How Do Insects Survive The Winter?

Many people are under the impression that all bugs migrate to warmer climates during the winter, but this is not entirely true as many bugs choose to stick it out in the cold for several months. The insects that do remain in the cold during the winter season will either carry on like normal or some will freeze themselves in order to adapt to the cold environment.

There are many insects that will resort to a sort of hibernation during the winter months. This type of hibernation is called “diapause,” and it involves the freezing of an insect’s bodily fluids until the warmer spring months roll around. Mosquitoes, for example, are capable of diapause, but the Wooly Bear Caterpillars will freeze solid in one spot for several months. While this caterpillar is frozen it stands in suspended animation like a figurine, and is solid but alive to the touch.

Insect eggs can often survive better than their bearers during times of prolonged cold. For example, crickets lay their eggs in the soil in order to keep them sheltered until they hatch towards the beginning of spring. Scientists believe that we can learn more about cryogenics by studying how insects allow their bodily fluids to become frozen for months while still surviving.

Could studying the way certain insects become frozen lead to a better understanding of how to preserve bodily organs?




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Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
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