Anti termite vector

Miami ranks #1 on Orkin's Top 50 Termite Cities List, overtaking Los Angeles which ranks #2 on the list this year. Tampa and Washington, D.C. rank third and fourth, respectively, with Raleigh, North Carolina rounding out the Top 5.

Termite Awareness Week (March 5-11), which serves as a reminder to just how damaging these pests can be, people seeking to buy or sell a home should consider termites a top point of inspection. Termites never sleep, leaving ample time to create extensive property damage to homes.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most termite treatments from Feb. 1, 2022 – January 31, 2023. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

The 2023 rankings are as follows:

Termites are often called the "silent destroyers" because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your house. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials that, unfortunately, every home can provide regardless of their construction type. These pests cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage each year, and most insurance plans don't cover the damage from termites.

"Termites feed primarily on wood and can compromise the strength and safety of an infested structure," says Glen Ramsey, Orkin's director of technical services. "A customized treatment plan tailored for your situation and ongoing prevention are the best bets for every homeowner. These pests are a threat to your household and beyond, so it's critical to detect and treat them as early as possible. Anyone who suspects a termite infestation should contact a pest management professional immediately."

There are over 2,000 different species of termites with over 40 species in the United States alone. Although they have distinct characteristics, most look similar. They typically measure between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long and have soft bodies with straight antennae. Colors range from white to light brown with worker termites often appearing lighter and swarming termites darker.

Because of the structural threats that termites pose, it's important for homeowners to know how to  identify signs of termites in order to take a proactive approach in eliminating them from their homes. A few common signs of a termite infestation include:

• A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil 

• 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

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 near 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

Proactive tips to help prevent termites that Orkin recommends:

• Check water drainage sites to ensure they remain cleared and effective.

• Monitor the collection of moisture by fixing pipes, gutters, downspouts, A/C units and other fixtures susceptible to leaking.

• Caulk around utility lines or pipes.

• Get rid of rotting wood and debris near the facility.

• Place screens on outside vents.

• Check wooden structures for damage.

Click here to check out last year's list.