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How do Insects Survive Harsh Winters?

February 23rd, 2016

How do Insects Survive Harsh Winters?

Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Warm weather and sunshine make summer the favorite season of many, but one downside is that with warm, balmy weather comes the presence of more insects.

So, you may ask, why is this? Where do bugs go in the winter?

There are several different tactics that insects employ to get through the harsh winter months. And these tactics vary depending on the type of insect.

Some, like butterflies and dragonflies, avoid the cold completely. Think of them as the insect equivalent of human “snow birds.” These insects migrate to warmer climates in the winter. For example, North American Monarch butterflies are famous for making their way to Central Mexico each winter.

Interestingly, some species of bugs avoid the cold by freezing and then re-emerging once winter is finished. This is similar to hibernation techniques that mammals employ. The Wooly Bear Caterpillar, for instance, completely freeze to the point where ice forms inside of their bodies. Then, slowly come back to a fully-functioning state once temperatures start to rise.

Fascinating stuff! Are you impressed by these winter survival techniques? It makes us think that humans have it pretty easy in the winter!

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