Have you ever wondered how bugs disappear in winter and then emerge so quickly in spring? Most people think that bugs either migrate or die during winter. What they don’t realize is that many insects continue to live among us during colder months.
How do they survive?
Many species such as butterflies, dragonflies, moths and beetles migrate in large groups to warmer areas during the winter. Distance depends on species but some have been known to travel several thousand miles.
Some insects such as bees, ants and termites practice communal living in order to survive on stored food and a colony for support.
Most insects seek shelter in the winter. This could be something such as a brush pile, a hollow log, a dog house or your home.
Many insects have developed strategies for surviving harsh conditions including controlling their body’s ability to freeze.
Similar to hibernation, some bugs enter a paused period of development called Diapause. This allows them to slow their metabolism and become inactive. This can take place in insects at all life stages and some larvae can freeze and then resume developing when temperatures rise.
How do I keep them out of my home?
The best way to keep bugs from entering your home is to make sure to block all possible entry points. Doing a thorough perimeter check around you home at least twice a year is good practice for bug prevention.
Areas to check could include but are not limited to:
Note: Only you know your home, be sure to check any additional areas that could be a threat.
What kind of bugs are most common inside the home?
Fleas are one of the most common pests that we get calls about during winter. If fleas are able to live indoors they will continue to multiply in your home. Performing regular flea checks on your pets as well as using natural preventatives is key in keeping fleas from becoming a problem.
If you do see fleas, be sure to wash any bedding, clothes or items that you believe could also have been exposed. Vacuuming floors and furniture will pick up any eggs that may be hiding in the fibers. Spraying down all areas with a natural flea spray will help kill existing fleas as well as repel more from coming in. (For bigger infestations, check out this natural home treatment kit.)
Bugs to watch for outside of your house
Do you stack firewood near your home? If so, you could be inviting wood boring bugs to your home. Make sure that you do not store wood inside your home and only bring it indoors when you are ready to use it. This will keep bugs that have been harboring in the wood from escaping inside your home.
Even though it’s year round, pest prevention should be easy. Knowing how to keep them out and what to use when you do see one is what’s most important.