Is Hibernation a Thing for Insects and Termites?
You might be wondering where certain types of insects go during the colder winter months since there seems much less activity outdoors. As temperatures drop, termites and insects respond in different ways, depending on their species.
In regards to insect colonies, they do not go away during the winter. Bees retreat to inside their beehive and form a cluster around the queen. To generate heat, they move their wings. Most wasp species will lay eggs and die off once colder temperatures arrive, but a few species have adapted and merely seek out warmer areas offering protection against the cold, like inside your attic.
Ants and termites simply retreat deeper into their colonies and often seal up exterior exits to help keep the cold out. That is unless they are already inside your home. In cases where insects have set up their colony in the interior walls of your home, they continue to function throughout the winter, just like clockwork, never sleeping and slowing eating away at wooden structures and being an annoyance.
However, there are some that will mimic hibernation-like behaviors, like certain moths and ladybugs. They have unique characteristics that allow them to either tolerate being frozen or seek out interior areas deep inside trees or underground to avoid freezing temperatures. During this period, their metabolism rates slow, and they remain in this state until spring.
Other types of insects die during the winter, but often after laying eggs in protective areas, like in the ground, to ensure the next generation hatches come spring. You will even find some insects migrate, much like birds, and seek warmer climates until springtime. Two of the more common migrators are dragonflies and butterflies.
Other wood destroying organisms, like cockroaches, fleas, and bed bugs, simply continue to live on throughout the winter in dark, damp, warm areas or on hosts, like your pets. If you notice signs of termites or wood destroying organisms in your home during the winter, contact MightyMite Termite at 408-377-3761 to schedule an inspection today!