does the first frost kill bugs.

What Pests Live Indoors in Winter?

October 11, 2023

As the leaves begin to change and temperatures drop, homeowners in the Midwest start to prepare for winter weather by checking off their fall maintenance list. Raking leaves, cleaning gutters, checking the furnace and other tasks are important. One that shouldn’t be forgotten on the list is inspecting and sealing any cracks and crevices along the exterior of your home. When the weather gets colder, insects and other pests try to make their way indoors, which could lead to a pest problem throughout the winter, or a scare during the spring when most insects are coming out of their hibernation state. Read on to know more about which types of winter pests you need to keep a lookout for during the coldest months of the year and the best ways to keep them out.

Does Cold Weather Kill Insects in the Midwest?

Many homeowners will ask our experts if the first frost kills bugs, and once that happens, if they’re safe from worrying about more pests sneaking inside. This is a myth - the temperatures must consistently drop below freezing for the cold weather to kill insects.

How Do Insects Survive Iowa Winters?

Midwestern states are known for our harsh freezing weather, but not all insects will freeze to death during the winter. Cold weather can kill insects, such as wasps and mosquitoes, but their eggs will still survive the winter, so these pests will still appear again and repopulate in the spring.

Where Do Bugs Go in The Winter When it Snows in The Midwest?

During late autumn and early winter, many pests try to fit through any crack or crevice to find shelter and survive the winter weather by living indoors. Once inside, they will seek out a secluded place with little foot traffic, such as the attic, where they can go months without being noticed. These types of insects survive the winter by going into a state similar to hibernation, they are inactive until the weather warms back up. On some warm and sunny winter days they may temporarily come to life, but most homeowners will not spot the pests living indoors in the winter until springtime when they try to escape back outside.

What Iowa Pests Live Indoors in The Winter?

If you’re not taking steps to keep bugs out before winter, you could have a variety of winter insects on your hands. Luckily, most of the common winter pests are harmless, but can be a real nuisance when they accumulate into an infestation.

  • Carpenter Ants. Most people think ants are a summertime pest, but carpenter ants can be an inconvenience year round. These pests live indoors in the winter if they’re brought in on firewood. Homeowners should make sure they store firewood carefully.
  • Stink Bugs. These critters are becoming a more common winter pest in Iowa lately. Brown marmorated stink bugs are very difficult to get rid of, and oftentimes the best way to take care of a stink bug infestation is to sweep or vacuum up this pest.
  • Cluster Flies. If you’re wondering where bugs go in the winter, many follow the lead of the cluster flies, which is also known as the attic flies. These insects hibernate throughout the colder months, then become active again when warm weather hits.
  • Boxelder Bugs. A boxelder bug infestation might be the easiest for homeowners to spot. These insects are very sensitive to the cold, and they are attracted to sunlight. They won’t be hiding in the attic or basement like many other winter pests.
  • Asian Lady Beetles. This insect looks very similar to a ladybug, but there are slight differences between the Asian lady beetle and ladybug. Fortunately, they will not reproduce inside homes and will find their way back outdoors in the spring.

Two other bugs that could be found in your home during this time of year are springtails and foreign grain beetles. We didn’t include them on this list since it’s not the cold weather that kills these insects, but a lack of moisture. Springtails and foreign grain beetles follow very similar habits and make their way indoors before winter because the moisture outside is drying up. These pests are so tiny, they’re not typically spotted until there’s an infestation of tiny black bugs found in the sink or the bathtub. If you get springtails or foreign grain beetles inside your home, they will almost always be found in the kitchen or a bathroom where there is plenty of water. However, there is still not enough moisture inside a home to sustain these pests, so they will end up dying off eventually.

How to Keep Bugs Out Before The Midwest’s Winter Weather Hits

Following pest prevention best practices will ensure you don’t have any pests trying to live indoors in the winter. Include checking the perimeter of your home for cracks and small openings to your fall homeowner maintenance list. Most insects can fit through very tiny gaps, so you should caulk and seal the smallest spaces you find. If you do end up with a winter pest infestation on your hands, try to vacuum them up or contact a professional to take steps to manage the number of pests in your home.

Contact Preferred Pest Control for Help With Winter Pest Problems in Des Moines

If you’re struggling to keep bugs out before winter, contact the experts at Preferred Pest Control at (515) 276-2722! Our team of trained technicians stays on top of the latest advances in pest management and will know how to find which pests are living indoors in the winter. Get started today and schedule an appointment online!


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