This Is the Most Termite-Infested City in America

This city has an especially hard time keeping these insects out.

Close up termites or white antsChaiyonS021/Shutterstock

Roaches, bedbugs, and even ticks are finding their way into homes across America—and termites are making a name for themselves too. In fact, pest and termite control company Orkin published a 2020 report based on surprising service data of first-time customer termite treatments in the United States. The report identified 50 American cities where residents should be on high alert for termites. Out of all the locations with the highest number of termite services, Miami, Florida holds the top spot.

The other most-infested cities are Los Angeles; Tampa; New York; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach; San Francisco; New Orleans; and Orlando. While most of these cities are located in warmer climates, some are in colder, more metropolitan areas. Termites like warm, dark places, and moist soil, according to Terminix. On the other hand, according to Orkin, termites can and do remain active during the colder months, especially if they’ve already nested within a warm home.

So it’s no surprise that more than 600,000 homes in the United States deal with termite infestations each year, Terminix reports. In total, termites cost $2 billion in damage and treatment for homeowners, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are two main types of termites to know: subterranean termites and drywood termites. The subterranean variety lives underground and reportedly cause the most damage, the CDC warns. Drywood termites don’t require moisture from soil and colonize above ground instead. This variety can be more difficult to treat than other types because their infestation sites are trickier to locate, per Terminix.

To protect your home, the National Pest Management Association recommends limiting any moisture around the house, repairing leaky faucets, and replacing any loose mortar around your basement foundation. If you’re already seeing signs of them around your home, try this termite killer spray. To ensure that you’re prepared, check out the sneaky signs your home is about to be infested.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is a former staff writer at Reader’s Digest. There’s a 90% chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she’s not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts and liking one too many astrology memes.