Termites in South Carolina

Termite Activity in South Carolina

Termites are active across the state, from Greenville to Spartanburg and from Hilton Head to Charleston to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

What Types of Termites Are in South Carolina?

Both subterranean and drywood termites are known to damage homes in South Carolina.

Subterranean termite:

subterranean termite found in South Carolina

Drywood termite:

drywood termite found in South Carolina Are Formosan Termites in South Carolina? Formosan termites are very active in coastal South Carolina. In fact, Formosan termites were first discovered in the continental U.S. in Charleston, South Carolina., in 1957.

Formosan termite:


Most infestations have occurred in southern counties along the coast. Formosan termites have been identified in Charleston, Beaufort, Dorchester, Berkeley, Orangeburg County and York counties.

Pest control experts should report Formosan termite infestations to local extension agents or Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, to help researchers determine this species' spread across the state.

When Do Termites Swarm in South Carolina?

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 South Carolina are described below.

  • The eastern subterranean termite typically swarms during the day from February to May.
  • The formosan termite swarms at night during the late spring.
  • The dark southeastern subterranean termite usually swarms between March and June during the day.
  • The tropical rough-headed drywood termite swarms at night, from late spring through mid-summer.
  • The southeastern drywood termite swarms at night, usually in the spring.
More Information about Termites in South Carolina

According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), South Carolina is located in TIP Zone #1 (very heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. Areas with higher probabilities for termite activity require more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.

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