Winter Pests 101

Winter in Wichita, Kansas can be quite unpredictable. Some years it gets very cold and others it can be quite mild. Despite the fluctuating weather, insect pressures are still usually fairly consistent. Like all animals, insects have found a way to adapt to their environment.

exterminator truck snow

Here are several different ways that insects have adapted to the winter season:

  1. They avoid the cold weather completely – Some insects are not meant to live in climates that have cold weather. These insects survive in warm regions that suit their needs and would die off in colder regions.
  2. They migrate – Like birds and other animals, some insects migrate to warmer weather. An example of this is the Monarch Butterfly which can travel 50-100 miles a day and can migrate from up to 2,800 miles away! The Monarch migration is truly remarkable.
  3. They “hibernate” – You may know about bears that hibernate but some insects go dormant in the winter, too. The process is called “diapause.” Some butterflies, mosquitoes, and other insects go through this process.
  4. They get underground – The best way to avoid the winter cold is to burrow underground. Some insects will avoid the freezing temperatures by hiding in soil or even underneath a blanket of snow. These locations provide enough shelter from freezing temperatures, which is enough for them to survive.
  5. Their life stages – Some insects have adapted to lay eggs during the winter months. By doing this, the eggs are able to survive the winter (as long as they are in a sheltered location) and they avoid predators.
  6. They survive – Some insects are able to adapt to the cold by producing their own “anti-freeze”. Others are able to reduce the amount of water in their cells to avoid freezing. Either way, their biology allows them to survive.
  7. They rely on others – Some insects are parasites and will stay attached to a host during the winter. As long as their host survives the winter, the parasite will stay alive.
  8. They slow down – Aquatic insects and insects that are aquatic in their larval stage will stick the winter out in ponds, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water.
  9. They enjoy the weather – There are some insects that will actually stay just as active in cold weather as they would during the other seasons. Some of these insects include a winter stonefly and a type of springtail called the snow flea. Termites are also always active, even in cold weather.
  10. They go indoors- You might also notice that some insects will use the winter as opportunity to enter your home. Insects such as termites, bedbugs, ladybugs, beetles, box elders and stink bugs will find a way into your home during the winter. Rodents also seek shelter indoors when temperatures drop.

Not much can be done about the insects that have moved underground, are migrating, or are surviving using other various adaptations. However, Patton Termite &  Pest Control can help you with the pests that seek shelter in your home during the winter season. It is also important to have a professional do service before the insects begin to hatch and become more active when the weather warms up. Vigilance and preparedness is necessary, even during the winter. It is as important to prevent a pest infestation as it is to solve one. If you’re interested in protecting your home from pests all year round, give Patton Termite & Pest Control a call! 316-773-3825.