Why Are There More Insects in the Spring?

Even in warm climates like ours, spring always means three things… More heat, more sunshine, and more bugs! An explosion in insect sightings is as sure as sunshine. This massive increase in activity makes some people believe that insects die in the colder months. Sure, some insects do kick the bucket during winter months, but that’s not what usually happens. Insects are cold-blooded; this means their body temperature matches the ambient temperature. When it’s warm, they’re warm… And when it’s cold, so are they. Like lizards, when insects get cold, they’ll either move to warmer places (like your home) or go to sleep. Some of them don’t do anything and carry on like it’s business as usual!

Insects like darner dragonflies and monarch butterflies can fly thousands of miles to get to warmer spots! Some of those that stay behind have some pretty neat adaptations. For example, there are species of bee that stay awake all winter by huddling together and vibrating their wings to warm up the hive. The bees gather around the queen and eat honey, warming the hive in shifts. Even mosquitoes survive the winter! They hide in cracks, inside walls, and hang out for the season, getting hungrier. It’s no wonder they’re in such a rush to get out and active in the spring!

Do Insects Hibernate?

There are two very similar ways animals get through the winter by sleeping. Most insects do this. Hibernation is limited to warm-blooded animals, while insects and lizards do something called “diapause.” Diapause is a response to poor survival conditions. Winter is the most common cause of diapause, but drought and extreme heat can also trigger it. An insect in diapause stops growing, and its heart rate drops to the bare minimum. Ants and termites dig below the frost line and stay there until it warms up again.

Why do Insects Swarm in the Spring?

Because some insects have a surplus of food and energy in the spring, they choose to become active in response to heat and light. Others take advantage of plants that are flowering and fruiting during the spring. As a result, there is more food, shelter, and warmth. This is why many insects – Such as ants and termites – Spawn during the spring. The abundance ensures a healthy food supply for the new queens and brood.

If the winter was mild, look forward to an even bigger surge of insect populations. As soon as they wake up and start swarming, they’re reproducing. Nuptial flights are taking place, nymphs are hatching, and everyone is coming together to eat and greet. If you’ve ever thought you see more insects in the spring, it’s not your imagination! They’re more active. It’s just that they don’t disappear in the colder months… They change how they act.

Get Help to Get By

Spring’s swarms make the season a difficult time to be a homeowner. If you’re not careful, insect populations can establish themselves in your home. Once they’re in, they won’t come out unless you remove them… And this can be a major challenge. If you see way more insects than you’re comfortable with this spring, give us a call. Total Pest Solutions can identify insect habitats inside or out, no matter the season. We’ll help seal up your home and defend it from any opportunistic pests looking for a way in.