Little Critters

Illustrated by Sarah Pullen

Did you know...

A lot of insects hibernate? This is how many have survived for millions of years. It is how some are able to grow, and for others it is a survival skill.

Flies are capable of surviving the winter cold. The cold air drives them into shelter which is why they are often found in attics, wall cracks and window frames.

This dormant condition of insects during winter is called diapause.

Honeybees remain semi-active in hollow trees through the generation of body heat. Heat energy is produced by the oxidation of the honey and circulated throughout the hive by the wing-fanning of worker bees.

The nymphs of dragon flies and mayflies live under pond ice until they come out as adults in the spring. Caterpillers (larvae) and moths (pupae) also hibernate as their immature selves until the warmth of spring. Blankets of snow benefit insects by insulating the ground and keeping the temperature surprisingly constant.

Beetles are looking for a secure, dry area that will protect them from the cold air and predators, such as spiders. They look for bark to burrow under for hibernation and spend the winter under leaves and other debris for warmth and safety.

Let’s learn to love the piles of leaves and debris in our yards until these little critters have had a chance to come out and do their work in the  spring - pollinating, eating dead fall and generally being buggy!