Since there is not one central U.S. government agency or scientific organization that tracks termite data and damage, most damage estimates are based on assumptions from infestations reported to state agriculture agencies and academic experts. Pest control companies are encouraged to report Formosan termite infestations to help scientists and university extension agents track the spread of this species. However, treatment and repairs for infestations by other subterranean and drywood species typically are not reported.
Since termites can live inside homes with few signs of activity, some infestations may be undetected, which makes it impossible to accurately gauge the extent of termite damage nationwide. Using the best information available, experts estimate the U.S. spends $5 billion each year on termite control and repairs for damage.
Homeowners often question the likelihood that their homes will be infested by termites. One of the easiest ways to understand your risk is to look at the Termite Infestation Probability Map (Tip Zone Map) created by the International Residential Code. This map illustrates the areas that are more prone to termite infestations based on termite activity levels.
States classified as prone to very heavy activity include Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the eastern third of Texas and most of California. Homes in these areas have the greatest risk for termite damage.
States categorized as having moderate to heavy activity include Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as parts of Texas, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa.
Alaska is the only U.S. state with no known native termite species.