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How Do Pests Handle the Colder Temperatures?

There is a stark difference in the activity of winter insects as opposed to warm seasons. As we are welcoming fall, notice fewer and fewer insects invading your home. It should be clear that the cooler weather and colder temperatures influence insects, but do you really know why?

When it gets closer to winter, insects will face life or death conditions. Cold weather can mean the end of some insects, but it really is not the end. Their mission in life is to reproduce, and by the time winter comes around, many insects have completed this mission. Those insects will spend their final days preparing for the next generation, laying eggs in sheltered areas, or providing larvae with food and shelter to survive the winter. 

Other insects escape the cold on a one-way trip to migrate. These insects, like the Monarch Butterfly, venture south to reproduce, die, and then send the next generation back to continue the cycle. Some migrating insects are always on the move. The dragonfly, for example, continuously moves to warmer climates, bouncing from north to south and back again.

Amazingly, some insects will battle the elements and wait out the cold temperatures. Particular insects in extreme latitudes can survive ice formation within their tissues, creating a natural antifreeze, so to speak. The woolly bear moth can use its antifreeze to stop the formation of ice crystals, allowing the insects to survive until they thaw.

The next defense mechanism some insects have is to avoid the freeze. These insects end up retreating into rotting trees, burying themselves in soil or hunkering down in homes or buildings to wait out the cold weather.

Typical warm weather insects, like ants or bees, will cluster together either underground or within their hive, using each other to prevent freezing by a combined effort. However, other pests like termites or wasps can make a safe space within your home. Termite activity slows down in the winter, but will still continue their work to keep themselves and their queen fed.

Just because it will be cold outside does not mean that you can forget about those typical insects seen in and around your home. Some might still be active, while others are waiting for spring. If you suspect that there are unwanted guests in your home this winter, call Van Den Berge Pest Control at 616-392-7367. 

Trust the locally owned, widely renowned experts at Van Den Berge Pest Control for all of your pest needs. With over 100 years of combined experience throughout the Holland, MI-based pest control team, you know you’re in good hands with our state-certified experts.

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