As the oft-repeated joke says, cockroaches could survive a nuclear event, but what about the treacherous conditions of New Jersey winters? Find out why pest control services are often needed even when the temperatures drop.
Winter Habits of Insects
Some insects, such as butterflies and crop pests, take their cues from birds and head south for the winter. Others have strategies allowing them to stay in place, causing problems for home and business owners.
- Immature larvae are protected by layers of leaf litter and other organic materials. Some insects can actually replace water in their bodies with glycerol, which acts as an antifreeze.
- Water may sound like a counterintuitive cold weather home, but some nymphs spend the winter in ponds and streams that are frequently under a layer of ice. Once spring arrives, they’ve attained adulthood.
- Praying mantids and corn rootworms are two of the few species that lay eggs which survive winter.
- Moths are well-known to pass winter in the pupal stage before emerging as adults in spring.
- Bears aren’t the only creatures to hibernate. Many insects, including lady bird beetles, wasps, and bees, congregate during fall in preparation for hibernating during winter. Common shelters include the eaves and attics of homes and barns, along with leaf litter, tree holes, and the underside of rocks and logs. Honeybees retreat to their hives, where they can raise the temperature by vibrating their wing muscles.
- Insects are better equipped to survive where cold temperatures remain relatively constant, without a series of dips and rises. Snow actually helps by providing a layer of insulation that regulates temperatures.