Winter can be a difficult time for anyone, but if you are an insect, it can be even more difficult. Though the climate doesn't often get bitterly cold in North Carolina, most insects would not be able to survive the drop in temperature unless they used some sort of defense mechanism. Most use a form of hibernation known as overwintering.
How Do Insects Overwinter?
An insect can overwinter during any stage of its life from egg to adult. Most adult insects, like ladybugs or stink bugs, will overwinter in a fashion similar to a bear hibernating in a cave. They find an area where they will be comfortable and start the hibernation process. When insects are in the larvae stage, such as a caterpillar, they can also overwinter. In this case, they will bury into the ground or into mulch and leaves to get through the cold months. Insects in other lifecycles, such as nymphs, pupae and eggs will find that overwintering is easily done in the water or soil, but only a few young insect species do this.
Why Do Insects Overwinter?
The main reason that insects will overwinter is simply the instinct of survival. During overwintering, an insect will go into a state known as diapause where their growth and development stops. During this time, they do not need nutrition or any other sustenance. If all goes well, they will awake from this state and emerge in the spring no different than they were in before beginning the overwintering process.
How Does Overwintering Effect Homeowners?
One of the issues that many homeowners will face when insects overwinter is that these pests will often find themselves waking from their hibernation due to the warmth of a home. Many insects, for instance, will find shelter for the winter under eaves of the roof or around the foundation of a home. As the outside cools down, the inside warms up. Their instinct kicks in and they make their way indoors. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to stop this.
The best way to prevent insects coming into your home is to do some work before winter hits. Take some time to caulk around windows, doors and any pipes that are coming into your home. You should also seal cracks and around the roof and eaves. Finally, check that all screens on windows and doors are free from holes.
If you find that insects are still getting in during the winter and need assistance, contact Clegg’s online or at 888-672-5344.
Image via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter