Where Do Insects Go In The Winter?

When the cooler months arrive down south, the world begins to be a little bit quieter. The familiar sounds of cicada chatter, the whine of mosquitos, and the buzz of honeybees dissipate as the ground freezes over. Most people assume that pests just die in the winter, or migrate to a warmer climate in Mexico or south Florida. That assumption is partially true, but the reality of where pests go in the winter is much more fascinating than simple migration. If you’ve been curious, read on to see where pests actually go in the winter.


Do Pests Die In The Winter?

Some common household pests do die in the winter. Most notably, ticks die off when temperatures drop below 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Mosquitos have an even lower threshold, as they become unable to function when winter temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The pests that die off in the winter typically leave eggs behind that can survive in lower climates, or migrate and mate again once temperatures rise.


Do Pests Hibernate In The Winter?

Many insects indeed opt for the hibernation route, with some even freezing completely and de-thawing once warmer temperatures come again in the spring. Bees are one of the best examples of insects that hibernate in the winter. When temperatures drop, honeybees will return to their hive and form a protective huddle around their queen. In this huddle, they will vibrate their wings to create warmth, and even rotate the bees on the outer edge of the huddle so that they don’t get too cold and die.


Where Insects Migrate In The Winter

There are two kinds of insect migration during the winter. There’s the kind of migration where bugs travel down to warmer climates in the southern United States and Mexico, and the kind of migration where insects simply move to a warmer space in their immediate area, usually homes and businesses, but sometimes sheds, barns, and hollow trees.


Monarch butterflies are the only known species of butterfly to make two-way migrations like birds do, spending the colder months in Mexico and California and returning up north in the spring. Other butterfly species reproduce before dying off and the larvae are able to survive the cold winter.

As for the insects that overwinter, there are many different kinds of migration. Ants make tunnels deep in the ground and spend the winter in the earth. Unfortunately for many homeowners, the most common migration is for pests to head inside their homes. Spiders, cockroaches, beetles, and many more all spend the winter in warm garages, basements, and other dark cracks of warm homes.


How To Prevent Pests From Moving In During The Winter

While it’s natural for pests to find a warmer climate in the winter, it doesn’t have to be your home that they find their overwintering shelter. There are a few simple ways to avoid pests spending the winter in your home.

Take precautions like checking weatherstripping, patching holes and cracks in your home’s exterior, making sure there are no gaps in your garage door, and storing firewood away from your home, as it is often the first place where insects will take shelter in the winter.

Another way to prevent pests from taking up residence in the winter is to watch out for moisture. Pests thrive in moist climates so take care of any leaky pipes, and keep areas where they may make their home like basements and garages dry and well ventilated.


If you notice pests taking up residence in your home during the winter, or any time of year, be sure to call Advanced Pest Control of Alabama to take care of it. With over 25 years of pest control expertise, Advanced Pest Control can keep your home pest-free this winter, and all year long.