5 Pests That Survive The Winter – And Will Return In The Spring!

squirrels running in snow

Spring will be here next month! While we still have a lot of cold, wet weather to get through, it’s a good feeling to know that each day inches closer to springtime. As the snow melts away and the first signs of life appear, you may assume that last year’s pests died off. It’s easy to think this with New Jersey’s extreme temperatures, but it’s not the case. In fact, snow can be helpful in keeping pests alive. When the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, outdoor pests get the signal that it’s time to seek shelter. Below we share five types of pests that are capable of surviving the winter.

1. Mosquitoes: By the end of the summer, everyone is tired of these pests. Not only are they a nuisance but also they carry deadly diseases. As small as they are, mosquitoes can thrive in cold temperatures. It’s not adult mosquitoes that survive but the eggs. During the cold season, the larvae suspend their development and remain in a state of diapause. In the spring, they start back up and get ready for flying and biting.

2. Termites: Termites beat the cold temperatures by burrowing deep into the soil, below the frost line. However, they do remain active through the winter. They may not be quite as active as they are in warmer temperatures, but this doesn’t mean you can put your guard down. All termites need to live is water, warmth and wood. As long as your home has this, they can make it through the winter and pick up activity in the spring.

3. Ticks: Ticks carry potentially life-threatening viruses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. While ticks are more active in spring, summer and fall, they do not disappear in the winter. Some ticks will go dormant or latch onto a host. Others crawl underneath leaves in wooded areas and stay there until it warms up. Also, snow helps insulate ticks, unless they have a soft shell. Ticks with a soft exterior will burrow deep underground.

4. Rodents: Rodents don’t hibernate in winter as other animals do. Because they are cold and looking for food, they must be resourceful. Surprisingly, rodents can fit into holes that are the size of a dime! They will build nests and expand their colonies, leading to infestations. The best way to avoid a rodent infestation is by keeping the pests out in the first place. Eliminate entry points, remove clutter, keep the home clean and trim trees and shrubs.

5. Ants: Ants always seem to pop up as soon as the temperature gets warm, but that doesn’t mean they were nonexistent in the winter. Ants can lower their body temperature, helping them seal up their colonies and hide out until spring. Ants will either burrow themselves deep into the ground or hide underneath rocks. Sometimes, they will move into homes where it’s warm and food is nearby. Either way, the first crumb that falls on the floor in the spring will stimulate the colony.

It’s easy to miss the signs of pests in the winter. People are outdoors less and insects are less active. However, many pests survive just fine and are ready to greet you come spring. This is a reminder to maintain your home and have it treated if you’ve had a history of pest problems.

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