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What Winterization Means to Bugs


You might not give much thought to how bugs spend the colder winter months. Even in South Carolina, the temperatures can dip pretty low in the evenings as well as during the day when a cold spell hits. Many assume all bugs just die off in the winter, however, most bugs have found ways to survive even the chilliest cold snap.

A Bug’s Eye View of Winterizing

Different types of bugs have different ways of dealing with cold temperatures and winter months. Here are just a few of their strategies:
* Migrate – Many bugs head south for the winter to avoid the cold. Certain species of butterflies, for example, are well known for their regular migrations southward for the winter and northward for the summer.
* Torpor & Diapause – Many bugs enter a state of dormancy when cold weather hits. Similar to hibernation, the insect’s system slows down its metabolic rate, growth and development and goes into a resting mode.
* Glycerol – Other bugs create their own anti-freeze of sorts by increasing the concentration of glycerol in their bodies. Glycerol resists freezing and helps the insect protect cells and tissues from damage in cold temperatures.
* Coming Inside – The category of bugs that prefer to find their way into warm and cozy houses are often those that prefer to lay their eggs in that cozy space, causing infestations in homes and buildings.

Finding an Entry

For insects that prefer to spend the winter inside buildings, the first step is finding a way to get in. Even the tiniest crack can be a suitable doorway for a probing bug. Common places of entry include cracks around windows, doors and light fixtures. Other avenues of entry could include screens that are damaged or not secured tightly around edges, and often ventilation openings for furnaces or clothes dryers. Once inside, the bugs take up residence behind baseboards, inside walls, in attics and in storage areas that aren’t accessed often. Once they’ve found a space they like, they hunker down for the winter and you may be none the wiser until the warm weather returns when your uninvited insect guests, and frequently their offspring, emerge from their hiding places.

Preparing for winter can mean many things to a bug and different types of bugs have different ways of dealing with the cold weather. Of course, the bugs that are most concerning are those that find inviting themselves into your home to be a perfect way to stay warm and cozy all winter long.