What happens to insects in the winter?

Have you ever wondered what happens to bugs and insects in winter?

Though Bakersfield and Ventura don’t get nearly as cold as other parts of the country, we do see a significant change in bug and pest activity in the winter. Some pests may move on to warmer climates, several overwinter, a few die, and yes, some will try to move inside. Curious which insects will come inside, and which will die off? Read on for more information:


Monarch Butterflies and Dragonflies:monarch butterflies insects in winter

Some butterfly and dragonfly varieties will die off before winter sets in, but not the migratory types, such as Monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies are renowned for their winter migration pattern, where they typically travel down to warmer climates such as Mexico, for the winter months. In addition, migrating dragonfly colonies will travel south for winter, and nymphs of the non-migrating dragonflies will survive in the water until spring.



Did you know there are indoor and outdoor spiders, and most indoor spiders have never been outside? In fact, most would not be able to survive outside. So, as the conditions inside your home do not change in the winter, neither will the amount of spiders you see inside your home. Outside spiders, however, is a different story. While they are fairly dormant in the winter, these spiders are cold blooded, and are not affected by the weather unless temperatures drop below freezing. This is because they carry a sort of ‘antifreeze’ product in their bodies that prevents them from freezing – however, the cooler temperatures do affect their level of activity, just like other cold blooded animals, like snakes.


Bees, Wasps, and Ladybugs:

These winged creatures all choose to hibernate as a means of surviving the cold winter months. Ladybugs, for example, will hide under rocks to stack together to protect themselves from the elements. Bees and wasps will also gather together in hives and nests where they will survive off of stored food until warmer weather arrives.


Termites and Ants: 

Similar to the winged creatures above, termites and ants will make themselves comfortable below the frost line, where they will feast on stored food and wait out the chilly weather.



cocoon on branch insects in winter

Crickets are one of the few that actually die off before every winter. Before these adults die in the fall though, they lay eggs that will hatch in spring. As mentioned above, some butterfly and dragonfly populations also die before the cold comes, but leave larvae behind that will survive until spring, such as in the picture to the right.



Well we’ve saved the best for last. Did you know that most cockroaches have a hard time staying alive below a temperature of 15 degrees Fahrenheit? While that means several varieties can survive outdoors, the American Cockroach cannot. Yes, that means this is insect most likely to move inside during winter to find food, heat and water. This also means winter is the most important time to create a plan of attack against roaches!


During this season, you may see more pest activity inside your home, and less outside. If you have not had a pest control inspection done on the inside of your recently, now is a good time to do so. Please give us a call to schedule your next pest control inspection or service.

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