What Happens to Bugs in the Winter? Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve lived in Southern California for long enough, you know that the warm climate is what attracts pests. Summer and spring seasons are known for mosquito bites, ant infestations, and cockroaches in the sink. But what about the wintertime? You may be surprised to hear that some bugs do come out in the winter, even in California.

In this article, we’re going to share what bugs do in the winter and which pests to look out for when it’s cold outside. As a property owner, it’s vital to know where bugs are hiding and how to prevent them from making their way into your space. If you’d like to know where bugs go in the winter and what they do when it’s cold outside, keep reading to find out!

What Do Bugs Do in The Winter?

Although bugs aren’t as prominent during colder months as they are during summer and springtime, you should still be aware of bugs in and around your home. There are quite a few ways bugs survive during the winter. While some insects migrate to warmer temperatures, other insects take advantage of the sleepy season and hibernate, lay eggs, or carry on with their normal routine. Let’s take a look at what these bugs do in each of these 4 situations.

  1. Migrate: Leaving to Find a Warmer Home
    A few types of insects move to warmer areas before the temperature drops in their current home. Monarch butterflies are one of the most well-known migrating insects. Every year, these butterflies fly thousands of miles from the US and Canada to Mexico. Once they arrive in the sunny weather, they’ll wait until their original home is warm enough to go back to. Other insects that migrate include green darner dragonflies, large milkweed bugs, and painted lady butterflies.
  2. Hibernate: Seeking Shelter From the Cold
    Countless bugs wait out the colder months by hibernating. There are a few different ways insects hibernate in the winter. For example, larvae protect themselves from the cold with an antifreeze-like layer over their body to keep warm. Larvae grow and mature while they wait for their climate to warm up. Female ladybugs, box elder bugs, and ants hibernate by seeking out cozy shelter in local properties, under loose bark, or inside tree cavities. A couple of these hibernating insects also form a glycerol antifreeze gel layer around their bodies to stay insulated during colder seasons. Bed bugs also survive in the cold by finding shelter in nearby properties where the temperature inside matches what they need. Don’t be surprised if you go for a vacation during winter and come back to a bed bug infestation. Yikes!Another form of hibernation is “cocooning.” These bugs, often called “cocooning insects,” use this strategy to get through the cold months. Once springtime hits, these insects emerge as adults from their cocoons. Moths in the Silkworm Family, Saturniidae, are commonly found attached to plant branches and emerge as adults in the spring.
  3. Lay Eggs: Preparing for the Next Generation
    Some bugs die in the winter and let the next generation take over. Spiders, for instance, often lay their eggs and die, leaving their offspring behind. This is the primary goal of insects: mate, lay eggs, and die. With each egg sac laid, 500 to 1,000 spiders can hatch—that’s a lot of spiders left behind to mate, lay eggs, and continue the cycle! A spider usually wraps their egg sac during winter to protect it from the cooler temperatures. After the eggs hatch, the baby spiders can adapt to a variety of environments. The praying mantis is another insect that lays eggs in the winter and dies off, allowing the upcoming generation to live on.
  4. Stay Active: Tough Out the Colder Months
    It may come as a surprise, but there are a few types of insects that stick to their normal routine in the winter with a few strategies to stay warm. Honey bees, for example, stay in their hives during winter and form clusters to protect their queen and block off the frigid temperatures. Termites survive the cold weather by burrowing deep underground. Some termite colonies have been found 40 inches below the ground staying completely active during the winter. Other insects stay put in their habitat and feast on fat preserves. Mosquitos, for example, go dormant and survive off a blood meal for months on end.

Your Property is Bugs’ New Winter Home

Now that we’ve explored where bugs go in the winter, it’s time to explain how this affects you. While the migrating bugs won’t bother you in the winter, the pests that hibernate, lay eggs, or stay active all pose a threat to your property, even in the coldest seasons. Countless species including bed bugs, spiders, and rodents seek out winter shelter in nearby homes or businesses. Your property could be their new shield from the cold! 

Property owners commonly make the mistake of putting off pest control until the warmer seasons and think that bugs don’t come out in the winter. This can work until you find a spider’s egg sac in your basement or termites seeking warmth in your home’s attic. When spring comes along, the pest problems only perpetuate with eggs hatching and new insects coming back after a long winter’s nap. It’s time to stop these pests before they become a dangerous issue.

Preventive Pest Control Will Protect Your Property in the Winter

Don’t let the bugs take charge during winter. Preventive Pest Control is here year-round to help you treat and prevent pest problems. For 20 years, we’ve helped Southern California residents in the Inland Empire and Orange County prevent and exterminate all types of pests ranging from rodents to cockroaches. In the wintertime, we’ll treat your attic and other areas where bugs tend to hibernate, lay eggs, and hide out for the season. With our winter pest control services, insects and eggs are eliminated before they get a chance to react to the warm weather and come out of hiding. If you take care of that potentially large problem during cold seasons, it can help prevent pest infestations on your property when it warms up!

Preventive Pest Control can service your home any time of year. From the active summer or springtime to the cooler months when pesky guests are sure to sneak into your home, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with our exterminators to get your winter pest control scheduled, and stop those pests from setting foot on your property.