There are any number of families that head south for the winter months to warmer weather. In certain regions, those people are known as snowbirds. It’s not, for the most part, that they can’t survive the cold weather; they just prefer a warmer climate. But what about insects that literally can’t survive cold weather? What happens to pests during winter? Do they die? Do they hibernate like bears or migrate like some birds do? The answer is… yes. All of the above. Mother Nature has instilled in insects, as it has in many animals, the drive to survive under any circumstances by whatever means necessary. Climate and its severity are the major consideration when it comes to whether or not pests can stay behind when the weather snaps. Let’s take a look at how pests survive the winter months.
Hibernation – It’s Not Just for Bears
Many people associate hibernation with bears. They climb into a cave, go to sleep, and wake up in spring refreshed and revitalized. Bears are not the only ones that drop into a dormant state for the winter months. Some mosquitoes, paper wasps, and ladybugs are just an example of pests that hibernate in the crevices of rocks, inside hollow trees, or under leaves and bark until the weather is warm again. Some creatures, like moths, form cocoons in which to complete their development and hatch from them in the spring in their new form.
Get To Know The Process Known As Overwintering
We may all know about hibernation, but not everyone has heard of a process called overwintering. Under the bark of trees, inside buildings, and under the fallen leaves in forests, some insects pass the time simply waiting out the colder seasons. Box elders and honeybees are an example of insects that seek this kind of shelter from temperatures that are considered frigid. Until winter subsides, these species’ activity is reduced, literally, to nothing but breathing. Of course, rodents, cockroaches, spiders and some other pests take up residence in our homes and other buildings to wait out the winter months so their overwintering period is considerably more active and, clearly, far comfier.
Some Species Migrate
One would think that more than just humans and birds would migrate and that is exactly the case when it comes to certain insects. Monarch butterflies are possibly the most well-known migration when it comes to insights. Santa Barbara California is the winter home two monarchs that normally live west of the Rockies. A winter gathering in a forest in central Mexico’s Oyamel takes place each year by monarchs that live east of North America’s Rocky Mountains. These species of insect determine the distance they will travel for the purpose of migration.
In order to survive a harsh winter, insects will do whatever it takes. They are, after all, built to survive. Their precise method of winter survival depends largely on instinct and their geographic location. And even those that die leave behind the next generation of creepy, crawly creatures in the form of eggs that will be ready to hatch in spring. The best way to fight these insects is through methods that kill not only the live pests but the eggs/larva/pupae left behind as well.