Where do bugs go in the winter?

When the temperatures start to drop outside, you’ll notice that there seems to be a much lower pest population to deal with. This is common as a lot of insects and pests will hibernate for the winter months. You may have wondered, where do bugs go in the winter? They haven’t necessarily left town like some of the birds have. Rather, they have a method of surviving the winter that allows them to reappear in the spring. In warmer climates, bugs stay active all year. This often makes it difficult to control the pest population. In areas like Virginia where it gets cold outside, this is the perfect time to focus on the seasons ahead.

Here are some common bugs and how they survive the winter


The male mosquito population will die off once their season has come to an end, but the females will go on to make it through the winter. They’ll lay their eggs where the ground is moist which will remain dormant until the temperatures get warmer. Certain mosquitoes can survive the winter in the larval and pupal stage while others will utilize fat-building food sources to bulk up before winter.


Certain species of bees will actually stay active for much of the winter, specifically honeybees. Their activity levels definitely drop down when it’s cold, but they will generate body heat by storing honey. The worker bees also use wing fanning to generate heat.


Ants eat a ton of food in the months leading up to winter. Once it gets colder outside, they will start to slow down. They find areas beneath the soil where they are protected. They may also find spots underneath rocks or tree roots/bark.


The fertilized queens of these hives are the only ones to survive the winter, with everyone else dying off. The queen will hibernate until spring arrives. She will usually be able to seek shelter in a warm spot like your shed or attic. As soon as the temperatures warm up, the queen will become active again and start her new hive.


Cockroaches can only survive temperatures that are above 15 degrees Fahrenheit, so they try their very best to come indoors when the temperatures become cooler. They aren’t super active inside though when it’s cold. They’ll still slow down their heart rate and won’t move around much until spring. Their hibernation state is called diapause.


Flies are very active in the spring and summer months. They spend the winter in the larval or pupal stage but can also hibernate in inconspicuous spots like inside organic matter or protected locations. There are even flies that are able to make their way indoors, clustering inside of your walls until spring. Very small flies may be able to be spotted in the small corners of your windows.

many black flies on a white background

Pest Control in the Winter

If you’re a proactive homeowner that wants to make sure their home is protected year-round, you can work with a trusted pest professional in your area to keep unwanted winter house guests at bay. You can prevent insect activity in and around your home before spring arrives and the colonies even get started. There are different methods available, such as placing poisonous bait outside that will be eaten and taken back to the nest.

You should also take this opportunity to clean up any webs or messes that are in areas like your basement or attic. Eliminating places for insects to hide will make it harder for them to survive the winter, and it will keep them from being able to make a comfortable home when spring arrives.

Black ants all over the wall of a house

PestNow of Central Virginia is a veteran-owned and operated local business offering professional pest-control services throughout the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Northern Neck areas. If you’re concerned with pest control throughout the year or you have a problem that needs to be addressed in a timely manner, you get the best of both worlds with our service. We offer support from our nationwide PestNow organization along with personalized service, individual attention and professional expertise from the local Virginians who own and operate our three locations. Reach out to us today for more information.