Where do insects go in the winter?

There is always a decrease in the number of insects over the winter months in the UK. However, it feels like magic that they disappear and we are no longer bothered them like we are in the summer. But where do they disappear to and what is the catch?

Option one: Migration

Insects that require seasonal plants and crops, often seek warmer places when the temperatures drop here in the UK. Seasonal migration is often associated with birds, but insects such as butterflies, moths and dragonflies, do the same thing. For example, the Painted Lady butterfly takes a 9,000 mile round trip to hibernate in tropical Africa over the Winter. The whole journey is not taken by one individual and can in fact take up to six generations to make the journey.

Option two: Hibernation

Insect hibernation is also known as a diapause. The insects go into a dormant state and reserve their energy supplies. During this period, their metabolic rate drops to one-tenth of its usual activity. They seek out dry, sheltered places to spend the winter in this dormant state. They often hibernate in places such as lofts and sheds. Insects that do this include queen wasps and cluster flies. For more information about cluster flies, have a read of one of our previous blogs.

Option Three: Seasonal Reproductive Cycles

This is another common way for UK insects to survive the winter. They time their life cycle so that they can survive the harshest winter months. This is most often done by insects either laying eggs in autumn, or spending the winter in a pupal stage. This means that even if the adults die over the winter, the population will continue into the spring and summer of the following year.

Option Four: Stock up

Insects like honey bees, use their reserves of honey to make it through the winter as there aren’t many flowers for them to feed on. They will still be active during this period, but will mostly remain in the nest.

If you would like more information on insects, get in touch with Pest Solution’s friendly and knowledgeable staff by clicking here.

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