It’s a known fact that most insects tend to disappear during the winter. But the
question is where do they go and can cold weather kill those bugs? More importantly, will the cold weather exterminate them for a more pleasant spring? Here is what we know about the winter tendencies of our six legged friends.
For us to know if cold weather can kill insects, we need to understand what insects usually do during the winter. There are three main paths bugs can take to survive.
Diapause is the insect equivalent of hibernation. Insects like beetles are excellent at stowing away in safe, warmer places to lie dormant until spring. They usually
burrow into the ground, inside logs, under rocks, or in any crack they can find. Ants have tunnels that are already underground, which makes their survival an easy task, while bees stay in their safe hives for the winter. In addition, some insect populations do not come from adults surviving the winter, but their eggs doing so in their place.
Some insects that cannot withstand harsh winters opt to relocate to warmer
climates. Butterflies and dragonflies migrate south in large groups. However, the
insects that return in the spring are not the same ones that fled during the winter. Once in warmer weather, insects reproduce and die, leaving their offspring to make the journey north when spring returns.
Insects that cannot survive under cold conditions but are not able to migrate or
diapause tend to seek warmth wherever they can. In most cases, they find their way into homes and other places where people spend their time. Houses are a safe haven, providing everything an insect could want; warmth, shelter, and food. That is why it is important to be vigilant in preventing uninvited pest guests in your home this winter.
What kind of cold does it take to kill bugs?
So how cold does it have to be for insects to start dying off during the winter? The answer varies from species to species. Some insects have evolved and have the ability to “supercool” or become frost resistant. For those who are not so lucky, when the weather drops below freezing, the chances of surviving are drastically lower. However, it is important to note how long the cold persists along with how cold the weather actually gets. Some insect species will die after a few hours, while others like termites can survive up to ten days in frigid weather. When we in Virginia have relatively mild winters, we see the termite issues increase. It’s rare that we have enough days in a row of really cold temperatures to kill them.
Long story short, excessively and consistently cold weather may eliminate the occurrences of more pests in the springtime. It will all be up to mother nature! Have a great winter!
CONTACT Holistic Pest Solutions if you need a free consultation for treatment of any pests; or give us a call at 434 842 1700. Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Palmyra, Keswick, Ivy, Crozet, Earlysville, Greene, Madison, Waynesboro, or Staunton, Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect plan for you that is mindful of your family and our Earth!
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