If You Live Here, Prepare for an Influx of Termites, Experts Say

These destructive bugs are making their way across the U.S., wreaking havoc on homes along the way.

While they're rarely known to bite humans, termites might just be one of the most fearsome pests out there, thanks to the massive damage they can do to homes and other structures in a short period of time. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), termites destroy portions of approximately 600,000 U.S. homes and cause close to $40 billion in damage around the world each year. And unfortunately, if you live in one particular area in the U.S., your risk for encountering these destructive pests is skyrocketing this year.

In a recent interview with WSVN, Thomas Chouvenc, PhD, an assistant professor of urban entomology at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, explained that both subterranean and Formosan termites—dubbed "super termites" due to the exceptional amount of damage they cause—are causing serious trouble in Florida right now.

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Super termites typically form colonies in trees and hollow them out as they eat, weakening the trees and making them particularly prone to breaking or uprooting during hurricanes. Once the termite-infested trees have hit the ground, the termites living within them seek out new food sources—including nearby structures. However, unlike the drywood or dampwood termites most people are familiar with, super termites can't be eliminated through fumigation alone, but must be baited or otherwise chemically eradicated from homes.

If you're worried that you may have termites in your home, experts at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommend looking for dead insects or shed wings in your home, areas of wood that appear to have been hollowed out, and mud tubes on the exterior of your home.

While Florida may be bearing the brunt of this year's termite infestation due to hurricane season, it's far from the only part of the country that's seen some major termite activity recently. Read on to discover which U.S. cities had the most first-time termite treatments between Feb. 1 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021, according to pest control company Orkin.

RELATED: If You Live in These States, Prepare to See More Tarantulas.

50
Denver, Colorado

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49
Charleston, South Carolina

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48
Columbus, Ohio

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47
Austin, Texas

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46
Wichita, Kansas

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45
Grand Rapids, Michigan

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44
Louisville, Kentucky

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43
Chattanooga, Tennessee

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42
Boston, Massachusetts

The skyline of Boston, Massachusetts as seen from the Charles River at sunset
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41
San Antonio, Texas

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Waco, Texas

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39
Honolulu, Hawaii

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38
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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37
Lafayette, Louisiana

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36
Jacksonville, Florida

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35
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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34
Mobile, Alabama

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33
St. Louis, Missouri

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32
Fort Myers, Florida

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31
Richmond, Virginia

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30
Columbia, South Carolina

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29
Savannah, Georgia

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28
Kansas City, Missouri

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27
Charleston, West Virginia

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26
Knoxville, Tennessee

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25
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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24
Norfolk, Virginia

cityscape photo of buildings next to and boats on a lake in Norfolk, Virginia
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23
Chicago, Illinois

Aerial View of Chicago Cityscape in Autumn
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22
Cincinnati, Ohio

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21
Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Tennessee Skyline
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20
Greenville, North Carolina

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19
Indianapolis, Indiana

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18
Charlotte, North Carolina

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17
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Phoenix, Arizona

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15
Baltimore, Maryland

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14
Houston, Texas

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13
Raleigh, North Carolina

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12
San Diego, California

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San Francisco, California

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10
Dallas, Texas

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9
Orlando, Florida

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8
New Orleans, Louisiana

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7
New York, New York

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6
West Palm Beach, Florida

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5
Atlanta, Georgia

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4
Washington, D.C.

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3
Tampa, Florida

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2
Los Angeles, California

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1
Miami, Florida

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