Termite Infestation Probability Zones Map

Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones) are used to determine whether inspection or prevention is required for protecting homes against termites.

The Termite Infestation Map was developed by the US Forest Service years ago and was updated in the 1980s. The map is a depiction of the US Forest Service scientists’ estimate of various termite zones based upon the scientific studies conducted by the Forest Service. This is for subterranean termites only.

The original map was published as part of the US Government’s efforts to inform homeowners as to the dangers of termites and the signs of infestation. The publication used as called Home and Garden Bulletin 64, originally published in 1960, revised throughout the years with the 1994. The approximate termite hazards were listed as Region I: Very Heavy; Region II: Moderate to Heavy; Region III: Slight to Moderate; and Region IV: None to slight. Early maps did not include Hawaii and Alaska. Currently, Hawaii is in Region I and Alaska is in Region IV.

The map has not only been used in the publication but was used to establish Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones). The US Department of Housing and Urban Development uses the TIP Zones to determine the risk and actions necessary as a requirement for guaranteeing mortgages. Conventional mortgage lenders, called mortgagees, also use the TIP Zones as their underwriting standards are usually similar to HUD’s.

The TIP Zones first noted by the US Forest Service have become an important part of determining whether inspection and prevention are underwriting requirements for mortgage loans. Finally, the International Code Council uses TIP Zones to determine building code requirements for termite prevention. The ICC’s International Residential Code (IRC) stipulates that code officials must use the map to determine building code requirements for subterranean termite prevention.


Distribution of Termites in USA

What is the probability that your home will be infested with termites? There is no government agency that tracks the spread of termites, we rely on profession pest control companies to report termite damages in the regions they serve, and they do a good job. Pest control companies are the go-to authority for information needed; they are only required to report the treatment and migration of Formosan termites which are especially aggressive.

Back to the question – what is the probability of your home being infected – One of the easiest ways to understand your risk is to look at the Termite Infestation Probability Map. This map illustrates the areas that are more prone to termite infestations based on termite activity levels.

As you can see, unless you live in the very northern states the probability is good that you will have an occurrence of termites at least once in your lifetime. This is not meant to rattle you; it is meant to give you the information you need to keep your property safe from termites.

Regions in the United States Populated By Termites

The map below shows regions populated by termites in the United States a greater number, and type of termites live in the southern states; they like the warm and mild climate. States bordering the southern part of the country contain every termite species known to reside in the United States: Subterranean, Drywood, Formosan, and Dampwood termites. (dampwood termites rarely infest homes – they will be included later in this discussion) The northern states show very little termite activity because of the colder climate – termites colonies would freeze in the winter – therefore they stay away. In the middle of the country, there are Subterranean and Formosan termites.

Subterranean termites by far cause the most termite damage and there is a greater danger of infestation by subterranean termites to homes in the United States than any other termite.

The Formosan termite is the most aggressive and economically devastating in the United States and the world – these pests destroy wood very quickly because of their large populations, and their colonies share interconnecting foraging galleries in the soil. The Formosan termite is found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas – AND once established this pest has never been eradicated from the area.

Formosan termites are the most destructive termite in the United States making their homes in the south where the weather is warm and mild. In Hawaii, these pests can structurally damage a home within six months.

Subterranean = most damage, Formosan = most destructive. Although a Formosan termite is classified as a Subterranean Termite it does not need soil contact; it builds above ground nests in trees, attics, and walls.

The chart below will open your eyes! Subterranean Termites are found in every state within the United States. Infestations in the warmer southern states are more prevalent than in the colder northern states. Pests move from one state to another through zonal creep, and as our world gets warmer this phenomenon will occur more and more. Also, pests are carried in furniture as people move to different states.

