We’re breaking down some misconceptions about pest habits and answering your frequently asked questions about winter pest control.
What happens to bugs during winter?
As it turns out, different insects have different strategies for coping with cooler temperatures.
You’ve probably heard or even witnessed the Monarch butterfly migrations that move across the United States down into central Mexico each year. These bugs simply avoid cold weather by finding a new home as the cooler temperatures start to set in. Other insects may hole up in a chrysalis, and aquatic insects find their winter homes at the bottom of ponds where they wait out the winter season. More insects may seek shelter in homes, garages, or other man-made structures.
Keep On Keeping On
Some insects and bugs are hardy enough to survive the lower temperatures as they are—snow fleas and spiders are two insects that can survive cold weather and even live in snowbanks!
Okay, so it’s not cryogenics exactly, but the hibernation process some bugs utilize can seem very similar. The process is called ‘diapause,’ and essentially, bugs will enter this state as a way to preserve nutrients, suppress their metabolism, slow development, and increase their resistance to lower temperatures. Once spring arrives and the weather warms up, they essentially thaw out and continue on as if nothing happened.
Some bugs and insects will die off each winter, but not before laying their eggs in the soil to hatch come spring.
Do mice and rats hibernate in winter?
Mice and rats do not hibernate as some may think. Rodents are nocturnal, which means if they are living in your home to survive the cooler temperatures, you may not see them skittering around unless you’re awake (and very quiet) at night.
Mice are very small and can squeeze through an opening the width of a pencil, which means any gap or cracks in doors, windows, and even your plumbing could be an invitation for mice to stay in your home over the winter.
Rats are larger than mice, but they can still squeeze into small spaces. More troubling than their size is a rat’s intelligence. Rats have surprisingly intelligent minds—as pets, they can be taught to recognize their names and learn tricks. There are even some studies suggesting that rats integrate information better than humans. However, in the wild or in your home, this intelligence translates to a superb memory that allows them to never forget their path to food.
Winter Pests to Look Out For
Many pests can enter your home seeking food, warmth, and shelter from winter conditions. Texas winters are notoriously mild, which means that many pests don’t have to worry about adapting to a cold climate—they can simply continue on with business as usual. Some pests to keep an eye out for this winter include:
- Mosquitoes. While some mosquitoes may die off or enter diapause to avoid cold weather, a warm, moist Texas winter provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes to continue feeding and breeding without pause.
- Rodents. Mice and rats may enter your home at any time in search of shelter, food, and water. Seal up any food (including pet food) to prevent an infestation.
- Cockroaches. Like many bugs, cockroaches are attracted to excess moisture. If you have a leak anywhere in your home, it may attract these unwelcome visitors.
- Spiders. Spiders prey on other bugs and insects for food, which means they’re going to follow their next meal wherever it may go—including into your home, garage, attic, or outdoor shed.
The Benefits of Winter Pest Control
Any pest in your home is an unwelcome intruder, as they can carry disease and leave a path of destruction and damage to your home in their wake. Contact our pest control specialists at (817) 369-3138 to speak to a member of our team about your custom pest control solution today!