Where Do Insects Go in the Winter Time?

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

Winter is the time of the year which we wait for impatiently because bugs disappear. But how true is this statement? Sure, there are no mosquitoes or fly swarms outside, but have you noticed that there seem to be more pests in your home in the winter time? 

So, where do insects go in the winter time? Bugs like bees, ticks, wasps, mosquitoes disappear into thin air, but then there are others that we see in our own homes. 

Keep reading to find out what happens to bugs in winter. 

Where do bugs go in the winter?

Do spiders hibernate?

Contrary to popular belief, most spider species do not invade our homes when the temperatures drop. Some species of spiders actually do hibernate, while most simply die off if it gets too cold. Otherwise, they may seek some outdoor shelter and survive through the winter because spiders are cold-blooded and more adapted to it than us humans.

One exception to this is the Brown Recluse Spider, from which we have plenty of in the UK. They are most likely to try and hide inside your home. On the other hand, most spiders that hang from cobwebs in your home have been there before the winter. 

One thing you should know is that spiders lay eggs before the winter and the eggs can survive the cold temperatures and emerge as adults in spring. 

Do flies hibernate?

The larvae or pupae of the flies can survive through the winter in a dormant state. Adult flies have a lifespan of no more than 15-24 days and they do not hibernate. What may happen is that the female adults lay eggs in warm places in autumn. 

Do fleas die in winter?

Adult fleas die in winter when the temperatures outside drop. However, if the fleas are inside your home they will remain active. The pupae stage of the fleas can be dormant in colder areas such as your basement but as soon as temperatures begin to rise, they will infest your house. When temperatures outside drop below 3-4 degrees Celsius, fleas die no matter in which stage of their life cycle they are. 

Do wasps hibernate in winter?

Yes, they do. Come autumn, wasps seek warm places where they can spend the coldest months. Naturally, many of the wasps from a nest die off in autumn but the ones that survive must hibernate. Very often the ones that survive are the queen wasps so they can begin the nest anew when the time comes. Wasps hibernate in hollow trees or holes in buildings’ structure. They will not enter your home in seek of shelter. 

Check also:

Wasps vs Hoverfly

Difference between: Wasps, Bees, Hornets

Insects that come out in winter

When we say ‘come out’ we mean in our homes. In winter, there are no insects outdoors because it’s simply too cold for them to survive and there’s no food. So, here are the top 5 insects that come out in winter:

Cockroaches 

Cockroaches are not afraid of the winter. They are alive and active all year round, some months more than others. In winter, they can be spotted in your home as well. Take some timely measures yourself, like placing baits and poison but if they don’t work, call a professional cockroach exterminator for help as they use stronger products. 

Spiders

Most of the spiders you’ll have in your home in winter are already there. They will not rush to your home once the temperatures drop. However, you can bring spiders inside with firewood. Some species, like the Brown Recluse Spider in the UK, may invade your home for shelter and food, as both will be gone outdoors in the winter.

Fleas

Fleas are parasites that are attracted to the warmth of your pet’s body. Naturally, when temperatures outside drop they must quickly find a host to survive on. This can quickly turn into a flea infestation in your home. Once they are inside in a warm environment with an abundance of food they will reproduce rapidly.

Flies

When the temperatures decrease flies may quickly get oriented to find an entrance to your home. Well, those that are alive. Since they are not cold-blooded they are not suitable to survive for long outside. Adult flies do not have a long lifespan, so they may quickly die off even after they’ve hidden from the cold in your home. But they can lay eggs around your home which when hatched can turn into an infestation.

Ants 

Since winter is a time of food scarcity for animals outside, ants are very likely to come looking for food indoors. If there’s an easy entryway to your home and food scraps easily available, you could get an ant infestation in the winter.

Check also:

What bugs come out in spring

Why do you get more bugs in winter?

Not all insects are dormant during the cold months. Some species remain active throughout the entire year. Naturally, as the temperatures outdoors drop and there is no food available, the vermin start looking for shelter and food. Your home provides both in abundance. That’s why you get more bugs in winter. 

As soon as they can find an entrance into your home they will make it their own as well. Rodents such as rats, mice and squirrels are the most common home invaders, and so are some insect species. 

What is more, you can bring bugs inside your home with firewood or with your laundry. So, pay attention when you’re bringing these two types of items inside of your home. Waggle the laundry and pieces of firewood before going inside. 

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Prevention is key 

To stop insects and rodents from entering your home, you have to ensure that there are no entryways. Inspect your house for gaps or cracks in walls and floors, holes, loose windows or doors, etc. Inspect the roof as well.

Other things you can do to keep pests away in winter or any other season:

  • Regularly take out the trash;
  • Regularly wipe kitchen counters and vacuum;
  • Install window and door nets;
  • Keep pantry and food well sealed;
  • Do not leave standing water anywhere inside or around your house;
  • Buy a drain cover to use when you’re not at home.

If pests get inside even after all of your preventive measures, you will need to get a professional pest control expert to take a look at the premise.

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