These Are the Most Termite-Infested Cities in the U.S.

You want to know, but also don't want to know.

termite infested cities

If Bugs Bunny cartoons are to be believed, termites are the second most-pressing danger in the world. They're second, of course, to quicksand. 

In this one instance, Looney Tunes may not be the best authority on the topic. Termites will not devour anything made of wood in just seconds. Still, they can be a huge nuisance. Orkin has put together its annual list of the 50 worst cities for termites to let you know just where exactly they're the biggest nuisance. (Though, maybe that's really the best cities for termites and the worst cities for termite-hating humans.)

The little critters cause more than $5 billion in property damage annually, according to the National Pest Management Association. Orkin says it saw an uptick in termite treatments in 2020 compared to the year before. The company attributes that rise to people spending more time at home (where they'll notice damage), many people buying new homes, and a record storm and hurricane season that provided the moist environments in which termites thrive.

Once again, Miami tops the list of great places to be a social termite. The sunny Florida city is followed by Los Angeles and Tampa. The top three are the same as the 2019 list. After that, there are risers and fallers, including Washington, DC jumping two spots to No. 4. The ranking is built from data about where the company did the most first-time termite treatments from February 1, 2020, through January 31, 2021.

Here are the top 50 cities, according to Orkin, along with how they've changed position since last year in parentheses. 

1. Miami, Florida
2. Los Angeles, California
3. Tampa, Florida
4. Washington, DC (+2)
5. Atlanta, Georgia
6. West Palm Beach, Florida (+1)
7. New York City, New York (-3)
8. New Orleans, Louisiana (+1)
9. Orlando, Florida (+1)
10. Dallas, Texas (+2)
11. San Francisco, California (-3)
12. San Diego, California (-1)
13. Raleigh, North Carolina
14. Houston, Texas (+1)
15. Baltimore, Maryland (+1)
16. Phoenix, Arizona (-2)
17. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (+2)
18. Charlotte, North Carolina
19. Indianapolis, Indiana (+5)
20. Greenville, North Carolina (+6)
21. Nashville, Tennessee (-4)
22. Cincinnati, Ohio
23. Chicago, Illinois (-3)
24. Norfolk, Virginia (+1)
25. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (+4)
26. Knoxville, Tennessee (+1)
27. Charleston, Virginia (+1)
28. Kansas City, Missouri (+4)
29. Savannah, Georgia (+1)
30. Columbia, South Carolina (+8)
31. Richmond, Virginia
32. Fort Myers, Florida (-11)
33. St. Louis, Missouri (+4)
34. Mobile, Alabama (-11)
35. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (-1)
36. Jacksonville, Florida (+7)
37. Lafayette, Louisiana (+4)
38. Tulsa, Oklahoma (-3)
39. Honolulu, Hawaii (-6)
40. Waco, Texas (new to list)
41. San Antonio, Texas (-2)
42. Boston, Massachusetts (-6)
43. Chattanooga, Tennessee (-3)
44. Louisville, Kentucky (+2)
45. Grand Rapids, Michigan (+3)
46. Wichita, Kansas (new to list)
47. Austin, Texas (new to list)
48. Columbus, Ohio (+2)
49. Charleston, South Carolina (-5)
50. Denver, Colorado (-5)

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.