Termites Take Big Bites out of Little Rock Homes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Capital City has been ranked in the Top 15 in a list of most termite infested cities.

The study from Terminix was revealed in a news release issued on Monday, the first day of Spring, with the warning that property owners across the country should be on alert for termites in 2017.

"With spring showers scheduled to arrive early this year, termites could soon be on the move," the release stated.

The pests are present across the nation, but Terminix revealed that residents of Mobile, Ala. reported the most cases of termite infestations in 2016, followed by three cities in Texas and four in Florida.

"We consistently see higher levels of termite activity in the southern United States, particularly in and around coastal cities where the weather is damp and humid -- the perfect environment for a growing termite colony," said Paul Curtis, manager of technical services for Terminix.

The high number of infestations in Florida, an ideal termite environment, can also be attributed to the presence of six invasive species, including the Formosan subterranean termite, Asian subterranean termite and West Indian drywood termite.

Here's the full list of most infested cities:
  1. Mobile, Ala.
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Memphis, Tenn.
  4. Tampa, Fla.
  5. Miami, Fla.
  6. Los Angeles, Calif.
  7. Orlando , Fla.
  8. Jacksonville, Fla.
  9. Dallas, Texas
10. Baton Rouge, La.
11. Houston, Texas
12. Oklahoma City, Okla.
13. San Diego, Calif.
14. Philadelphia, Pa.
15. Little Rock, Ark.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each year in the United States, termite infestations impact more than 600,000 homes. They cause roughly $5 billion in damage and repairs for homeowners. The cost of termite damage is rarely covered by insurance plans, so many homeowners are left to foot the bill on their own.

To prevent termites from chewing through their wallets, Terminix says homeowners should be on the look-out for signs of an infestation, including termite droppings, discarded wings, hollow or damaged wood, and mud tubes -- pencil-sized dirt tunnels -- near the bases of homes.

Prior to encountering one of these signs, there are several preventive measures homeowners can take to help reduce the risk of an infestation. Terminix suggests these four strategies:

  • Trim all shrubbery near home exteriors to allow airflow and quickly dry damp areas
  • Use products such as synthetic mulch or pea gravel when landscaping
  • Properly maintain home exteriors to prevent water from leaking into wooden siding and windows
  • Ensure crawl spaces are properly ventilated to minimize the amount of moisture around floor joists and subflooring
  • Homeowners with concerns about termite activity or signs of an infestation can contact the pest management professionals at Terminix to schedule a free initial inspection

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