Shreveport chews its way onto list of most termite-infested cities in the U.S.

Not among the top 50, however, is New Orleans, which historically has had a problem with Formosan termites

Shreveport chews its way onto list of most termite-infested cities in the U.S.
A worker inspects a crawl space for signs of termites. (Source: Terminix)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Termites literally can eat your home from out from under you.

And Shreveport is one of the most termite-infested cities in the nation, Terminix says.

The pest control company’s rankings, based on the number of termite treatments per household in the past year, rate Shreveport at 24 on Terminix’s list of the 50 worst cities for termites.

Baton Rouge (3) and Lafayette (43) also are on the list, which was released as part of Termite Awareness Week.

Not among the top 50, however, is New Orleans, which historically has had a problem with Formosan termites.

Formosan termites annually cause more damage to houses and buildings in Louisiana than homes and buildings in any other state, according to Orkin.

That pest control firm says New Orleans area residents and businesses spend an estimated $300 million annually to control Formosan termites and repair termite damage.

The Crescent City also is home to Operation Full Stop, a government-funded program that has had success using bait systems to control Formosan termites in neighborhoods such as the French Quarter.

Subterranean and drywood termites are most common in Louisiana, Orkin reports.

Subterranean termites are creamy white to dark brown or black in color, measure 1/8 of an inch long and have six legs. They are found throughout the United States. (Source: National Pest Management Association)
Subterranean termites are creamy white to dark brown or black in color, measure 1/8 of an inch long and have six legs. They are found throughout the United States. (Source: National Pest Management Association)
Drywood termites generally are creamy white to light brown in color, measure 3/8 of an inch to 1 inch long and have six legs. They primarily are found along the coasts from Texas to South Carolina and up the west coast of California, the National Pest Management Association says. (Source: National Pest Management Association)
Drywood termites generally are creamy white to light brown in color, measure 3/8 of an inch to 1 inch long and have six legs. They primarily are found along the coasts from Texas to South Carolina and up the west coast of California, the National Pest Management Association says. (Source: National Pest Management Association)

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE TERMITES?

Terminix identifies the following as warning signs of a possible termite infestation:

• Bugs emerging from walls or posts

• Blisters in wood flooring, which look like small cracks or holes

• Hollowed or damaged wood

• Evidence of the pests themselves, such as discarded wings

• Droppings resembling sawdust or coffee grounds

• Mud tubes, which look like pencil-size dirt tunnels, near the base of your home

Termites tend to remain out of sight, so they can cause extensive damage before homeowners realize there is a problem.

Pest control companies say the average cost associated with treating and repairing damage from an infestation is more than $8,000.

The National Pest Management Association’s Tiny Termite House gives you a behind-the-walls look at termites’ destructive nature:

Here are Terminix’s top 50 cities for termite infestations, based on most termite treatments per household:

Terminix’s top 50 cities for termite infestations
Terminix’s top 50 cities for termite infestations

WHEN DO TERMITES SWARM IN LOUISIANA?

The answer to that question depends upon the species of termites. Following are the typical swarming periods:

  • Eastern subterranean termites: mornings in February to May.
  • Dark southeastern subterranean termites: days in March and June.
  • Light southeastern subterranean termites: days in the fall.
  • Arid land subterranean termites: days in the spring and fall.
  • Southeastern drywood termites: nights in the spring.
  • Tropical rough-headed drywood termites: nights from April to July.
  • Western drywood termites: days in summer.
  • Dark southern drywood termites: summer afternoons.
  • Formosan termites: nights in late spring.

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