As the winter season settles in, it brings about changes not only in our surroundings but also in the world of pests. In Kansas and Missouri, the cold temperatures have unique effects on pest populations, influencing their behavior and survival strategies. In this blog post, we will delve into the winter effects on pests in these regions, shedding light on how insects and other creatures adapt to the challenging conditions.

Temperature Impact on Pest Populations:

Winter temperatures play a crucial role in controlling pest populations. While extreme cold can be detrimental to certain pests, it may not completely eradicate them. According to Ag Update, even if temperatures don’t reach extreme lows, a significant cold snap can still have an impact on insect populations. The duration of cold weather can also affect their survival and ability to reproduce.

Pests Surviving the Winter Season:

Despite the chilly temperatures, some pests manage to endure and survive through the winter in Kansas and Missouri. The following are examples of pests known to persist during this time:


Paper Wasps: Paper wasps like to build their nests in porch ceilings, soffits, door and window frames, and other protected surfaces. The main population won’t be very threatening if they get indoors during the winter. However, the queen will find a place to overwinter and start a new nest in the spring. Keeping the queen out of your house in winter is a great first step in avoiding a nest come spring.


Cockroaches: Cockroaches tend to remain outside in logs or trees during the winter but will come inside your house if they are having difficulty finding food or keeping warm. Taking precautions to keep food sources sealed, your home clean, and sealing up entry pathways can keep them from overtaking your home.


Termites: Termites are a bit different from other pests in that they don’t generally take breaks, no matter how cold it gets. Termites tend to change their behaviors during the winter, though. The cooler the temperatures get, termite colonies tend to dig down into the ground to pursue warmth. This is why termites love warm homes where they don’t have to work so hard for a food source.


Pest Behavior in Winter:

During winter, pests seek warm spaces with ample food sources to survive. Pests in Missouri, such as rodents and insects, look for sheltered areas like homes, garages, and sheds. These locations provide protection from the cold and access to potential food sources.