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How Bugs Survive Winter

When winter arrives, bug sightings begin to decrease. While these pests are less visible, it doesn’t mean they are really gone. Some bugs have found ways to survive in winter. Check out where bugs go during winter months

How Do Bugs Survive Winter?

Snow on roof

Many bugs die in winter, but those that don’t have a few survival techniques. Here are a few ways bugs survive winter. 

  • Migration: Some bugs, like butterflies, migrate to warmer locations. They’ll return when temperatures rise in spring.
  • Overwinter: Other bugs settle down and wait for winter to pass. These bugs overwinter in sheltered, warm spaces including homes.
  • Cluster Together: Some bugs, like bees and Asian lady beetles, cluster together for warmth.
  • Diapause: While some pests just hide out, others enter a state of dormancy known as diapause. Mosquitoes are known for their ability to enter diapause.
  • Antifreeze: Other pests, like the snow fly, have an antifreeze like liquid in their body that gets them through winter.
  • Year-Round Pests: While many bugs slip indoors to escape the cold, others have been hiding in your home year-round. Spiders, silverfish, and cockroaches are a few pests that can be found in your house throughout the year. 

How Common Pests Survive Winter

There are many ways bugs survive winter. Knowing where these pests are hiding can help you prepare for bug season in spring. Check out how a few pests spend their time in winter.

Stink Bugs

Stink bug

Stink bugs look for warm places to escape the cold. They often gather on the sunny sides of homes before sneaking inside. They spend the winter in a dormant state. These smelly pests can gather in large numbers in your attic and walls.

Cluster Flies

Cluster fly

Like stink bugs, cluster flies gather on the exterior of your home in fall. As winter approaches, they migrate indoors. These flies like dark areas, so they often hide in wall voids and attics. As their name suggests, these pests can invade in large groups.

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bug on leaf

Another overwintering pest is the boxelder bug. When fall arrives, they cluster on the side of homes and windows before moving indoors. They’ll hide in houses, sheds, and garages. Once it warms up, they emerge and head for plants and trees.


Ant trail

Ants take a different approach to winter. While some will seek shelter indoors, many spend winter in warm places outside. They often nest deep underground in soil. Others will hide under yard debris including leaves and rocks.



Mosquitoes are one pest you probably wish wouldn’t come back each spring. Unfortunately, female mosquitoes lay eggs that enter diapause until temperatures rise. These eggs are placed in water. Some adult female mosquitoes will also stay dormant until spring in sheltered areas.

Asian Lady Beetles

Asian lady beetle

In fall, Asian lady beetles start migrating to homes. They cluster outside before moving indoors. These pests release pheromones alerting other lady beetles to their location. This can lead to large infestations in your house.

Stinging Insects

Paper wasp

Queen wasps are the only members of a colony to survive winter. They hide in sheltered locations and wait for spring to arrive. These pests aren’t afraid to come inside. They often choose attics, wall voids, or sheds as their hiding spot.

Pests are mostly inactive in winter, but they’re just waiting to pop up in spring. Early pest-proofing can help ensure bugs don’t invade your home. If pests are giving you a fit, we’re here to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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