Termites Found By State in the US

Subterranean Drywood Dampwood Formosan
Alabama X X X
Arizona X X X
Arkansas X
California X X X X
Colorado X X
Connecticut X
Delaware X
Florida X X X X
Georgia X X X
Hawaii X X X X
Idaho X X
Illinois X X
Indiana X X
Iowa X X
Kansas X X
Kentucky X X
Louisiana X X X
Maine X X
Maryland X X
Massachusetts X X
Michigan X X
Minnesota X X
Mississippi X X X
Missouri X
Montana X
Nebraska X
Nevada X X X
New Hampshire X
New Jersey X
New Mexico X X
New York X
North Carolina X X X
North Dakota X
Ohio X
Oklahoma X
Oregon X X X
Pennsylvania X
Rhode Island X
South Carolina X X X
South Dakota X
Tennessee X X
Texas X X X
Utah X X
Vermont X
Virginia X
Washington X X X
West Virginia X
Wisconsin X
Wyoming X

The map below shows termites swarming season during the spring, note the difference between this map and the map above. During swarming, the area that termites cover expands greatly, most swarming occurs in April and May. A homeowner that is aware of this can take precautions in the month of March when it starts getting warmer to protect their property proactively.

During swarming season termites are more aggressive than any other time of the year, and people ask “Are termites harmful to humans” or “Do termites bite?” Termites are not harmful to humans and are not know to carry disease, but people with allergies can have adverse reactions. Termite nests kick up dust and microscopic particles that float around and are picked up through the heating and cooling system that can cause an asthma attack or allergic reaction. And YES, termites can bite although their bite is non-toxic – termite soldiers are formidable foes if their colony has been invaded (mainly by ants). Every creature bites especially when cornered.

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Termites are more aggressive during the spring time because it is their mating season. They are fulfilling their destiny which is procreation of the species, and through the metamorphosis of growing wings, they fly in a frenzy of delight. Only an established colony (around 5 years old) can produce swarmers. This is why it is important for homeowners in the United States to start their yard work in early spring. Inspect your home and property for termites twice a year ‘early spring’ and ‘fall’ – remove any fallen wood, dying trees, waterlogged wood, and replace wooden mulch because it does attract termites.

The top four causes of infestation are Moisture, Wood or Wooden Structures – that come in contact with soil, Openings – in the home’s foundation, roof, or walls, and just plain old Geography.

Firewood, lumber, cardboard boxes, newspapers around the outside of the home can attract termites. Remove these sources of cellulose and reduce the risk of infestation.

Florida, California and Hawaii are the three states in the US that contain all four types of termites that infest homes in America. Be very vigilant with preventative measures if you own a home in these states. Termites will not stop consuming wood until you stop them!

Dampwood Termite require high humidity and free water, and unlike subterranean termites, they do not forage in soil.

They rarely infest dry wood, and they will rarely infest a home, with these exceptions: homes or structures built over or very close to water, wooden structures that have water rot, wood buried in the ground around water.


Termite Activity in Iowa

Termites are active across the state, from Sioux City to Waterloo and from Des Moines to Davenport, Iowa.

What Types of Termites are in Iowa?
Subterranean termites are known to cause damage to homes in Iowa. Drywood termites are not native to the state.

Are Formosan Termites in Iowa?
Formosan termites have not been identified in Iowa. This species typically lives in very warm locations in the southern U.S.

When Do Termites Swarm in Iowa?
Generally, termites swarm on a warm day after a rainfall. Swarms may occur during the winter in heated buildings. The swarming habits of the most common species in Iowa are described below.

  • The eastern subterranean termite swarms during the day from March to May.
  • The dark southeastern subterranean termite usually swarms in the daytime between March and June.

More Information about Termites in Iowa
According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), the southern two-thirds of Iowa are located in TIP Zone #2 (moderate to heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. The northern one-third of the state is located in TIP Zone #3 (slight to moderate), which means there is some potential for damage by termites. Areas with higher probabilities for activity require more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.

Although drywood termites are not established in Iowa, it is possible for this species to travel in wooden objects, such as furniture and wine crates, and establish colonies in the state. Drywood termites have been found in areas far from their native habitats. A licensed termite inspector can help identify species not native to the state.

In states like Iowa where termites are fairly active and widespread, it is essential to maintain an effective termite prevention and control program. If you own a home in Iowa, talk to your termite control expert about methods to help protect your home from termite infestations and damage.


What Causes Termites?

While termites are drawn to wood, there are other factors that may lead to a termite infestation too. Learn what causes termites and what to do about it.


