During summer, insects seem to be buzzing around everywhere: the park, the school yard and even in your home. But come winter season, when it’s time to bring out those scarves and parkas, they all seem to disappear. And you can’t help but wonder, what happened to all those insects? Where did they go?
The overwinter survival strategies of insects are more like that of plants. Insects are ectothermic – they cannot produce their own heat and must depend on external sources. Insects have developed ways to survive the extreme cold that winter season brings.
They seek warmer places.
This is true for most animals. Insects also migrate to warmer places to find shelter, and to avoid the harsh temperatures of winter. The travel can involve passing through states and even countries. Due to the short lifespan of insects, the trip is often one-way. The return trip is usually involves the members of the next generation.
This can also involve shorter distances. Some aquatic insects dive deeper into the waters. Some insects burrow deep into the earth. And there are insects that take shelter in our homes.
They freeze, and live on.
Although to seek warmer places is the first natural thing to do, there are insects that do not migrate. They have developed ways in order for their bodies to survive the cold. Some of these insects are freeze tolerant – they have the ability to survive the ice formation within their tissues. They survive through supercooling.
Supercooling is the process of lowering a body’s temperature below freezing point. Through this process, insects remain unfrozen to avoid cell damage and certain death.
They avoid freezing.
Freeze avoidant insects avoid freezing by keeping their bodily fluids liquid. Freeze avoidance involves physiological and biochemical processes. Some insects search for a hibernation site, where they would be unaffected by the harsh and cold temperature. Some insects form a physical wax-like barrier around their bodies to provide protection against external ice. Like freeze tolerant insects, freeze avoidant insects also undergo the process of supercooling.
No matter the season, it is important to protect our homes and families from insects and other unwanted pests. Not only do pests cause damage to your homes and properties, they may also endanger the health of your loved ones. During the cold winter, insects such as mosquitoes may seek shelter in the warmth of your homes, and mosquitoes are known to carry some diseases. Protect your family from the damage and nuisance that pests may bring. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, call a professional pest control provider for a home inspection.
Written by BugOut Pest Control & Lawn Care. BugOut Pest Control & Lawn Care offers the best service for pest control in Columbia, MO.