no. 29) is also in the Top 50 list of Terminix.
Surrounding areas, including Guymon and Muskogee also suffer from invasive termites. The most common species in the city is Subterranean termites. The likes of Drywood and Formosan termites aren’t found in OKC yet, but Formosan is identified in the Texas border of the state in the south.
Subterranean termites swarm from March to June and it can also be seen during Fall.
#19. San Diego, California
Another Californian city to make it to the list is San Diego. Situated at the coastline of the Golden State, San Diego bears the brunt of Pacific hurricanes and the residual effects of El Niño (dry spell).
After the storm, termite infestations ensue. The moisture and warmth of the changing seasons fuel the proliferation of the termite pests.
Subterranean, Dampwood, and Drywood termites are common species in this city.
#20. Montgomery, Alabama
Back to Alabama, Montgomery is also home to the invasive termites. The infestation is also highly active in areas of Huntsville (no. 36). Birmingham also recorded many cases of termite damage.
Drywood and Subterranean termites are the notorious invaders in Montgomery homes. Formosan termites are present in AL, especially in Lee, Baldwin, Cullman, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties.
Due to this, the city of Fairhope in the Baldwin County sponsored the Formosan Termite Watch Program in 2003. They trapped termites and sent it to local universities for identification. About 70 of the sites were discovered to have swarming Formosan termites.
#21. San Antonio, Texas
The last Texas city to make it in the top 25 cities with the most termite infestation is San Antonio. The home of The Spurs also harbors destructive termites including Drywood and Subterranean species.
Formosan mites are also spotted in 30 different counties across the state. This includes Nueces, Jefferson, Smith, Tarrant, Travis, Polk, Orange, Comal, Bexar, Angelina, Anderson, and more.
#22. Jackson, Mississippi
The only Mississippi state to enter the Top 50 list is Jackson. Aside from this city, the areas of Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Tupelo also have records of widespread infestations.
Drywood termites are the common species in most reported infestations. Meanwhile, Formosan termites are also spotted in several counties including Pike, Jones, Adams, Covington, Hancock, Marion, Hinds, Lauderdale, and more.
Take note that Mobile, AL is the border of Mississippi in the south. As the number one termite-infested city, the spread of the termites is imminent to MS.
#23. Cincinnati, Ohio
Of all Ohio cities, Cincinnati has the most termite infestations ever recorded. Also, the areas of Dayton, Akron, Columbus, and Cleveland have widespread infestations.
The most common termite species in Cincinnati is the invasive Subterranean termites. Formosan termites aren’t spotted in the city or state, but it’s found in nearby states of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Termites in Ohio swarm from March to June.
#24. Shreveport, Louisiana
Like Baton Rouge, Shreveport is infested with Drywood and Subterranean termites. Since the place is humid and warm, these mites swarm throughout the year and at different times of the day.
Formosan mites are also spotted in the spotted on the state and have caused millions of dollars in damages.
#25. Tallahassee, Florida
The seat of the state capital is also infested with the invasive Subterranean termites. It has become a burden to homeowners and businesses all over the city.
Formosan termites are also rampant in Tallahassee, with colonies that can compose millions of members.
Dampwood and Drywood mites are also spotted in the state capital, especially since the weather here is always hot and humid. And just like the rest of Florida, Tallahassee experiences a whole year of termite swarming.
Why these cities have the most termite cases
This list of Terminix is supported by Orkin’s, a popular pest control company, Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zones Map.
Southern states, as observed in the list, suffer the worst infestations. One reason for this is the consistently warm and humid weather. Also, most of the states on the list are located in coastal areas where Formosan and Subterranean termites are most prominent.
The transport of wood products also contributes to the spread of infestation from one state to another. With typhoons and dry spell alternating in many of these areas, termites find it a desirable area for harborage. This is so much true since most of the listed cities have warm winters or rare snowfall.
Knowing what states have termites marks the first step of protecting your own home. By having a bigger picture of the termite situation, you can act based on the type of mite that your location has.
If your area is listed on Terminix’s Top 50 cities with the worst termite infestations, you should act now to guard your property.