The wood door with termites damage

Spring is right around the corner, which means facilities will begin to see an onslaught of pests in and around the properties. One such pest to be on the lookout for is the termite, which has plagued many cities.

Pest control company Orkin reveals Miami as the front runner of its first-ever Top 50 Termites Cities list. Los Angeles follows in second place, with Tampa, New York and New Orleans rounding out the top five, respectively.

When it comes to types of termites, all areas of the U.S. are prone to subterranean termites with concentrations from slight to very heavy. Pacific U.S. and coastal regions of the Southeast have an additional threat of drywood termites.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most first-time customer termite treatments from February 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

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

Species generally swarm based on favorable weather conditions. Most species of subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, a time frame when facility managers are more likely to notice signs of an infestation. Drywood termites typically swarm during the late summer or fall months, from August through November. Varying conditions may mean that swarms will occur at different times.

When they’re ready, termites emerge searching for the ideal environment of warmth, moisture and food. And because of urbanization, there are fewer dead trees lying around, so termites will find their way to other sources of wood.

“Often called the ‘silent destroyer,’ termites can secretly hide and thrive without any immediate signs of damage for years,” said Glen Ramsey, an Orkin entomologist. “U.S. residents spend an estimated $5 billion annually to control termites and repair termite damage – which occurs in approximately 600,000 homes each year.”

Termites invade properties by foraging from their colonies in search of food resources and finding home or facility foundations. Cracks or gaps around pipes and wires give the pests access inside.

“Termites are the ultimate workaholics – they chew constantly causing extensive damage over time. Some enter structures through wood-to-ground contact by building shelter tubes or entering directly through cracks in the foundation as small as 1/32 of an inch – about the thickness of a business card.”

These pests are a threat, so it’s critical to detect and treat for them as early as possible. Anyone who suspects a termite introduction should contact a pest management professional immediately.

Property owners can get termites from:
• Wooden structures, such as porches and decks, in direct contact with the ground
• Damp soil near foundations from leaking faucets, gutters or downspouts
• Trees and shrubs in close proximity to the facility
• 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

Signs of a termite infestation include:
• A temporary swarm of winged insects inside or from the soil around the facility
• 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

Proactive tips 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.