Where Do Pests Go in the Winter?
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Here in Southern California, we may not experience a winter wonderland, but the weather will still cool down. As an outcome, most households experience a decrease in pest activity.
Different species of pests react differently to the winter. Some insects go through a period of suspended development called diapause. Others will plan their reproductive cycle and hide their laid eggs so they will hatch when the weather is warmer. A few select pests, including rodents, remain active during the winter. They make their way into your home in search for warm shelter and food.
How Do Bugs Keep Track of the Seasons?
Pests don’t know what month of the year it is like we do. Instead, they respond to the shortening days. When the sun begins to set earlier and the night time becomes longer, pests begin to make their preparations for winter.
What Do Water Bugs Look Like? Most species of water bugs have flat bodies and a light to dark brown color. They have short antennae and a sharp beak. Their hind legs are strong and thick from swimming in their natural habitat; water. They also have wings that allow them to fly from one water source to another. They typically are found in wetlands and ponds, but you can also find them in calm streams. They have distinguished wings that make the shape of an “X” when folded across their flat body.  

Arthropods Don’t Thrive in the Cold
Arthropods, an invertebrate animal, such as an insect, spider, or crustacean, don’t do well in colder weather. An invertebrate animal lacks a backbone. Instead, they have a segmented body (try visualizing an ant’s body). Some examples of these pests are brown recluse spiders, termites, and cockroaches. 
Arthropods don’t do well in the winter because they are exothermic. They don’t produce their own body heat. They strictly rely on environmental circumstances. If temperature levels drops fast, arthropods risk the chance of freezing and dying. In order to survive the winter, arthropods must find shelter. Pests will seek out refuge, your home being a good possibility, while others develop other adaptations. 
How Does Diapause Work?
Diapause is a fancy word for an arthropod’s version of hibernation. An insect will reduce its body metabolism to low levels where it can survive without food or water for an extended amount of time. In preparation for the cold months, bugs also begin to eat more in order to gain fat and remove water from their bodies. The less water an insect has within its body, the lower chance that it has to freeze.
To further protect themselves, some insects will produce glycerol; an alcohol that freezes at a much lower temperature. Glycerol helps to push out water from the body and keep the insect safe. 
Typical hibernation places for an insect include large rocks, caves, tunnels, burrow holes, and hollow tree trunks. However, attics, garages, basements, and chimneys also provide a good humble abode for pests during the winter. 
What Pests are Active During the Winter?
Ants
Some species of ants go into diapause during the winter. Argentine ants find hibernation in the bark of trees. Fire ants burrow underground and stay in their tunnels. If ants do make it inside your warm home, they can remain active. They may even find their way into your walls where an infestation can grow.
Spiders
Many types of spiders remain active during the winter. When they enter your home, you may not notice them because they seek dark areas such as attics, basements, garages, etc. They don’t normally need to scavenge for food. They will remain put until other insects get trapped in their webs.
Cockroaches
Regardless of climate or region, roaches always seem to be active. The environment they thrive in most is warm and humid. You will typically find them in bathrooms and kitchens. Roaches do not bite and are easy to scare, but they can quickly contaminate cooking and eating surfaces.
Rodents
Mice and rats are other pests that are active year-round. They don’t hibernate in burrow holes like other rodents (groundhogs for example). The winter months are more difficult for rodents to find food outdoors. That is why they seek small openings to homes where crumbs and other food sources can be found. Try to keep trash can areas clean and closed tightly.
What Can I Do To Prevent Pests in the Winter?
The same things that allow your family to feel comfortable, warm, and cozy during the winter might relay the same effects for insects. When the seasons begin to change and the weather gets cooler, inspect your home for any cracks around windows, spaces under doors, chimney openings, and any other entrance that could be small enough for pests. Once you’ve found these cracks, seal them right away for protection!
Call Akela for Professional Help
If you begin to notice pests, including rodents, on your property during the winter months, call Akela and we’ll take care of the problem quickly and effectively. If you want to be proactive; our annual contracts will keep you covered all year long. They even include free re-services if pests begin to surface in-between treatments.   
Take a step closer to becoming pest-free by getting in contact with us today and let’s get started!
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