Outdoor conditions dictate that most insects, arachnids and other winged and multi-limbed horrors enter a hibernating or inactive state. Being cold blooded insect activity is much curtailed during the colder months. Collectively these pests utilize various means to endure winter weather. Overwintering larvae, these bugs pass the winter in an immature larvae state. The burrow deep into the ground or they introduce glycerol to their system fluids replacing water. Glycerol is a natural type of antifreeze.
What Bugs Live in Ice?
Dragonfly, stonefly and mayfly nymphs live in waters, streams and ponds insulated by the ice. These are active living feeding organisms that grow through the winter and emerge as adults come the spring.
Some Insects Overwinter
Another winter adaptive strategy is to overwinter as eggs or pupae. Praying mantis, a beneficial insect and the Corn rootworms a destructive bug utilizes the egg tactic to survive winter. Moths and the silkworm related over winter as pupae. A lot of bugs just hibernate over the winter in their adult state. Lady bugs, the larger wasps spend the winters in hibernation. Other winter homes for these insects are holes in tress, under leaf litter and other out of the way crooks and crannies waiting out the winter, only to emerge and haunt our summers.
Do Insects Migrate in Winter
The most distressing survival mechanism for us, is migration, especially for those pesky bugs that migrate into the home and share our accommodations indoors. The predators follow the prey and so we have winter spiders and scorpions. Ants will be active year round if indoors.
How Do Bugs Affect Humans?
Indicators of winter bugs are of course sightings. But if you see predatory arachnids, the spiders and scorpions they are living off of something, indicating a big problem. Monthly or bi-monthly winter visits by the ‘the bug man’ will keep your over wintering guests in check. We have to balance our health with a co-existence with nature. The problem is the bugs can be lethal. Many diseases use bugs as a vector to infect us. Many allergy suffers are at risk to exposure to insect detritus and toxic stings and bites of the predatory bugs. Nature is fine, as long it is outside. Pets can carry bugs inside clinging to their fur. Dog and cat food attract bugs. Several mite species co-habitat with our birds, plant or seed eaters are also drawn to our avian friends. Again if there is prey, the predator is not far. Nature is wonderful, even insects play many beneficial roles and are necessary. But most of us have to admit regardless conservation minded we may be, few of us are comfortable sharing our domicile with insects and arachnids. Bed bugs, mites and lice are unnerving blood suckers that feast at our expense, usually at night. The thought of the night-stalkers seeking us a their ‘prey’ can be the stuff of nightmares. The campaign against the bug world is ongoing even in the winter. The might be less activity even indoors during the winter, but they are there or waiting, just waiting.