Happy New Year! If you haven’t noticed, it’s gotten quite chilly outside. Even though there isn’t much snow sticking to the ground, it’s still cold enough to make anyone shiver! With these cooler temps, we don’t see nearly as many bugs hanging around outside. So, where exactly do those pesky bugs go in the winter months? Well, our Clark Exterminating team put their heads together to figure it out for you.
Like mammals, many adult insects hibernate during the winter. Hibernation, by definition, means, “to spend the winter sleeping or resting.” Don’t we all wish we could spend the cold winter bundled up next to the fire? Here are Clark, we definitely do.
Bugs might not fatten themselves up like a bear; however, they do try to find warm, dry places to settle in for their long winter’s nap. So, where exactly do they go? Some bugs seek shelter in the wild, under logs, rocks, and leaves and inside trees. Some bugs are a little more refined and look for a cozier place for the winter. Places like your nice, warm house will appeal to those bugs seeking shelter.
You’ve probably seen ladybugs around your house this winter. Ladybugs are notorious for seeking shelter inside homes during the winter months. Along with ladybugs, stinkbugs and wasps are also known for coming into homes to hibernate. They can sneak into your home through chimneys, air conditioning units, attic vents, and holes in your home’s foundation.
Not all bugs hibernate during the winter, though. As you know, most birds fly south for the winter; but, did you know some bugs also do this? Like birds, a lot of insects fly or migrate south to escape the cold temperatures of their normal home. Monarch butterflies are best known for using this strategy to survive the winter. Most of us would love to escape to a warm, sandy beach during the winter. Monarch butterflies migrate to central Mexico when the weather gets frigid.
All of these adult insects use the above-mentioned strategies to stay warm during the winter. What about baby insects though? Overwintering is a strategy used by larval or immature insects to survive the winter months. These insects produce proteins in their bodies that they use as “antifreeze.” These proteins keep the insects’ body fluids from freezing. This process, called “supercooling,” can help raise insects’ body fluids’ freezing point to keep them from freezing to death. Some of these bugs can “supercool” to survive in temperatures as low as -29 degrees!! (Let’s hope the temperatures don’t get anywhere that low in Arkansas.) It’s still pretty impressive that some bugs can stand up to those temps without a winter coat.
While we may enjoy the lack of bugs during the winter months, winter does turn to spring, and spring to summer. And as the temperatures get warmer, bugs become more and more active. When you do start to see those not-so-welcome guests, call Clark Exterminating for all of your pest control needs:
Little Rock and North Little Rock: (501) 758-0322
Benton: (501) 776-1388
Conway: (501) 329-0396
Hot Springs: (501) 623-2335