Where Oh Where Did The Little Pests Go? Do Pests Die Off In The Winter Months?
While many species of birds migrate and bears and many other mammals hibernate, we are often asked the question, “Where do pests go during the winter?” The answer to this question is specific to the species of pest in question. Many insects have adapted to ensure the continuation of their species by over-wintering as eggs, larval, or pupal stages from which they emerge in the springtime. Learn more about specific pests and their survival tactics below.
Termites in a temperature control structure such as a house have the ability to be active year-round. For those more exposed to the elements, different species have varying tactics for survival. Subterranean termites dig deeper into the soil to a level below the frost line to stay warm while dry wood termites often seek shelter in dried wood. In the spring, when temperatures reach about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, activity within the colony increases and swarms are often encountered.
Activity for mosquitoes is most common during summer months when water temperatures support the growth/development of larvae. Bites sustained during these times occur with mature females as part of their reproductive cycle. Adult mosquitoes over-winter/hibernate inside of hollow logs and other sheltered areas.
Ant colonies that are located outdoors rarely show signs of activity during cold winter months. They are extremely successful at over-wintering due to their ability to store food within the colony. During the fall, ants indulge in large quantities of food, building up fat from which they can sustain themselves for several weeks without eating. As winter makes an appearance, the colonies seal up their entrances and the ants decrease both their activity level and body temperatures in order to survive until spring arrives.
Bed bugs of course are considered to be an indoor pest where access to their food source is most readily available. Bed bugs however are hardy creatures that can withstand temperatures from freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, our homes provide not only the blood meals that bed bugs need to survive, we provide adequate temperatures as well.
Evolving and adapting for roughly a million years, cockroaches are masters of survival. As long as they have access to a warm, moist environment, most species of cockroaches have the ability to thrive. Cockroach species that are commonly found outside such as American and Oriental Cockroaches will often mass migrate into structures when temperatures exceed or plummet beyond their thresholds in order to survive.