Where Do Insects Go in Winter? Winter and its Effect on Insect Populations

Winter Trees

I’ve been asked many times what impact a really cold or mild winter has on insect populations. It is a good question and one that begs a better answer than the actual truth… a really cold or mild winter does not make much of a difference for the survival of insect populations.

Insects have been around for millions of years and have endured all sorts of weather patterns. Because of this they have adapted to survive and persist despite the winter weather.

But Where Do Insects Go in the Winter?

Many insects simply enter a dormant stage called diapause. It can occur in winter, or summer, and is a fairly common occurrence. Many insects have the ability to dehydrate themselves during the winter. Even the insects that may sneak into your house in the fall to escape the winter often dehydrate themselves.

Fly

If you’re wondering where insects go in the winter, check your windows. They hide on window sills and window edges as they wait for the return of warmer temperatures.

As a result, you may see a fly or Multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle flying around your house on a warm, sunny day in January. The warmth of the sun coming in through the window allows them to re-hydrate and they will then attempt to fly around. If you’ve seen this, you may have noticed that the insect flies in a zig-zag pattern, and that they are very easy to catch in mid-flight.

What Effect Does Winter Have on Insects like the Emerald Ash Borer?

Many people thought the recent “Polar Vortex” of 2014 would reduce Emerald Ash Borer populations. While it may have reduced the populations in some areas in the far north, the overall average mortality rate was only about 5% or so. This is because the cold weather didn’t last long enough to result in a greater impact on populations. Also, even in cold weather the sun will warm-up a tree enough so that the larva stays warm and is protected from the bitter cold.
The reality is that each year we will never know what will happen during the months of winter. The one thing that we do know is that insect populations are not greatly affected by the winter weather. And yes, they will still be a problem in lawns and landscapes when spring comes along!

Spring-Green offers an array of insect control services, from flea and tick control and mosquito control in certain markets to perimeter pest control, which prevents spiders, ants and other critters from entering your home. Get in touch with your local Spring-Green to find out more about our guaranteed insect control services.