You'd think that a few months of chilly winter weather would give you a reprieve when it comes to common household pests. Although there's a noticeable drop in the number of insects invading your home, that doesn't mean they've all met their match at the hands of "Old Man Winter." The following sheds some light on how household pests deal with winter weather and how it'll affect your pest control efforts.
Some Pests Die Off
It's true that many pests tend to die off as temperatures plummet. These typically include houseflies, mosquitoes, fleas and a few other insects unlucky enough to be caught without shelter. A particularly brutal winter will likely see massive die-offs of certain insect populations, while a mild winter will have a noticeably lesser effect.
However, not every pest goes quietly into the good night without putting up a fight. Take the common mosquito, for instance. These annoying pests ensure their survival by laying winter-hardy eggs ahead of cold temperatures. This allows the next generation of mosquitoes to emerge just in time for warmer spring temperatures.
Other Pests Migrate
Other pests prefer to beat a hasty retreat towards warmer climates. The North American monarch butterfly is famous for this approach, preferring to migrate thousands of miles to central Mexico each winter. Dragonflies also head south for the winter instead of sticking it out in colder climates.
For other insects, migration is only a matter of mere inches or feet. Fire ants usually escape the cold simply by burrowing deeper underground, but this tactic often proves a double-edged sword in areas with a high enough water table. Fire ants hate excess moisture as much as they do excess cold, so they'll migrate back towards drier ground only to freeze due to the cold.
Others Seek Protection
Then there are pests that actively seek out protection from the winter cold. It's not uncommon for stink bugs, cluster flies, wasps, and centipedes to invade the warm confines of your home in search of shelter. Cockroaches and ladybugs will also attempt to move in for a warm resting place for the winter. Fleas and ticks can rely on the warmth and protection your pets inadvertently give them to last throughout the winter.
If you have a bed bug problem in your home, don't expect cold temperatures to kill them off. Bed bugs may go dormant at below-freezing temperatures, it usually takes a long period of time for bed bugs to finally die off.