Where Do Insects Go In the Winter?

One of the nicest things about Winter is that you don't have to deal with pesky insects- they all seem to just disappear! 

In fact, one of the Wildlife x Team Team Members got attacked by over 30 wasps in his sleep during the Summer! You can check out that video by clicking HERE now. 

Anyways, what exactly happens to all of the pesky insects in Winter? Click HERE for our video version of this post. 

Winter is Too Cold For Insects

For almost all insects the Winter is much too cold for them to survive in. As a result, many die off or have to use one of the following methods in order for the species to survive across the Winter. 

When the temperatures drop they lose their ability to move. If you've ever been out on a cold day you may have noticed that it's harder to move your fingers than when it's warm out. 

Ants for example will completely lose their ability to move during the Winter- as a result, they must use method #2 to survive during the Winter. 

There are a small couple of exceptions to this, such as insects that create their own "anti-freeze," however we won't talk about those insects now in this post because this is rare and they still aren't out flying about. 

Here are the three ways that insect species can survive during the Winter: 

1. Migration

Migration is the act of traveling South to avoid the Winter, and traveling North in Spring in order to seize opportunity for food & space. The word "migration" is typically associated with birds. 

Some insects actually migraet as well! They will travel to Southern areas as the temperatuers get cooler up North. 

Most insects don't do this however because of how small they are and how much land is required for them to travel. 

This is a riskier method, however some insects do this. 

2. Hibernation

A fair amount of insects will actually hibernate during the Winter. 

During Spring, Summer, and Fall they will consume more than they need to so they have extra fat to keep them warm & energized during the Winter. 

Hibernation is like "freezing yourself" to be re-animated later. Bears are typically associated with the word hibernation. 

Insects will bury themselves underground, hide under rocks, or even go in your attic or between walls in order to "freeze" and "wait out" the Winter. 

There could literally be thousands of insects right under your drive-way frozen, just waiting to re-animate when the temperature becomes warmer! In fact, if you go digging around your yard you may just discover several insects hiding out underground. 

Ants for example will seal off their colony and wait underground. They get so cold usually that they can't move, so they just wait until the temperature gets warmer. 

Some insects such as wasps or bees can go outside for very short periods of time, but even then that's rare. 

Several insects that attempt to hibernate will die off, however this leaves more food for the rest of the surviving insects to bloom in the next Spring & Summer. 

3. Eggs / Larvae

Many flies can't survive via hibernation or migration during Winter season, so instead they will lay eggs, larvae, etc. in order for the species to continue surviving. 

Eggs don't require that much energy to sustain, so they can lay eggs as the temperature is cooling down and those eggs won't hatch until the beginning of the next warm period. 

This is a fairly common strategy for insects to prosper despite Winter. 

4. Anti-Freeze

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a rare couple of insects that can create their own "anti-freeze" which prevents their body from freezing up.

These rare few insects can survive ridiculously cold temperatures, however they still aren't that active during the Winter for obvious reasons. 

For that reason, we won't delve too much in detail about these insects in this post- perhaps in a future post. 


Thanks so much for reading, and enjoy your insect-free Winter! 

-Wildlife x Team International 



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