What Do Bugs Do During the Winter?

Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, “Where are all the bugs during the winter season?”

For many bugs, the cold weather and other elements associated with winter can be fatal. This means they must find a method of either surviving or escaping the cold temperatures associated with winter.

Here are a few examples of some of these methods they use:

  • Overwintering for larvae: There are some insects that are capable of surviving the winter as larvae, thanks to their heavy covers and other shelters. The woolly bear caterpillar, for example, gets protected by leaf litter and various other shelters while in larvae form. Other types of insects transform water in their bodies into glycerol, which acts as a natural antifreeze. Others simply burrow into the soil and remain there in larval form.
  • Overwintering for eggs: There are some insects that lay eggs that are capable of surviving the winter when properly protected. These include the praying mantis and the corn rootworm.
  • Overwintering for nymphs: There are a few types of insects that remain active throughout the winter. These include the nymphs of mayflies, dragonflies and stoneflies, all of which live in ponds and streams below layers of ice throughout the winter. During this time, they continue to actively grow and feed, allowing them to emerge from the water as adults when spring arrives.
  • Overwintering for pupae: There are a few insects that survive the winter in the pupal stage, then come out as adults once spring arrives. There are various types of moths, for example, that will stay attached to certain types of plant branches all winter long as pupae.
  • Hibernation: There are many types of adult insects that hibernate throughout the winter. Wasps will often seek shelter in attics, eaves and other structures where they are protected from the elements. Tree holes and the areas under rocks or logs are also popular destinations for insects that wish to hibernate through the winter. Bees may stay in hives and form clusters for warmth, vibrating their wing muscles to keep the temperature elevated. Ladybird beetles will seek high elevations and shelter to make it through the winter. These adults often find ways to reduce their water content, as described with the larvae mentioned earlier, so they can instead build up glycerol and survive the freezing cold.
  • Migration: There are some types of insects that simply will not survive the cold weather. The monarch butterfly is just one example of an insect that will leave the northern areas and head south until spring.

It becomes easier for insects to survive the winter when temperatures are stable instead of frequently fluctuating between freezes and thaws. They’re still able to find nourishment in areas under the soil, inside wood, among plants and underwater.

Have bugs decided to make your home their overwintering destination? If so, be sure to give our team a call at Dependable Pest Solutions. We’d be glad to help you rid your property of insects and all other sorts of pests this winter and beyond.

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