Where Do Insects Go In The Winter?

The other day, a customer asked one of our technicians: “where do insects go in the winter?” This is a good question, and one that many people wonder about. If you go outside during the summer you will see hundreds of insects. Flying insects, crawling insects, every kind of insect you can imagine buzz around Essex parks, streets and gardens.

where do insects go in the winter

But once the winter comes they tend to disappear from these outdoor areas. The insects that were so active and prolific seem to vanish when the temperature starts to drop.

So where do insects go in the winter? Well to start with, some of them make unwanted house guests.

Insects Can Spend The Winter Inside Your Property

One annoying answer to where do insects go in the winter is – your home! The unfortunate truth is that many insects will spend the winter in your property. They simply move in and carry on with their business as usual. Some types of cockroaches don’t hibernate. They simply find a warm place to hide away. Somewhere with food and water readily available while they do so.

Your Essex home is the perfect place for insects to live and survive the winter months. However, this is something you want to avoid.

Laying eggs

The majority of insects will simply lay eggs in your home and die. These eggs stay there until they hatch in spring. This is the most common technique that insects use during winter. They ensure the continuance of the next generation before the winter months hit.

insect eggs in essex property

The main reason you don’t want this is because once the spring and summer arrive, you will see an explosion of pests. This is when their eggs start to hatch and you could be overwhelmed by insects.

These insect eggs, larva, nymphs, pupae or in the form of a chrysalis survive the winter months where the adult form cannot. This alone is a very good reason to do some winter pest proofing now. As they pass through the cold period, they are able to slow their metabolism down and live without having to feed. They then emerge once the warmer weather comes.


Some insects perform a type of hibernation. They will find somewhere safe like a tree, log or rock to curl up and sleep. These insects enter into a state known as diapause. This is a dormant phase where their growth is suspended, and is similar to hibernation.

Insects like wasps will seek out shelter in the eaves of attics and houses. Queen wasps finds a cosy place to hibernate during winter. Some types of cockroach also hibernate in the Winter.

queen wasp in winter

However, not all insects will make your home their winter retreat. According to scientists, insect species have a wide variety of strategies for surviving outside when it’s cold.

Here Are Some Techniques Insects Use To Survive

A few insects are hardy and stay alive in winter outside. They are naturally able to survive in colder temperatures. These species will simply take shelter beneath leaves or grass, or stay on the surface. However, the insects that don’t survive outdoors, or make their way inside, use some fascinating techniques.


Many insects migrate to survive the winter. Like birds, they move to a warmer climate when the cold hits. The best example of this is the monarch butterfly.

monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly is famous for travelling thousands of miles to spend winter in the warmer southern hemisphere. They do this by riding on currents. They are reported to travel thousands of miles. Some species of dragonfly also use this method.


Many insects have a type of anti-freeze in their blood. This anti-freeze allows them to survive temperatures well below freezing. These insects have evolved a compound known as glycerol, which prevents their bodies from forming ice crystals. When it starts getting cold they activate these compounds and curl up for the winter. Dome of these insects are able to survive sub-zero temperatures.

Using body heat

Another method insects often use is simply huddling together and using body heat. Some of the insects that use the body heat technique also use a type of “shivering” motion to create warmth.

winter insects beetles

This technique is most commonly seen in bees. It is also seen in ants and terminates. Some insects will burrow deeper into the ground to find heat. They go down right beneath the frost line where it’s warmer, and hide there until the temperature increases.

Hopefully this answers our customer’s question, “Where do insects go in the Winter” and gives our readers some useful and interesting information as well.

Our Essex pest control solutions are second to none. So, if you do find yourself with a hoard of hibernating insects, give us a call. We are available all year round. Whether you have winter pests or an infestation of spring insects, we can help.

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