Do Most Bugs Die Off During the Winter? What to Know About Winter Bugs

dead bug on frozen water

When the temperatures drop in the winter, most animals seek warm shelter, and some hibernate.

But have you ever wondered where bugs, like insects and arachnids, go during the winter time? Here in Alabama, there’s a noticeable lack of mosquitos during the winter. You probably just assume they all die off, right?

Since you’re curious, and this is our specialty, let’s explore this topic in detail. Stick around to learn more about winter bugs!

Do Bugs “Die Off” During the Winter?

First, we’re going to cover the primary question: do bugs “die off” during the winter?

The answer, for the most part, is actually no. Many winter bugs have their own form of winter hibernation known as overwintering. Overwintering involves a strong tolerance to cold temperatures and involves shutting down activity to become dormant. This doesn’t mean every bug survives the winter—many don’t. However, some do survive.

Winter bugs cannot live forever in this dormant state—without a safe place to hide out; unfortunately, many insects pick human homes for this purpose. Others, however, find caves or holes in the ground to nest in and wait out the winter.

Survival Strategies of Winter Bugs

Now that you have a general idea of overwintering behavior, let’s dive deeper into the behaviors and survival strategies of a few winter bugs that stay active and do not overwinter during long periods of cold temperatures.


Some say that, in the event of a nuclear apocalypse, cockroaches would still be crawling around despite few other forms of life surviving. In other words, cockroaches are highly resilient to whatever brutal conditions they find themselves in; those conditions also include extremely low outdoor temperatures.

Unlike overwintering bugs, the resilient cockroach keeps on keeping on; however, it’s worth noting their lives during winter aren’t exactly the same as things are in warm summers. Cockroaches can’t reproduce or develop when it’s cold out, so no new broods are born, and growth is delayed unless they find a warm place with a water source to take refuge.  


Throughout the winter, termites remain active, posing a continuous threat to your property. Similarly to cockroaches, termites scramble to find shelter so as to avoid winter in the outdoors. 

Subterranean termites, which mostly live underground, will usually avoid the cold by crawling deeper into the earth. Or, if they were digging close enough to your property, this type of termite will do as all other species of termites—they’ll head somewhere warm and full of materials they can joyously destroy, like a tree (or your house). 

It’s essential to stay vigilant and implement preventive measures, especially during the winter months, to protect your home from these silent invaders. However, if you notice signs of termite damage, seek help from a professional in termite control and removal immediately. 

Stop Winter Bugs from Moving In

Despite the presence of bugs continuing throughout the winter, you can take preventative measures to avoid them negatively impacting your home and family. Preventative actions include:

  • Regular inspections
  • Sealing potential entry points
  • Maintaining cleanliness

While bugs may not perish entirely during the winter, taking proactive measures like these can significantly decrease the chances of them invading your home.

Birmingham’s Choice for Professional Pest Control

At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, we not only offer solutions for both short- and long-term prevention: We can also eradicate infestations disrupting your home. 

We have proudly served families in Alabama since 1965, and we would love to help you, too! Call us at 205-663-4200 or contact us online today to learn more about our affordable, highly effective pest control solutions.

To learn more about pests in Alabama and how to prevent them, check out our pest blog.