Overwintering is a common term used on this blog to describe pests and their habits.  Since it is used so often we thought we’d go into a little more detail about what overwintering means to pests and your home.

The definition of overwinter is “to pass, spend, or survive the winter: to overwinter on the Riviera.”  [source]

Overwintering is a term used in several categories such as pests, birds, and plants.  In our case, we are most often referring to pests and their activities that allow them to survive the cold temperatures.  Insects overwinter by finding a warm place to call home, in many cases this is YOUR home.  Bugs will enter structures, mulch, leaves or soil to protect themselves from the low temperatures.

Bugs look at your house as their “winter vacation home”.  On occasion, they will make themselves known during the overwintering period by venturing out into the living spaces of a house.  But most often, they emerge in the spring time when the temperatures begin to rise.  This is a big reason why there is such an increase in visibility of pests in and around your home in the spring time.  They’ve been there all along; they just may not have been very active.

Preventing these pests from getting into your home in the first place is your best defense.

  • Seal or caulk all cracks and crevices around foundation, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out.  Pests feed and make homes out of the built up debris.
  • Keep a clean home.  Vacuum, sweep, mop, and clean up spills that will attract pests to your home.
  • Get regularly scheduled pest control.  Regular scheduled pest control will prevent bugs from coming in and will make it easier to control any pest problems that arise.

Common insects that overwinter: