Which Bugs are Most Active in Winter, and Where Do They All Go?

As we approach the holidays, we can get excited about the hot chocolate, gingerbread houses, evergreen wreaths, cozy blankets, crisp air and … fewer bug bites!

It’s true, most pests do not enjoy frozen temperatures. Just because we can’t see them, does not mean we are 100 percent free of them. So, where do bugs go in winter?

Bee in the snow

Many insects are seasonal. Remember, their lives are short! For some species, the adults die off in the winter, but before they do, they bury their eggs in a safe place, like underground or old logs.

Some insects, like honeybees, remain alive and active, but stay close together within their hives. They can create their own heat by vibrating their wings.

Others produce their own type of antifreeze within their body; a process known as overwintering. They will first burrow underground or in other warm, dark areas before starting the process. Many types of mosquitoes overwinter – but only the females, who often contain their eggs. Areas with warmer, humid weather will likely notice a drop in the amount of mosquitoes around them during the winter as they won’t reproduce as rapidly, but they will not overwinter in these locations and will likely hang around.

While some areas around the country seem to get a break from bugs in the winter, others in warmer climates are not so lucky. Those who live in the southern states may be safe from icy weather, but the milder winters they love are also appealing to insects who have no reason to escape. It’s an unfortunate trade-off for shoveling snow! Parts of Florida, Louisiana and Texas, for instance, are constant mating grounds due to their warmer temperatures and higher humidity.

These ecosystems will not only have their own typical bugs, but they may get a few extras in the winter. This is because some insects avoid winter entirely by migrating to warmer areas, such as Monarch butterflies and dragonflies (although who can complain about these?!).

Butterfly in winter

Now that we know the various ways insects can survive the frost, it’s important to know which ones we still need to look out for this season. Which types of bugs are most active in the winter?

  • Ants
    Let’s face it, ants are annoying year-round. Some colonies can’t survive freezing temperatures, but others tend to seek shelter inside homes during wet and cold weather, which can make them an even bigger problem this time of year than they are in the spring and summer. Ants can make homes in your walls, so follow our tips to protect your home from pests in the winter in order to limit their attack. Couldn’t escape one? Even in the winter, keep the Bug Bite Thing nearby for ant bite relief in moments like this.Ant in snow
  • Spiders
    Spiders are quite active during the winter. They don’t mind the cold, but will often search for better spots to make their homes, including inside your home. Black widow spiders, for instance, are known to lurk around Southern California in the winter. It’s best to use pest control for these guys and many other types of spiders, as they are harmful to humans and pets and therefore not safe to remove on your own. If you do get a spider bite, we recommend seeking medical attention rather than using our suction tool.
    Spiderweb covered in frost 
  • Wasps
    The northern parts of the country are typically safe from these pests this time of year, but once again, those in tropical climates may not be able to escape. They may see fewer wasps and bees this time of year than the spring and summer when there is more access to plentiful gardens, but these insects are active all year round. If you live in a warmer climate, you better keep that Bug Bite Thing handy.Wasp in snow
  • Fleas
    Unfortunately for man’s best friend, fleas don’t die off in the winter. Fleas are most active in summer, but still have the ability to live and reproduce year-round, so keep a close eye on your pup even when it’s cold outside. We have not personally tested the Bug Bite Thing on flea bites, but this YouTube reviewer had a great experience with it, if you’re in need.
  • Termites
    These guys do not have an off season. When the mercury drops, termites dig deeper into their nests, breed and build tunnels. They can cause damage during any season.
  • Cockroaches
    Gross, we know. Some of the creepiest insects are unfortunately also the hardiest. They don’t mind the cold, can squeeze through small spaces, will eat almost anything and quickly multiply. We don’t have to worry about bites or stings from them, but if you spot some, it’s still best to take care of them before they get out of hand.

If you are one of the fortunate but unfortunate individuals who can’t get away from bugs this winter, the Bug Bite Thing still has your back (and arms and legs …), plus makes a great stocking stuffer to prepare for – and dream of – those warmer weather excursions.