How The Cold Affects Pests

Here’s a question we’re often asked: do pests hibernate? The answer is yes and no. You see, pests do not go into hibernation in the way that animals do. That being said, they do change their patterns of behaviour when temperatures drop. Cold affects pests in the following ways.

cold autumn

The way that cold affects pests can be broken down into two different categories. First you have pests that do go into a type of hibernation and become less of a problem. This mostly includes moths, flies, ants, and wasps.

How some insects get around the problem of cold weather 

These pests struggle to survive in cold environments. They also find it extremely difficult to find food. What usually happens is that they lay eggs before winter and then die. Once it gets warmer these eggs hatch and the pests reemerge. This is why these pests seem to “go away” once Winter arrives. Alternatively, some pests simply burrow deep into the ground and wait until it gets warm again.

grey squirrel winter

How rodents cope with the cold

Next, you have animal pests like mice, rats, and squirrels. Cold affects pests like this, but not in the way that it does insects. These pests go on with their business as usual. All they do is compensate by storing up extra food and looking for a warmer place to live.

It’s important that you take note of this. You see, during winter, these rodents often seek shelter inside of homes. They know that food and warmth can be found near humans and gravitate towards us. This is why it’s so important to pest proof your home before winter arrives.

Once these rodents take up residence, they are not easy to get rid of. Rats who come into your home during winter, will breed like crazy. By the time summer arrives you may have a serious infestation on your hands. This can also be a problem with insect pests.

rat in the grass

As we’ve said, cold affects pests like moths, which is why they lay their eggs and then die. They will often enter your home to do this, because they know your home provides shelter. When it gets warmer these eggs hatch. This is often why large numbers of pests can often show up from one day to the next. It’s not because pests have entered your home, it’s due to the fact that they were already there.

What can you do to prevent these problems?

To prevent this, you need to make your home as unattractive to pests as possible. Start by keeping your home neat, clean, and clutter free. Most importantly, keep your kitchen free of all food debris and make sure that food is packed away properly. Finally, pest proof your home long before winter. Seal up all cracks and holes and make sure there is no way for pests to get in.

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