Skip to Main Content

Winter vs Insects

Mother Winter Vs. Insects
When you put these two opponents in the ring together, which one is more likely to outlast the other? A common question that is asked frequently is: “Doesn’t the cold bite of winter kill off insects?”. If there is one word I would use to describe most insects it would be “Survivalist”. I would say you have a pretty good handle on surviving once you consider that insects have been on the earth for 300 million years. Not too shabby.
While winter is not something that insects anxiously await, they are great at preparing for it. Most importantly, they are built to withstand it. Winter is made easier to survive when the cold gradually sets in, stays cold, and then gradually gets warmer in the spring. Even without those ideal circumstances, insects know how to survive some of the nastiest winters.

Insects survive due to hibernation right?
Insects do not hibernate. Hibernation is something that usually is only done by warm blooded animals. Insects are cold blooded, it’s not out of the norm for their body temperature to be real close to the air temperature. When the temperature drops insects go into a state that is referred to as diapause. Diapause is essentially what my dad does each Sunday. He nestles into his favorite place on the couch and then enters into a very dormant state as the soothing effects of Sunday football wash over him. It is a very dormant, and inactive state. Insects can enter into diapause alone, or possibly as a group. A common household invader are flying insects such as wasps. As the cold air sets in they retreat into the eaves, attics, or even chimneys of homes where they enter into a dormant state and ball up together awaiting the warmer weather of spring time.

Environment is Critical
Overall winter conditions and along with it habitats can be crucial in an insect’s survival. There are many factors that play into an insects ability to survive a long frigid winter. The type of winter we have does play into the game of forecasting next year’s insect populations, and when we will see certain populations emerge in the spring. One thing we can’t do is watch the calendar highly anticipating winter so those pesky ants will finally die off and never return. Rest assured those tiny house guest will most likely be back again for next year’s Thanksgiving dinner unless a more permanent solution is put into effect.

Winter cannot be your Pest Control Solution
Hopefully now you understand that insects want to survive just as much as anyone else, and are well equipped to do it. While they do not have their own personal thermostat to stay toasty, they do have great instincts. It’s those instincts that will keep them on this planet with us for another 300 million years. If your pest management strategy included subzero weather, make one of your news year’s resolutions to call one of our specialists for a free in home inspection. We would love to help!