Why Do I Need Pest Control in the Winter?
With the chill of winter, many people may begin to wonder if it is even necessary to have pest control service through these colder months. Let’s dig in and see if we can answer that question.
Georgia is well known for warm and humid weather, and we generally experience fairly mild winters with occasional cold snaps. Peaches love it. So do bugs. Most of the time, our insects have a fairly easy task of survival, but we do have bouts of extreme cold. The truth is that insects are very adaptable, and native species have little trouble surviving whatever temperature and precipitation comes their way.
There are a number of different ways insects adapt to the weather. There is the monarch butterfly who migrates to warmer climates, but that is not typical of Georgia insects. More often we see insects overwintering in a warm area or adapting their life cycles to be in a more protective stage during the cold. This includes hibernation and avoidance.
First, there is overwintering. The Southern house mosquito hangs out in storm drains for protection. Deep in the soil is an option for some insects. But the most popular hang out for a winter insect soiree is your home and my home. Our nice heating systems make it a cozy spot to wait for the coming of spring. Nice for the bugs, not so nice for us. An easy example of this situation would be cockroaches. They love to spend the winter with you. Roaches come in through small cracks, sewage lines, and even open doors. Termites and rodents are other insects that have no issue making your home their home.
Insects have different life cycles they go through and some are more easily adaptable to winter months. A larvae or pupa stage insect can spend the winter deep in the soil where they are protected and insulated from the weather.
Next, there is adaptation to the life cycle to survive winter’s extremes. During the fall months, entomologists have noticed a change in insects. As the weather cools and the days shorten, the insects begin to be less active. The danger for those bugs who winter outside our homes is the formation of ice crystals in their bodies. The crystals need a nucleus of sorts to form around, just like a snowflake needing a bit of dust to begin the process of becoming a snowflake. For the insect, the nucleus would be food, therefore they begin to eat and drink less in the fall. And here is something really cool. Insects that survive in the coldest environments make themselves a bit of homemade antifreeze! They do this by converting stored sugars called glycogen to glycerol, a kind of alcohol. This sugar alcohol lowers their freezing point and enables survival through exceedingly cold temperatures.
Nature is so crazy cool, well except when nature invades your home.
Wintertime is not the time to stop your pest control service. Roaches are suspected of carrying a number of diseases including cholera, dysentery, and salmonellosis. These are dangerous. Plus, let’s just be honest. Roaches are gross and embarrassing. They just are. Then there are mice to think about. They only need a hole the size of a dime to squeeze into your home, and they are said to carry over 20 diseases. Lastly, there are termites. Those guys might slow down a little but winter does not stop the wood consumption and home destruction.
Mild winter or cold winter, most Georgia insects are going to survive to ‘bug’ you another day. Give us a call at Canton Termite and Pest Control at 770-479-1598 so we can stop your home from becoming the next All Bugs Inn!
Canton Termite and Pest Control