Subterranean termites, who build their colonies in the soil, are attracted to moisture. Standing water in or around your home’s foundation creates an attractive environment for these termites. Leaky pipes are not just a plumbing issue and should be addressed before creating an opportunity for termite infestation. You should also clean your roof gutters and take steps to ensure there is proper drainage around your home. Finally, check that your foundation is properly ventilated and trim back or remove any landscaping that could allow humidity to build up in your home’s crawl space.


Even if the soil around your home has been treated by a pest control specialist, wood that serves as a bridge between the ground and your home may create a point of entry for termites. Termites feed on cellulose, an essential component of wood. Subterranean termites will search out food sources that exist above ground in addition to their more readily available food supplies. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior may create an opportunity for termites to infiltrate your home’s interior. Remove any stumps, vines, mulch, trellises or other exterior wood such as stacked firewood that is in close proximity to your home’s foundation, especially if your home has wooden siding. Note that your roof can also be vulnerable to termite infestation. Trim back any tree limbs that are resting on your roof or touching wooden structures such as eaves or window framing.


In their search for moisture and food, termites will take advantage of any breach in your home’s integrity. Even cracks in your foundation’s concrete offer opportunities for subterranean termites to gather materials for the construction of their mud tubes, the tunnels by which they travel in their foraging. Periodically inspect your home’s entry doors and windows, and reapply caulk where any might be distressed or missing. Similarly, look for any loose or defective seals where electrical conduit or plumbing lines enter your home. And if you are aware of damage to your shingles, fascia boards or eaves, have it repaired immediately. Even these minor fixes can help you defend your home against a termite infestation.


You may live in a state or region that is particularly susceptible to termite infestations. Homeowners in warmer, wetter states such as those of the South and Gulf Coast are typically more likely to experience difficulties with termites. You can also consult the United States Forest Service’s map of Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zones to determine your home’s level of risk to infestation due to local environmental factors. Though some areas of the country have an increased termite presence resulting in more homes attacked, remember that termites are found in every state except Alaska, so don’t let your guard down.

Finally, if you do notice termite damage that has never been repaired, or if you suspect that your home may have a termite problem, do not put off contacting a professional termite control company to get an expert opinion.

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Termites Damage & Treatment in Oregon

September 14, 2019

Termite Activity in Oregon

Termites are active across the state, from Portland to Pendleton and from Medford to Eugene, Oregon.

What Types of Termites Are in Oregon?

Subterranean termites are known to damage homes in Oregon. The western drywood termite occasionally infests homes along the coast in Oregon. Dampwood termites also are common in Oregon; however, dampwood termites are less likely to damage structures than subterranean and drywood termites.

Are Formosan Termites in Oregon?

Formosan termites have not been identified in Oregon.

When Do Termites Swarm in Oregon?

Generally, termites swarm on a warm day after a rainfall. Swarms also may occur during the winter in heated buildings. The swarming habits of the most common species in Oregon are described below.
  • The western subterranean termite swarms during the day in the rainy season, typically any time from autumn to spring.
  • The arid-land subterranean termite swarms during the day in the spring and fall.
  • The western drywood termite swarms in coastal Oregon during the day in the summer.
  • The Pacific dampwood termite typically swarms just before dusk from August to October.
  • The Nevada dampwood termite swarms in spring at higher elevations, and in summer and early fall in coastal areas.
  • Swarms often take place just before sunset.

More Information about Termites in Oregon

According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), Oregon is located in TIP Zone #3 (slight to moderate), meaning there are some potential for damage by subterranean termites. Areas with lower probabilities for termite activity requires lesser termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with more large rate of activity.

In states like Oregon where termites are active, efficient maintainance an effective termite prevention and control program is important. If you own a home in Oregon, speak with your termite control expert about methods that will aid in protecting your home from termite infestations and damage.

5 signs of a termite infestation & how to know when you need termite treatment

Termite infestations are an unfortunate, but widespread nuisance that on average, affects more than 600,000 homes each year across the Unites States. The construction of residential homes in America commonly uses wood as a primary building material and because the termite’s primary source of food is wood, the private residences of everyday Americans are at high risk of termite infestations. The city of Houston rates “Very High” under the Termite Infestation Probability Zones Map, or TIP Zone map, making the Houston community especially vulnerable to termite infestation. This means that knowing the available options when it comes to termite treatment should be considered a higher priority for Houstonians than it might be for other Americans who live in different zones within the United States.

