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Where Do Bugs Go & How Do They Survive The Winter? | JP McHale
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Where Do Bugs Go in the Winter?

Have you ever wondered why the bugs disappear in the wintertime? Why there aren’t any flies buzzing around, spiders spinning their webs, or ants foraging for food? Being cold-blooded creatures, insects are especially susceptible to winter’s cold temperatures. Thus, they have several different ways of surviving through the year’s coldest months. This guide will help you learn more about insects and where they go in the winter.

Winter Migration

Birds aren’t the only species to venture south in the winter. Certain insects, like the Monarch Butterfly and most crop pests, leave the colder temperatures behind every year on their annual migrations. Then, when the warmer temperatures of spring return, so do the insects.


Many species of insects hibernate through the winter months. But, only adult insects can hibernate. Examples of hibernating bugs include lady bird beetles, certain species of wasps, outdoor cockroaches, and Mourning Cloak Butterflies. Honey bees also hibernate in their hives during the winter, forming heat-generating clusters when temperatures fall.


For many insects, certain stages of their lifecycle allow them to overwinter through the cold months. For instance, they may overwinter as larvae, nymphs, pupae, or even eggs. The woolly bear caterpillar and grubs are two examples of insects that overwinter as larvae.
The nymphs of dragonflies, mayflies, and stoneflies also overwinter by living in ponds and streams, often underneath layers of ice. They feed all winter long and grow to emerge as adults in early spring. Insects that overwinter in their pupal stage include moths, like those in the silkworm family. These insects also emerge in the spring as adults.

Not many species of insects lay eggs that can withstand the winter, but some do. Most notably, this includes the Praying Mantis and the corn rootworm.

How Winter’s Weather Affects Insect Behavior and Lifecycles

Contrary to common belief, snow on the ground doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be a lot of insects in the area come spring. In fact, snow on the ground is actually good for insect populations because it insulates the ground and keeps the temperature constant. Insects are most likely to survive the winter when the temperatures are stable, not fluctuating through alternate thaws and freezes.

Many insect species are also driven indoors to hibernate for the winter. In such cases, when spring returns, an insect infestation can seemingly appear out of nowhere. In the worst of cases, the insects could actually be causing physical harm to a property throughout the winter without anyone even being aware that they’re there.

JP McHale Can Help You Prevent Winter Infestation Problems

Just because you don’t see bugs doesn’t mean that your infestation has magically gone away. If you had an insect problem in the summer and you didn’t have extermination services performed, the odds are very good that your problem will return with the spring thaw. Don’t risk it. Call JP McHale today. We can eradicate your insect infestation. We’re a family-owned and operated business in New York City and we put our customers first each and every time. We’re here to help so give us a call today.