As temperatures plummet, insects, mites, and other common pests move through many changes in order to ensure their survival. Numerous species will actually die as a result of the extreme weather, others make preparations to protect themselves and their young, many will invade buildings – such as your home – in order to acquire access to food, water, and warmth. Naturally, this produces seasonal problems with the culprit pests. Despite the fact that it seems as if all pests have disappeared, this is not the case.
Continue reading to learn about what happens to pests in the winter and to learn where they go when we are bundling up to protect ourselves from the extreme environmental conditions of the season.
How Do Insects Survive Winter?
Insects are just one of the many pests that exist within our world. Depending on the type of insect we are discussing, there are numerous ways that these creatures are capable of surviving when the temperatures drop and the rain, snow, and ice kick in for the season. Many will actually wait in eggs before hatching, while others will remain in the larvae or the pupae stage. Adult insects will adapt and apply numerous strategies to survive the cold. The following outlines the most common methods used by insects for winter survival:
- Migration and Avoidance – Many insects avoid the cold weather in a certain area by migrating to another area that is warmer. For example, butterflies and those fast-flying dragonflies will head out once they get a hint of cold weather. Then, there are other insects that avoid the winter by burrowing under the ground, hiding under water that has frozen, or making their way indoors – into our homes. Winter survival results in creative measures. Insects are much more intelligent than we give them credit. Many have mastered the art of migrating during winter and even finding ways to avoid it completely.
- Physiological Capabilities – There are many insects that have the physical ability to remain safe and survive the plummeting temperatures associated with the winter months. For example, spiders have the ability to withstand the cold. While these arachnids may attempt to discover more suitable habitation when the outdoor temperatures reach an exceptionally frigid point, this is not always necessary. Then, there are those that will huddle together to maintain warmth. The honeybee is one example. Numerous insects are capable of living from a fat reserve or a blood meal. The mosquito will do this after becoming dormant in the winter.
- Insulated Locations – Believe it or not, there are many insulated locations around the exterior of our homes during the winter months. Examples include piles of leaves, wood that has been stacked, and even under the snow! Many insects will seek out these insulated locations and will remain there until warmer temperatures start to occur in the spring months.
- Live Freezing – Did you know that there are insects out there that have glycerol in their blood that allows them to freeze, but remain alive? While seemingly unbelievable, it is true! This substance is comparable to anti-freeze in vehicles. The insects that have this substance in their body go into a state of animation. They may even appear to be deceased; however, they are still alive. When the temperatures warm up, they go through a type of thawing process and return, alive and crawling!
- Egg Sacrifices – Many insects are born to just mate, lay their eggs, and pass on. Many insects do this. When winter arrives, they will die immediately after laying their eggs. Naturally, these eggs are capable of surviving through the harsh weather conditions, but the adults that laid them are not capable of surviving. When the temperatures heat up, the eggs will hatch and the new generation of the species will emerge into the world.
What Happens to Cockroaches During the Winter Months?
Cockroaches are resilient creatures, but they lack the ability to survive near-freezing or below-freezing temperatures. Due to this, most will attempt to find an indoor location that offers some degree of warmth. These insects typically reproduce at a much slower rate in cold weather. They also go through a diapause state in order to survive.
What Happens to Ants During the Winter?
Most ants have the capability to go underground in order to protect themselves from cold temperatures. It is not at all uncommon for entire colonies to die off by the end of the season, though. There are some ants – such as the Argentine Ant – that will nest in pine trees during the winter. The bark pulls in sunlight and helps keep the insect warmer.
What Happens to Ticks During the Cold Season?
Ticks will do what they are capable of doing to survive winter. This may include hibernating, reducing their activity level, and the glycerol in the body may be used for preservation. Many species may engage in a certain amount of activity in order to find blood meals during the winter months. Others may go through a period of inactivity where nothing is pursued at all.
What Happens to Bed Bugs During the Winter?
Bed bugs are capable of withstanding cold temperatures; however, they will commonly try to hitchhike into a warm environment – such as a home – to stay during the cold weather. These insects are highly resilient and very difficult to control in any environment.
Where Do Pantry Pests Go in the Winter?
Pantry pests typically do not experience any complications during the winter, as long as they remain indoors. If they are outside and attempt to come indoors, they may actually die in their effort. Surprisingly, though, most will display a high level of creativity in discovering a safe place to hide during extreme weather conditions.
What Happens to Rodents When It is Cold Outside?
Rodents will stop at no means to discover a location that provides warmth in the winter months. They most commonly invade dark, quiet areas that offer protection from outdoor temperatures. This includes attics, crawlspaces, basements, closets, and even cupboards. These creatures will even get inside of the walls because of the warmth of the electrical and plumbing components of the structure. Unfortunately, they cause a lot of damage – most of which is when it is cold outside. They can fit in extremely small spaces. Make certain that they have no access points, or your home may be their next target.
How to Reduce the Possibility for an Infestation This Winter
There are many steps that you may take to protect your home from pests this winter. First, eliminate all sources of moisture. This means, fixing leaks, repairing drains, and other components that produce moisture. You should never leave water sources outside of your home. Next, make sure that there are no food sources available for pests. Make certain that all windows are covered with screens that are in good shape and that the chimney has a screened vent. All dark, unused areas of your home should be ventilated and kept as dry and clutter-free as possible.
If you want to pest-proof your home for the upcoming winter months, contact us here at All Pest Exterminating today. Not only can we help you with the process, we offer a comprehensive pest control treatment program that is sure to keep all those pesky little creatures away from your home.