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Interesting Ways that pests survive the winter

When the winter rolls around and the temperatures decrease we tend to see a drop-off in the number of pesky insects looking to invade our homes. But where do these pests go during the harsh New England winter? Do they die off? Do they hibernate?


Some pests will remain active throughout the colder months and can continue to cause issues for you and your home. Other pests will become dormant or die off when the temperature drops. Let’s go over a variety of pests and which ones you need to stay on the lookout for this winter.

Pests to look out for in the winter


Ticks are experts at surviving the drop in temperature although you may not see them too often in the cold. They will find a warm area to wait out the weather, sometimes burrowing beneath leaf piles or under a fresh layer of snow. 


That being said, they are quick to emerge on a mild winter day when the temperatures rise above freezing. When hiking or doing other outdoor activities on a warm winter day be sure to remain vigilant and protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, even if coming across a tick seems unlikely.


Some nuisance pests never seem to go away, that includes fleas. Although they will die off outdoors when exposed to temperatures below freezing, they can continue to flourish in the warm interior of your home. They can also remain dormant in the cooler areas of your home through the winter months, leaving you with an infestation as soon as warmer temperatures return. If you have pets in your home it is important to consider year-round flea treatment options to help minimize the chances of finding fleas in your home.


Known as one of the most resilient pests, cockroaches can survive year-round as long as they have access to a warm moist environment. Unfortunately, our homes tend to fit this description. It is important to stay on top of any food and moisture sources throughout the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, to avoid attracting these unwanted pests.


When the colder months roll in, termites will dig deep into the soil or burrow into dry wood in search of shelter and warmth. Upon finding suitable shelter, they will lie dormant and wait for the temperature to rise in the spring. When temperatures rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, male and female swarmers will awaken in search of a mate and a new nesting location, often inside our homes. This being said, termites can continue to thrive through the cold temperatures if they manage to find the comfort and warmth of your home.

Pests you may not see much of in the winter

Bed Bugs

Able to withstand temperatures ranging from borderline freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs can be a problem year-round given the right conditions. Our homes can provide these bugs with the right environment to survive the colder temperatures, leaving you with an infestation come spring. Typically these pests will spend the winter months in dormancy avoiding the colder weather, but they can awaken on a warmer winter day. If the temperatures remain cold, these bugs will wait out the season before returning to their regular activities when the weather warms up.


Although spiders can be active within the warmth of your home throughout the winter months, as many as 85% of temperate species will find shelter to wait out the cold. They do this through a state called diapause. In this state, their metabolism slows and they develop glycerol, the same chemical found in many cold-blooded amphibians, to protect themselves from the chilly conditions. Able to go months without a meal, many spiders will stay in this state for the entirety of the winter.


Even though they may be essentially motionless throughout the coldest months, spiders are not truly in hibernation and can awaken on a warmer day to hunt if the opportunity arises. Some species will even remain active while hiding out in secluded areas to avoid human contact. These spiders will then find a protected area to lay their eggs. The eggs will remain there for the winter while any mature adults die off, and the next generation will emerge in the spring.


One pest you may not see much of when the temperature drops are ants. This is because ants will enter a dormant state through the winter months. Ants are very successful at overwintering. They will indulge in mass amounts of food in the fall as they prepare to find shelter deep in the soil, under rocks, or even within the walls of our homes.


While you may not see many ants throughout the winter, don’t be fooled into thinking they are gone for good. As the temperature rises again in the spring you may find yourself with a flurry of ants returning from hibernation in search of food.


While you may not see many ants throughout the winter, don’t be fooled into thinking they are gone for good. As the temperature rises again in the spring you may find yourself with a flurry of ants returning from hibernation in search of food.


How they go about their hibernation differs based on the type of mosquito. Some species will enter the winter as embryos in eggs from the previous generation of mosquitoes. Typically, these eggs are laid underneath the ice awaiting the warmer temperatures to hatch in the spring. Other kinds will overwinter in sheltered areas such as hollow logs, animal burrows, or even our basements if there is enough moisture present. These mosquitoes will awaken in the spring looking to feed and lay eggs to start the next generation.


Call the pros to handle your winter pest problems

While you may not see as much pest activity during the winter, there are still a variety of nuisances seeking shelter in your home. Winter doesn’t always wipe out your pest issues. We recommend contacting your local pest control professionals for treatment if you notice activity within or around your home.


Richland Pest & Bee Control has been serving the state of Connecticut for over 45 years. We offer multiple solutions to help control insects like spiders, ticks, bed bugs, and cockroaches. We can customize treatment plans to suit your needs and your budget. Give us a call at 1-800-308-9126, or contact us online for a free estimate.

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