Over Wintering Pests

Over Wintering Pests

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Where do bugs go in the winter? 

Have you ever noticed when it turns cold bugs just seem to disappear?  Where do they go? A common myth is that insects die when it gets cold.  Is this true?  The answer is no.  Insects go through a process called Overwintering.

There are two forms of overwintering, Migration and Diapause. During migration insects will leave the area they call home to find warmer conditions that are more tolerable for survival. Another more interesting form of overwintering is called Diapause.

What is diapause?  Diapause is a period of suspended or arrested development during an insect’s life cycle. Diapause can be accomplished in all life stages including eggs, larvae, pupae, nymphs and adults.  During diapause insects will hide under or within tree bark, in or under fallen trees or limbs, in leaf litter, under dead plants or grasses, in burrows or holes dug into the side of a tree or under leaves and rocks.

Typically we never see this process unless they find our home as their source of overwintering, and even then we may not even know they are there.  Insects will find places to hide in window seals, behind doors, in our attics and even wall voids.  When temperatures begin to warm, insects will awaken from the diapause state they are in and begin to move around again completing their life cycle.

What can we do to prevent this phenomenon from occurring in our homes? 

I would recommend staying on a scheduled treatment regimen.  I usually recommend getting your home treated on a quarterly rotation, where an application is made once every 3 months.  This will provide a barrier around the perimeter of your home helping prevent insects from using your home as a refuge.  Also, interior treatments inside of your home, attic, basement or crawlspace will eliminate anything that has found its way in.

If you stay on a routine treatment schedule you will greatly reduce the risk of have pest issues during the winter months.