One key reason that finding fast and effective termite treatment is so critical for you and your family is because the termite never sleeps or even stops to take a break from eating the wood which surrounds your home. As soon as a termite colony makes itself comfortable in your home, these pests are continually gnawing away at the wood in and around your home’s structure for twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. This is also why it is possible for a termite infestation to create such large amounts of damage to your residence in such a short period of time. Considering that each termite colony has the potential to contain over one million termites, it is paramount that you and your family quickly decide on a quality termite treatment that will send these pests packing before they’re able to cause any further destruction to your home’s wooden structure.

To fully understand a termite infestation in your home and to recognize when termite treatment is necessary, it is first important to understand what a termite is, the different types of termites and how these pesky pests manage to infiltrate your home.

What are termites and how do I identify them?

The termite is a small, ant-like insect usually measuring between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch long. These troublesome critters have soft bodies with straight antennae and can range in color from white to light brown depending on the type of termite. Termite season can begin at various points of the year, but will generally start in the warmer and wetter months. However, the beginning of termite season largely depends on the area in which you live and the type of termite present in that area. In Texas, termite season usually begins in early Spring, making this an ideal time of year to get your home inspected for termites so that you may detect the presence of these pests as early as possible. Early termite detection allows you to invest in effective termite treatment that will save your home and family from an overwhelming infestation and the high cost of damage repairs.

What are the different types of termites?

Termite colonies operate on a caste system where there are three different classes of termites, with each type carrying out different roles in contributing to the colony or nest. These three types of termites are called soldiers, workers and winged swarming termites. Worker termites are those that are responsible for constructing and maintaining the nest where the termites live. This type of termite also collects food for the colony, including the wood in your home, and builds the mud tubes which the worker termites use to travel between wood sources and the colony.

The soldier termite’s main purpose is to protect and defend the termite nest by plugging any broken walls, mud tubes and/or locations where the nest might have become compromised.

Once a termite colony reaches a certain capacity and is ready to expand, winged swarming termites, or alates, will take flight from their current nest in search of a nearby location to establish a new colony. It is at this time that winged swarming termites will find a mate with which they will start their new colony. Mating for the termite begins the business of building and starting a new colony.

Based on the location of their colony, termites are generally classified into three different groups — subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. However, no matter the type of termite, successful termite treatment is always vital when any type of infestation occurs.

Subterranean Termites

As the most common type of termite within the United States, the subterranean termite exists in all states except Alaska and is the most destructive termite species in America. As such, subterranean termite treatment is the most frequently requested type of termite treatment in the USA. These termites establish colonies in the soil below ground or in secluded moist environments above ground to protect themselves from the open air. To access their preferred above ground food sources from their colony below ground, the subterranean termite will build unique “mud tubes”, also know as “galleries” or “tunnels”. Some colonies can contain more than one egg-laying female, allowing the number of termites in the subterranean nest to multiply at alarming rates. Subterranean termites can often infest homes for years undetected, making the response to early detection and the use of quick and reliable termite treatment, like that provided by Natran, a necessity for the structural integrity of your home.

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There are different identifying features that you can use to distinguish subterranean termites from other types of termites. In a subterranean termite colony, the winged swarmers, or alates, will generally appear to be dark-brown or black in color with two pairs of wings that are equal in length. The worker termites in these particular colonies do not have wings, are approximately 1/4 of an inch or less and cream colored. Subterranean soldier termites have large mandibles, a creamy-white body with a brown head and are wingless.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are attracted to wood that has faced water damage or that sits directly on the ground. You might find a dampwood termite infestation in a tree stump, a fallen log or an area in your home that has been affected by water, such as a leaky roof or a cracked drain pipe. As damp wood termites infest your residence, they will eat away at the wooden support beams, weakening the structure of your home.

