There are almost 1 million different kinds of insects, but have you ever wondered where they go during the winter? Most of them become dormant, but a few die in the fall.


Fun Facts

  • Adult flies and mosquitoes live through the winter in attics and unused rooms in a house. Often, they are dormant and look like they’re dead. Outdoors, they take shelter in caves or tree trunks.
  • As the weather warms in the spring, these insects lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes usually die after they lay their eggs. Flies can live for several more months, laying several batches of eggs.
  • Beetles dig down into the ground or work their way into holes in the bark of trees. They stay there until spring, barely alive.
  • Ladybugs gather together by the thousands and pile under rocks or in tree stumps. They might come out or move around on warm days. During cold weather, they are very still.
  • Female grasshoppers dig holes in the ground in the fall where they lay up to 100 eggs. All adult grasshoppers die in the fall, but the eggs will hatch in the spring and new grasshoppers will emerge.
  • Like grasshoppers, female (and male) crickets also die in the fall after burying their eggs in the ground.
  • Katydids also die in the fall. Before they go, female katydids lay their eggs on the edges of leaves or in cracks in branches.
  • The female praying mantis squeezes a liquid out of her body that looks like soap bubbles. She lays her eggs in this liquid, which hardens and forms a tough outer coating. In the spring, tiny praying mantises emerge.
  • Ants dig deeper into their underground homes. They huddle together to stay warm.
  • Honeybees push together into the middle of the hive to stay warm. The bees on the outside where it’s cold push to get into the center. The bees in the center move outward. The bees are constantly moving all winter long.
  • Some butterflies rest in tree hollows, but others, such as monarch and painted lady butterflies, migrate to warmer places. Moths usually spend the winter inside their cocoons.


Learn More

Watch a video of the butterfly migration.