While we may be battling the bitter cold temperatures, icy roads and endless rain showers, the one thing we don’t have to worry about in winter is pests. What actually happens to the likes of ants, mosquitos and flies at this time of year however?
Ants are sure to ruin any summer picnic and even though we don’t see them during winter, it doesn’t mean they’re far away. During autumn, they indulge in large amounts of food so they have enough fat to survive weeks or even months without eating.
As soon as it starts to get really chilly outside, they seal up their colony and bunker down in deep soil or under rocks and won’t be seen again until spring has sprung.
One of the few good things about winter is the fact that there are no mosquitos to contend with. Contrary to popular belief however, these annoying pests don’t die out as soon as the temperature starts to drop. They can in fact survive the winter by hibernating in protected places such as hollow logs.
Sadly, bed bugs are one of the few pests that can withstand the colder temperatures. They can in fact survive anything from nearly freezing to an incredible 50˚C.
The good news is that after a few days of exposure to temperatures below freezing, they’re unlikely to survive but the bad news is this means that cosy winter homes provide the perfect habitat for them to survive this time of year.
Like most other creatures, bees have their own unique way of coping with the cold.
Honeybees will gather in a central area of their hive and form a winter cluster where they use each other’s body warmth to help them survive winter. In order to protect their queen, the worker bees surround her and flutter their wings and shiver. This continuous use of energy is how the bees manage to keep the inside temperature of the hive warm.
These clever little insects also collect a winter reserve of honey to keep their energy stores up. Some studies have found that hives of honeybees consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey over the course of a single winter.
It’s no wonder flies are classified a pest – there are more than 7,000 species of them in the British Isles alone. Although we may not notice the smallest ones, many of them do in fact remain active throughout the year.
One in particular is the cluster fly – a stocky insect which is a greyish colour and has a coat of golden hairs on the thorax. They typically enter homes in large numbers and spend the winter months in large huddles in the corner of lofts or quiet, undisturbed rooms. While they don’t fully hibernate, they enter a state of diapause which slows down their development and appetite until it starts getting warmer.
Most species will however spend winter hiding in cracks where they will hibernate until spring.
If you would like help identifying or eliminating a pest infestation, please feel free to get in touch with Prokill and we will be happy to provide a free, no obligation quote. Complete an online enquiry form or call us on 0800 328 9354.