Wintertime isn’t ideal for most gardeners, hikers and anyone else who enjoys the outdoors. The leaves have fallen from the trees, days are shorter, the temperature has dropped – but at least there aren’t any bugs. Right?

Even if they aren’t as active, that doesn’t mean insects aren’t around during the winter. In fact, the Southern states may see new bugs crop up that aren’t prevalent during warmer weather. That’s because,like birds, some bugs migrate south for the winter to avoid the harsh winters up North.

While some insects simply survive the winter by hibernating and practicing freeze avoidance strategies, others thrive during the cooler weather and are considered freeze tolerant.

Insects that Come Out When It’s Cold

Centipedes – These insects are fairly reclusive all year long, however, they can still be found creeping around during the winter. They can survive outside and stay active during cold weather better than most bugs.

Winter Active Dung Beetle – Though they can be found year round, most dung beetles are less active when it’s cold out. However, a new species called the winter active dung beetle has been introduced in Europe and Australia where farmers are using them to disperse dung during the colder months. It’s very likely these bugs will eventually make their way stateside.

Winter Moth–These are one of the few moths that are active as adults throughout the winter season. Winter Moths emerge in November or December and mate during the winter.

Bugs that Migrate South for Winter

Monarch Butterflies – These bright orange butterflies make a serious migration that can range from as far North as Canada to as far South as Mexico. In addition to migrating to warmer regions, Monarchs will also clump together in large groups to generate heat and fight off the cold.

Green Darner–Green Darners is a dragonfly species that is large, green and migrates South for the winter. Once they are in warmer weather they breed, lay eggs and eventually die before the eggs hatch in the Spring.

Leafhoppers – These pests that feed on plants make the journey South for winter where they aren’t nearly as active as in Spring and Summer when their food supply is high.

Insects that are Active All Year Long

Cockroaches – These insects become indoor dwellers when the temperature drops outside. There are four types of cockroaches that are around all year long: American, German, Oriental and Brown-Banded.

Ants – They may not be marching around as much during the winter, but ants definitely aren’t hibernating. Instead, they gather together deep in their underground colonies where they fill up on the food they stored for winter. If you step on an ant bed they are sure to show up even when it’s cold outside.

Termites – Just like ants, termites also retreat to the warmth of their colonies during the winter – but not to hibernate. On warmer, sunny winter days you may even see them come out to enjoy the weather.

Fly – Various types of flies, like the Winter Stonefly, can be found year round. If you suddenly see a fly in your home in the dead of winter it’s most likely a Cluster Fly. These flies often seek shelter in a home when it’s cold outside and will emerge on warmer winter days.

Ladybugs – You may not know it, but ladybugs could be shacking up in your house when it’s cold outside. When winter sets in these bugs will seek shelter in attics and other out of the way spots in people’s homes.

Have you spotted a winter bug lurking inside your home or outside? Let us know in the comment section below and visit now!