Where Do Insects Go During Winter?
As the winter months, approaches does this spell doom and gloom for insects putting an end to their nuisance from invading our homes and gardens, or is it that even during this time of the year they show us just how adaptable they are. There are mixed views on this topic and while it is true that extreme cold conditions can reduce their population research has shown that insects are adaptive surviving the freezing winter chill burrowing into the soil, overwintering in mulch, leaf piles, and loose tree bark.
Insects that live in cold climates
No matter the season insects can be seen lurking in homes and gardens and the reason for this is they’re looking for food, shelter, and water. During the winter months and insect’s main purpose is for shelter seeking to overwinter hoping to survive the cold only to resurface when the warmer months return. What can we do to discourage their presence along with seeking to reduce their population?
4 Steps to Insect control
1. A clean garden
A clean garden is healthy garden research has shown and also from my experience a clean garden will reduce the insect population, as said earlier insects overwinter in leaf litter and other garden debris which attracts them like a magnet. Clear away leaf litter, branches, and other plant materials.
By doing this you are getting rid of places that are known as harbourage that insect pests seek out during the winter months, this move will ensure that when spring comes your garden after a long winter’s nap will not suffer at the hands of garden pests as they resurface to continue their cycle.
2. Pruning your plants
That tree or plant you have been growing through the spring and summer months looks so healthy as it spreads with nice healthy leaves, but do you know that as beautiful as your plant/plants are growing because of their fullness they can be a breathing ground for insect pests especially if they are growing to close to your home.
Insects will use overgrown plants as shelter especially during the colder months to overwinter, or as a bridge or a highway to gain access into your home once they find an entry point. Pruning your plants or trees is so important, this pruning will cut of places they seek to hide so go ahead and trim your tree, yeah I know it hurts but at least you will not have to contend with an increase in their population come spring and the good news is your plants will once again regain their former glory by growing beautiful and full again.
3. Gutter cleaning is a big deal
A Gutter can be a refuge for garden insects pests because of a build-up of leaves and other plant materials, also the added moisture because of the snow only compounds the problem by encouraging mildew and mold. A clogged cutter can also present other issues, cleaning your gutter properly before the cold weather sets in will discourage insect pests.
4. The proper use of mulches
Mulch do have their place in landscape and garden areas, this plant material serves so many purposes but and overuse or piling mulches too high will encourage insects pests to see this abundance of mulch as a harbourage or shelter to overwinter. If applying mulch during the winter months a 2-3 inch layer is sufficient. This amount that’s applied may not discourage garden insect pests entirely but at least their presence will be limited helping to reduce their population and spread.
Insects that invade our homes
- House flies
- Dust mites
- Asian beetles
- Drain flies
- Palmetto bugs
- Box elder bugs
- Bed bugs
The final word on insects that live in cold climates
The insect world is vast outnumbering the human race by a large margin, while many of them are considered to be pests causing millions of dollars in damages every year there are many that are beneficial making a vast contribution by helping to protect our gardens and landscapes from the bad bugs or destructive pests.
As we have seen insects can survive by either overwinter outdoors or inviting themselves into our homes, and while we may not be able to totally eradicate them we certainly can control their population to the point where they are no threat. Having some knowledge of them and their life cycle will help in decreasing their population. There is a good and a bad side to their presence depending on whether they are good or bad bugs but the good can outweigh the bad as we decrease their populations in our homes and gardens.