As the days become shorter, we seek refuge indoors to escape the cold, but we are not the only ones who are seeking shelter from colder temperatures. During the winter months, unwanted pests can find their way into your home to seek refuge from the winter.
How Do Bugs Survive Winter?
Contrary to popular belief, all bugs don’t die or fall into hibernation as the temperatures decrease. Bugs have many different survival instincts when it comes to enduring the winter. They have found new ways to adapt to the changing climate in order to survive harsh winters.
Colony insects, such as ants, will bury themselves deep enough into the ground to avoid the cold, they are able to maintain a warm body temperature by clumping together to maintain body heat. In addition to burying themselves below the surface, they also can find their way into the smallest holes and cracks in your home, leading them to seek refuge in places like your pantry and indoor plants. Some colony insects, like termites, are un-phased by the colder temperatures, they continue to target the wood in your homes and cause damage to your property.
Cockroaches have the ability to acclimate to the cold weather, allowing them to withstand temperatures that are above 15 degrees. Cockroaches will often find their way into your crawlspaces and basement to wait out the winter months. While in your home, cockroaches can trigger allergens and spread harmful bacteria that can cause a number of symptoms to the members of your household.
Some insects, such as moths, have also developed the ability to survive ice formation with the cells in their tissue. This means that after a long winter encased in ice, moths thaw out unharmed and continue to spread contaminates around the home that are harmful to your family members and pets.
Although the common bed bug cannot withstand temperatures below 65 degrees, they can still be an issue regardless of the time of the year. Bedbugs can attach themselves to your belongings and infest your home in a matter of days. An individual bed bug can lay 200 to 250 eggs within her lifetime; one egg can hatch anywhere between 6 to 10 days after being laid, creating an infestation within a matter of days and leading to your family being covered in bites.
Although the more innocent spiders could pass during the winter months, more dangerous spiders can find their way into your homes. Poisonous spiders, like the brown recluse and black widow, are able to withstand frigid temperatures. These spiders will hide in dark areas of your home such as basements and window moldings. Spiders such as these within your home, pose a dangerous threat. With one bite, spider venom can cause blisters, intense pain, and tissue necrosis.