The majority of insects are capable of withstanding the freezing cold temperatures in winters. They use various methods like burying themselves in the ground, getting dormant, entering diapause, or practicing hibernation to spend the winter. These practices allow them to stay warm during the cold weather.
The average winter temperature is gradually getting warmer due to global warming and climate change. It has made it easier for the insects to spend the fall and winter, or even remain active. When the winter temperatures don't reach freezing cold, it is easier for insects to make it to next summer.
Do insects die in the winter?
The good news is you will see fewer insects in the winter. But where do they go in the winter? A study by Ohio State University shows the body science of insects is capable of withstanding fall and winter. Hence, the majority of them do not die.
Insects typically die when their surrounding temperature drops below the melting point of their body fluids. The majority of insects try to avoid harsh environmental conditions by various means.
How Do Insects Survive The Winter?
"Either they escape in space, which means they migrate, or they escape in time, which means they become dormant," says Scott Hayward, an invertebrate biologist at the University of Birmingham.
Insects try to avoid freezing temperatures to survive the winter months. Insects like Monarch butterfly including other butterfly species migrate from north to south. Many go dormant, practice hibernation, and enter diapause to survive the cold weather. They seek a warm site in your home to survive the winter. Some insects search for suitable places in your home for diapause.
Migration is a common strategy for many insects to avoid cold temperatures. They look for warmer places to go in the winter. Monarch butterflies are a prime example who migrate from the north to warmer places as fall and winter approach. The Monarch butterflies migrate from the north to the states in the south during spring.
Many insects practice hibernation to overwinter. They may practice hibernation in places like tree holes, leaf litter, or under logs. They come out of hibernation in early spring when the outdoor temperature is suitable for their survival.
Overwintering as Eggs
Some insect species lay eggs that are capable of surviving the winter. Most of them are Praying Mantis. Mosquitoes are another example that undergoes the same phenomenon as well. Female mosquitoes deposit their final batch of eggs in water-logged systems. The adults then die and later the eggs emerge into adult mosquitoes.
Overwintering as Larvae
Several insect species go through the cold temperatures of the winter as immature larvae. The heavy covers of leaf litter protect the woolly bear caterpillar during harsh winters. The Larva later emerge into adults in the spring.
Science shows that some insects replace their body water with glycerol which acts as an antifreeze. Others burrow deep holes into the soil for survival against the cold temperatures.
Overwintering as Pupae.
Some insects survive the winter in the pupal stage. Moths in the silkworm family are a well-known example to get attached to food plants or trees as pupae. It protects the pupae from harsh environmental conditions.
Overwintering as Nymphs
The nymphs of butterflies, dragonflies, stoneflies, mayflies, and other flies survive in the water of streams, ponds, and other water bodies beneath the ice. The nymphs of dragonflies grow during the winter in the stage of nymphs and become an adult in early spring.
Freeze Avoidance and Freeze Tolerance
Two common strategies among insects to survive extreme conditions are freeze avoidance, and free tolerance. Freeze avoidant insects keep body fluids liquid, and freeze-tolerant species can handle internal ice formation.
Entering a Human Structure
Many flies may get into human structures to avoid the cold temperatures outdoors. They not only get a warm environment but also get sufficient food. They can remain active throughout the winter. Bugs, carpenter ants, and some wasps are seen active throughout winter when they nest inside a human accommodation.
Spiders are also considered to enter human structures to avoid cold. But spiders are equipped with natural antifreeze in their bodies that help spiders to survive the winter. Other overwintering methods used by various crawling species include entering diapause and getting dormant.
What Are Bugs?
Bugs are an order of insects with over 80,000 species. They are generally 1 mm to over 10 cm in size. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to eat plant sap or sometimes animal blood. These cold-blooded species can affect your life in different ways. But where do they go in the winter?
What time of year are bugs most active?
Bugs are typically active in spring and summer. They grow and multiply their population in warm weather and seasons. They enter diapause or go dormant to avoid the cold temperatures. But when they find moderate temperatures in your home.
What Bugs Come Out in Cold Temperatures?
Very few insects come into human interaction during winter. But that does not ensure your home is free from pests all this time. They do infest homes, and you might see some bathroom tiny bugs. Just like other several insects, they get into your homes to avoid the winter temperatures. Though many of these remain inactive, some of them can definitely create several problems in your life.
The stink bug is a beetle that gives a bad smell when squished. They are plant-eating pests that search for cracks or holes to hide for the winter. Many times you will not even know that the beetles are in your home until they wake up in the spring. If you see them on the window, you may use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them.
Boxelder bugs are about half an inch long. They are black or brown with orange or red markings across the abdomen and wings. They feed on box elder trees, along with several other plants. They seek a warm place in your home for overwintering. These insects excrete a chemical that stains walls, fabrics, and floors. If you find any such sign, it indicates the presence of an infestation that you would like to treat as early as possible.
Bed bugs are about 5 millimeters in size. They live indoors, mostly very close to your bed. These insects hide in places like racks in the bed frame and headboard, between couch cushions, electrical outlets, and underneath the posters on the walls. It gives them the heat they need to survive. They may survive throughout the year when they have sufficient heat and they rely on human blood for food.
Bed bugs are a serious pest. The only good news about winter is that there is very little chance of a new infestation. The infestation has happened during the summer months and remained indoors. Consult a pest control professional to ensure complete 360-degree treatment against bed bugs.
Snow fleas, often commonly known as snow bugs, are scientifically known as Hypogastrura nicola or Hypogastrura harveyi depending on the species. These insects are not parasitic, hence they do not bite. They produce their antifreeze which is an amino acid glycine-rich protein. It allows them to come out even during the cold winter season.
Why Are Ladybugs in My House?
Ladybug gets into your house because they are searching for a shelter to overwinter. Ladybugs cluster together to stay warm, which results in a colony. They usually take shelter in corners or attics, or the basement.
These pests may get into your home through doors and windows or other cracks in the structure. They produce a chemical that stains walls, fabrics, and floors. They are also known for secreting bad-smelling chemicals if disturbed or squished.
How Do You Get Rid of Bugs
Bugs can be serious pests causing irritation and affecting your quality of living. When they shelter inside your home, it can be troubling to your pets and children. Many of these insects may bite or give skin rashes that may require medical help.
You may apply some D-I-Y methods to prevent and reduce these pests in your home. Calling a professional is always advised as he can provide you a 360-degree solution to your pest problem.
Winterize Your Home
Winterizing your home is important to prevent bugs and other insects from entering your home. Do not allow any potential entry points. Seal any holes and cracks in the structure. And make sure the doors have adequate weather stripping.
Using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bugs is an easy and convenient solution for many. The suction tube of your vacuum cleaner will make sure that they do not fly away. Once you catch them in your vacuum cleaner, you can relocate them outdoors.
When Should I Call a Professional?
D-I-Y solutions do not always work great. Therefore, professional help is needed to solve your bug problem. There are different types of bugs that can cause several problems in your homes, from damaging your structure to severely affecting your quality of living. If you find any sign of infestation, consult a professional as soon as possible.
A.N.T. PEST CONTROL NEW LENOX provides quality pest control solutions to protect you and your home. We also provide treatment plans for all kinds of bugs, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, honey bees, yellow jackets, ants, carpet beetles, and other pests and nuisances at your safety and convenience. Call us today to get a free quote for the treatment of bugs or any other insects.