Dampwood termite colonies are among the smallest of all termite colonies, however, these insects are the largest in size compared to other types of termites. Each colony contains nymphs, soldiers and winged swarmers. Nymphs can be over half an inch in length and are light in color to the point of near transparency. Like nymphs, dampwood soldier termites can grow to half an inch long, but have dark brown mandibles that extend from their flat brown heads. Dampwood swarmers are dark brown with wings and can reach up to an inch in length.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites build their colonies inside of dry wood structures that can be present above ground level including fences and utility posts, door and window frames and furniture. This type of termite does not need soil or a moist environment for their colony to thrive. Drywood termite colonies are small, generally containing under 1,000 termites making them less destructive than their subterranean relatives. However, it is still imperative that you seeks termite treatment as quickly as possible to rid your home of drywood termites.

Drywood termites have short legs, a thick waist, straight antennae and range anywhere from 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch long. Particular identifying features of a drywood termite depends on its place in the colony’s caste system. Worker drywood termites are cream colored and can appear to look white against wood, soldier drywood termites vary in color from cream to brown and have mandibles with teeth, while winged swarmer drywood termites are brown or black in color with wings that are equal in length.

With the different types of termites defined and some information on how to identify them, it’s important to now learn 5 major signs that your home has been infested by the most common type of termite, the subterranean termite, so that you know whether or not it’s time for termite treatment.

5 Signs of a Subterranean Termite Infestation

1. Mud tunnels or tubes
One of the most major signs that you are in need of termite treatment in your home is the presence of mud tunnels or tubes. These tubes provide shelter for the termites as they travel between their nest and your home. At approximately the width of a drinking straw, these tubes have a flat muddy appearance and may be present beneath your floors, on pipes throughout your home, along cracks or around your baseboards and plumbing.

2. Wood That Sounds Hollow
Termites will often dine on the wood in your home starting from the inside of the wood source, hollowing out the middle of the wood and leaving only a thin veneer behind. If you notice that the wood in or around your home sounds empty when you knock on it, this may be due to a termite infestation and indicates that it’s time for you and your family to look into termite treatment.

3. Flying termites, or “swarmers”
Once it’s time to begin a new colony, reproductive male and female termites, or swarmers, will leave their current colonies to procreate. It is during this process that you may see swarms of what look like flying ants near your home. Like most insects, these swarmers are especially attracted to light sources. The presence of these swarms means that a termite colony might be nearby and that these critters are looking to begin a new one in close proximity the the existing colony. It is important to note that even if you do not spot live termites near your residence, you could still be dealing with an infestation that would require termite treatment.

4. Piles of wings
During the swarming process, the two swarmers will land and prepare to establish their new colony. At this time, the swarmers will shed their wings, leaving them behind. Finding these discarded wings around your home, whether just a few wings or entire piles, means that you may be dealing with an active termite colony somewhere near your residence and that termite treatment could be necessary.

5. Wall Damage
Another sign of a subterranean termite infestation in your home is the presence of wall damage. Wall damage caused by termites often looks like water damage and can present itself in the form of discolored drywall, bubbling or peeling paint or bulging walls. This damage can also lead to dysfunctional doors and windows as the wood in your home begins to weaken and warp or bend. These signs of damage may be less obvious to the eye and if you’re noticing these signs, this might mean that the termite infestation has been present in your home for quite some time and that your family should seek termite treatment as soon as possible.

How do I know when it is time for termite treatment?

If you have identified these five signs in and/or around your home and yard, it is likely time for you and your family to seek subterranean termite treatment. Natran Green Pest Control’s goal is to implement preventive systems within your yard and home to lessen the threat of a termite infestation. In the case of an existing termite infestations, Natran Green Pest Control’s termite treatment uses baiting control for subterranean termites without subjecting your home, your family, your yard or our planet to harsh chemicals, unless completely unavoidable. This method of termite treatment will eventually eradicate the underground termite colony, completely eliminating the infesting insects.

Termite infestations disrupt the comfort and stability we expect to find in our homes, and fortunately Natran is here to help. After Natran Green Pest Control has utilized its smart, responsible and sustainable termite treatment, you, your family and your pets will be able to return to a comfortable and undisturbed life within your termite free home.


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