When spring arrives, we aren’t the only ones happy to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather and fresh air! You’ve probably noticed that there are a lot more bugs outside at this time of year than during the colder months. Our friends at Buglife tell us why that is.
But first, let’s find out where all the bugs go during the winter!
Bugs in Winter
Bugs have a variety of methods for surviving the coldness of winter, and often gain shelter - and even some nourishment - in different types of micro-habitats. These can be in places like the following:
- Under the soil
- Under logs, rocks, and fallen leaves
- Inside the wood of logs and trees
- Inside galls (special bumps on plants)
Some even take up residence in your home in the wintertime, which is why you’ll encounter many more bugs near windowsills and other areas of your house during the cold months, though they will be very sluggish. Hopefully, most of them stay inside your walls or your attic, though!
Diapause vs. Hibernation
Many bugs aren’t active at all during the winter. When bug eggs, larvae, pupae, or adults are inactive during the winter months, they enter a state called diapause. During diapause, their growth, development, and activities are temporarily suspended. The bugs hardly move at all, and their metabolic rate is just high enough to keep them alive.
Hibernation, on the other hand, is usually considered something that only warm-blooded animals do (bugs are cold-blooded). During hibernation, the body temperature of animals drops very close to freezing.
The Season for Bugs
Regardless of where bugs go during the winter, they basically pass the time where they can be safe until the warmer weather of spring arrives.
Spring is a very important time for a variety of bugs. When the first blossoms appear, the sun shines brightly, and the days begin to warm up, bumblebees, wasps, ladybugs, butterflies, and many other bugs wake up from their winter “slumber.” And they are really hungry and thirsty! So, they head out in search of food to stay alive.
Which will be the first bugs you see this spring? Bring a nature journal with you the next time you go outside and document the bugs and other spring things you see!
Looking for more Never Stop Asking "Why?" questions? Catch up on all of the past "Why's" on the blog!