Bug Blog

Insects Surviving Winter Storm

Insects Surviving Winter Storm

It is conventional wisdom that insects do not like freezing temperatures. Which means insects will do anything to avoid the cold weather, either by migrating elsewhere, coming into our homes or burying themselves deep below the snowy ground to protect themselves.

There are some insect species that die off quickly when the temperature drops below zero; others can survive weather a bit colder. Currently researchers are working on a how-cold-to-kill research project with several different insects testing how quickly insects die when temperatures drop. Most recently they have been working with the sugarcane aphid, So far, all they know it that, “it will die at something below 32 degrees, but we don’t know what that number is,” Pat Porter an employee at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service said.

So, what can farmers expect this growing season with many bugs still alive? The answer to this question all depends on the upcoming winter weather, which has about another 3 months to go.

“A big snowstorm like this is definitely good for our spring soil moisture starting out,” said Brandt Underwood, a conservation agronomist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “It’s one of those things that you want to be thankful for the moisture, but at the same time you hate it to see it come with the intensity it did,” Underwood said. “You hate to turn down moisture, but at the same time, you don’t want to see any other producers have a heartbreak.”