The cold weather has arrived, and I know you were hoping that all the bugs that pester you would die with the drop in temperature, unfortunately, that is not the case. Or maybe fortunately, as not all insects are harmful or considered as pests. A good example of a desirable insect is the honeybee. Honeybees help pollinate plants and are the source for honey.
Insects have developed many adaptations to allow their survival in the cold. They hibernate as larvae, nymphs and eggs, or migrate to warmer climates. Both hibernation and migration need to be on your radar when it comes to bugs. They didn’t leave you; they are just waiting for warmer weather.
As cold weather approaches, bugs enter a state that is similar to hibernation in mammals called diapause . As daylight hours grow shorter, bugs are triggered internally to drop body fat and water. Some insects even replace their body water with glycerol which acts as like an antifreeze. Insects burrow into the soil or find dry, covered shelters in which to ride out the winter in a variety of stages of development including pupae, larvae, and eggs. Early insects took their winter diapause state and sheltered in the nooks of stumps, trees or caves. But insects are great at adaptation and manmade structures have become high on the list of places to spend the winter. Insects prefer stable temperatures and what is more stable than the inside of your home. Especially attractive are lower traffic areas like chimneys, attics, and basements.
Many insects migrate to warmer climates in the fall and return in the spring. The wonderful Monarch Butterfly is the most well-known example. Not only do Monarch Butterflies migrate, they migrate to the warm climate every winter and return north to their original home area in the spring.
Some insects have adapted to their environment to the point that they don’t need to migrate or hibernate. They have learned to enter your home to find a stable place to ride out the winter months. What better than warmth and a source of food. Especially attractive are attics, basements, and you guessed it, your pantry. Watch out for cluster flies, wasps, and spiders. Generally they will remain fairly inactive during the winter months, waiting for that fist warm day to shake them from their lethargy.
IPM Pest and Termite has been serving the Lexington Area for over 20 years. They offer dependable and reliable service with both same-day and maintenance programs. If you are experiencing a pest control problem, or want to prevent a future infestation, IPM Pest and Termite is the service to call. With our quarterly maintenance program in place, you can bring peace of mind to your winter months knowing that you’ve reduced or eliminated all the unwanted houseguests, at least the insect kind.