QUESTION: Where do bugs go in winter?
ANSWER: Insects can adapt to survive many different climates and changes in weather conditions. Insects will go through behavioral and/or physiological changes to adapt to cold temperatures and increase their chances of survival during the winter. Many insects maintain a low level of activity during winter months while other enter a hibernation state.
Insects also survive through winter with partial dehydration and reduced feeding, which reduces the chances of excess water in their bodies freezing. Some insects can survive in certain stages of growth that are more protective from the elements, such as eggs in an egg sac or pupae in a hard cocoon, both of which do not require food or water.
Overwintering insects will seek out dry, protected areas such as bricks, wood piles, and mulch as they can provide shelter in cold weather. The lights and warm air coming from your home can also attract many insects to overwinter inside your house.
Some common overwintering pests to watch for in your home are:
- Cluster Flies: These flies do not present any health hazards. They are slow moving flies that hatch in late summer and early fall. They can be present in very large numbers and are difficult to eradicate once inside a home. These flies are usually located in attics, window frames, and wall or roof cavities.
- Asian Lady Beetles: These beetles produce an unpleasant odor when frightened or crushed and can stain surfaces. They have also been known to bite humans. Asian Lady Beetles enter homes in winter months by the thousands through any crack, crevice, or opening and gather in warm places once inside.
- Boxedler Bugs: These bugs become a nuisance when they enter homes in the fall. They will crawl into houses from the ground level but can also fly to higher elevations. They enter through chimneys, electrical wiring cut-outs, doorways, and windows. They will congregate in warm places in a home.
- Stink Bugs: Stink bugs are highly attracted to light. External and interior lights should be reducing during times of heavy stink bug movement. They search for shelter in late summer and become a nuisance inside homes.
At Poulin’s Pest Control, we’re experts in elimination of pest problems. If you want to take care of the problem yourself, we carry a number of products to assist with many pest problems, and if you need our help, our technicians are standing by. Remember – there’s no foolin’ with Poulin.