University of Maryland Extension

February Indoor & Outdoor Insect Tips

termite swarmer

Photo: Close-up of termite swarmer

(More tips from HGIC)

  • Ticks are active as long as daytime temperatures are above freezing. Check yourself and loved ones closely for ticks after hiking.
  • Often in late February termite reproductives start swarming. A swarm seen indoors could mean that a colony is directly under the house and feeding on its lumber. (PDF EB 245 Termites: Prevention, Detection, Control)
  • Fleas are often a problem in homes even when there are no pets. The most likely source is an animal living in the attic, crawl space, chimney or some other sheltered area connected to the inside of the home. The offender is often a raccoon. First remove and exclude the animal from re-entry, follow up with frequent vacuuming of the house to collect the adult fleas and their larvae. Over time the flea problem will cease. (PDF HG 27 Fleas)
  • Many hibernating insects wake up during spells of mild weather in February. Elm leaf beetle, leaf-footed bugs, Asian ladybird beetles, boxelder bugs, cluster flies, stink bugs and other species may appear both outdoors and indoors in large numbers. Although a nuisance indoors they are all harmless and can be vacuumed or swept up. Prevent the entry of these invaders by sealing up all small holes and cracks around the outside of your home. No chemical controls are recommended.
  • By this time in the winter ants may start appearing in the house. The largest is the carpenter ant which is attracted to water soaked wood found in bathrooms, kitchens and sometime attics. The smallest and most common household ant is the small black pavement ant. In most cases bait stations work well to control minor infestations. (PDF HG 7 Ants and their Control)
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