The Ritz Herald
Termites swarm when they are searching for their two main factors of survival: moisture and food.

Miami, Los Angeles, Tampa and New York Hold Top Spots on the Termite Cities List

Popular Georgia destination jumps 18 rankings and two new cities break into the Top 50

Published on March 09, 2020

Miami tops this year’s Top 50 Termite Cities list, released today by Orkin Pest Control, in support of the National Pest Management Association’s Termite Awareness Week. The top four cities on the list, Miami, Los Angeles, Tampa and New York, have been crowned frontrunners for the second consecutive year. This year, Atlanta joined the top five after it jumped one spot from last year.

Savannah, Ga., made the largest leap, moving up 18 spots from last year to number 30 on the list. Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Lafayette, La., are newcomers to the list, holding numbers 41 and 49, respectively.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most first-time customer termite treatments from February 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

For termites, all areas of the U.S. are susceptible to infestations, though specific area pressures of subterranean termites vary from slight to heavy. The Pacific Coast and coastal regions of the Southeast see the additional threat of drywood termites.

Termites swarm based on favorable weather conditions. Most species of subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, where drywood termites typically swarm in the late summer and fall months. Major variations in weather typically mean variations in swarms, as well.

Termites swarm when they are searching for their two main factors of survival: moisture and food. Due to urbanization, termites will find their way to residential properties for food sources, as there are fewer dead trees to invade.

“Termites are an especially sneaky pest, as they can hide and thrive in your home or on your property for years without being detected,” said Glen Ramsey, an Orkin entomologist. “Approximately 600,000 U.S. homes a year are faced with termite damage, and homeowners spend an average of $3,000 to repair that damage once it has been identified.”

  1. Miami
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Tampa, Fla.
  4. New York
  5. Atlanta (+1)
  6. Washington, D.C. (+1)
  7. West Palm Beach, Fla. (+1)
  8. San Francisco (+1)
  9. New Orleans (-4)
  10. Orlando, Fla. (+2)
  11. San Diego
  12. Dallas (-2)
  13. Raleigh, N.C. (+2)
  14. Phoenix (-1)
  15. Houston (-1)
  16. Baltimore (+1)
  17. Nashville, Tenn. (+1)
  18. Charlotte, N.C. (+2)
  19. Philadelphia (-3)
  20. Chicago (-1)
  21. Ft. Myers, Fla.
  22. Cincinnati (+6)
  23. Mobile, Ala. (+3)
  24. Indianapolis (+3)
  25. Norfolk, Va. (-3)
  26. Greenville, S.C. (-2)
  27. Knoxville, Tenn. (-4)
  28. Charleston, W.Va. (-3)
  29. Pittsburgh
  30. Savannah, Ga. (+18)
  31. Richmond, Va.
  32. Kansas City (-2)
  33. Honolulu (-1)
  34. Oklahoma City
  35. Tulsa, Okla.
  36. Boston (+8)
  37. St. Louis (-4)
  38. Columbia, S.C. (-1)
  39. San Antonio (+1)
  40. Chattanooga, Tenn. (+1)
  41. Lafayette, La. (new to list)
  42. Lexington, Ky. (-3)
  43. Jacksonville, Fla. (-5)
  44. Charleston, S.C. (+1)
  45. Denver (-9)
  46. Louisville, Ky. (+1)
  47. Champaign, Ill. (+3)
  48. Grand Rapids, Mich. (-5)
  49. Myrtle Beach, S.C. (new to list)
  50. Columbus, Ohio (-8)

Termites are a threat to more than just your household, so early detection is critical. Here are some facts about termite swarms and tips to help avoid them:

Property owners can get termites from:

  • Wooden structures, such as porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground
  • Stacks of firewood leaning against the house
  • Long-term damp soil near foundations, from leaking faucets, gutters or downspouts and water retention areas
  • Dead trees, shrubs and other landscaping in close proximity to the house
  • Any above-ground locations inside the house that remain damp enough to support termites

Signs of a termite infestation include:

  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around the house
  • Any cracked or bubbling paint
  • Sightings of frass (termite droppings) near or in the house
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Mud tubes on interior or exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces
  • Discarded wings from swarmers

Proactive tips that Orkin recommends for homeowners:

  • Regularly check and monitor water drainage sites to ensure they are clear of debris and draining properly.
  • Monitor any possible areas where moisture could collect, such as leaky pipes, gutters, downspouts, air conditioning units and other fixtures susceptible to leaking. Pay extra attention to areas around your foundation and on your roof.
  • Seal gaps around utility lines, gas lines and pipes and cover exterior vents with screens to help eliminate entry points.
  • Reduce food sources by removing any rotting wood or debris, removing excess landscaping mulch and ensuring wooden siding is at least six inches above the ground.
  • Monitor wooden structures regularly for any signs of damage.

If a termite introduction is suspected, a pest management professional should be contacted immediately to assess the property. For more information about termite prevention and detection, visit

Associate Writer