This guide will make your winters and holiday season free from bugs, their bites, and itches.
Yes, this post will reveal the top winter bugs that bite you and hide in your home giving you sleepless nights and restless days.
That’s not all.
You’ll also find out the common winter house bugs that sneak inside your home and the reasons behind that.
Plus, you’ll also learn hacks and tips to stop these bugs from entering your home without spending a dime.
What Are Winter Bugs? Why Are They In Your Home During Winters?
As you know, bugs and pests are pretty common in places with tropical weather.
Most bugs prefer the moisture and the dampness that are easily available in tropical climates. They need them to survive.
But there are some bugs that sneak inside your home during winters.
And these bugs, collectively and for the ease of understanding, are known as winter bugs.
Why do these bugs enter your home during winters?
There are two reasons for it.
The first reason is that they want to escape the sudden drop in temperatures outdoors.
In other words, they look for a place to escape the cold.
Some of these bugs can overwinter or even hibernate starting from the fall months inside your home.
Lack of habitat outdoors makes them sneak inside your home or property.
It’s because your home has all what they need to spend their winters.
Tiny gaps and cracks, clutter, and warmth, make your home a perfect living place for their winters.
The second reason is lack of moisture outdoors during the winters.
When temperatures go freezing, with that there’s a drop in moisture.
In most places in the US, especially in the north and the north east, the air during harsh winters becomes pretty dry.
As your home has places like the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and basement, where there’s a continuous usage of water, these places have the dampness that these bugs need.
On top of that, if your home has water leakages, that increases the overall dampness levels in the floors and the walls, which make your home attractive to bugs.
Winter bugs that bite can be common in homes no matter what the season is.
These bugs are more dependent on a host, which can be you, rather than on the season.
There are also common house bugs in winter that sneak inside your home. You’ll find them later in the post.
But for now let’s check out the winter bugs that bite and itch.
4 Winter Bugs That Bite And Itch Like Crazy
The four winter bugs that bite are –
- Kissing bugs
- Scabies mites
- Bed bugs
Let’s get into each of these bugs and find out why they’re inside your home in the winter and what makes them bite.
Fleas In Winter At Homes
Whoever told you that fleas hibernate or become inactive during winters, it’s wrong.
It’s the other way around.
Fleas become more active during winters. And they’re more likely to spread in your home when the temperature outside drops.
Fleas are pretty cunning and resourceful pests.
During winters, fleas outdoors are more likely to latch onto your pet dog, or cat, who’ll eventually bring them to your home.
Inside your home, they’ll look for cozy places to hide. So, soft furnishings like carpets, hardwood floors, sofas, and even beds are prime real estate for fleas.
And when you spend time in these places you get flea bites during winters too.
But there’s a catch.
Fleas don’t get into these places on their own.
When your pet dog with fleas latched onto her body spends time in these places, some fleas jump off and hide in these soft furnishings.
So, if you’re wondering if your dog brings fleas home, yes she can!
Another reason for fleas to be more likely to get inside your home is that fleas cannot survive cold temperatures.
They need a warm place to spend their winters.
But when the winters are over, do fleas go away on their own? No, never, unless you get rid of them.
Kissing Bugs – The Most Nasty Biting Bug That Enters Homes In Winters
Winters are breeding time for kissing bugs.
During winters, kissing bugs will get into piles of wood, especially firewood piles that you keep in your yard, to nest.
And when you bring these firewood piles, there you’ve it. You’ve just introduced kissing bugs in your home.
But that’s not all.
Kissing bugs don’t like winters either.
They’re attracted to light that comes out from your home.
So, during the winters, and so as throughout the year, kissing bugs can enter home through open doors and windows.
The adult ones are strong fliers too. So, attracted by the light, they’ll fly into your home.
Apart from that, they’ll also crawl into your home through the tiny gaps and cracks on the window sills, door frames, and home’s walls and foundation.
Once inside your home, kissing bugs will lay dormant during the day time. These are nocturnal bugs.
For feeding they’ll come out through their hiding places inside your home to, well, you guessed it right, to bite you and to drink your blood.
The common hiding places for kissing bugs inside a home are tiny gaps and cracks on furniture, walls, and even floors.
But they prefer to live not too far away from their prey.
So, it’s highly likely that they’ll be hiding in the thinnest of gaps on your bed frame, headboards, footboards, and even in the side tables besides your bed.
Kissing bugs spread diseases like chagas disease.
Scabies Mites – The Microscopic Biting Bug That Spreads During Winters
Unfortunately, not all bugs that bite, be it in winters or in any other seasons, are easy to spot.
Some bugs are so tiny that when they bite you wonder what’s biting you but you can’t see.
These bugs are microscopic bugs. And scabies is one of the tiniest of these bugs that leave behind a nasty and itchy bite.
Scabies mites get inside the skin and cause an intense itching. When inside the skin, you’ll notice a burrow track on the skin.
These tracks are visible pathways that scabies created to get deeper into your skin.
But that’s not all. There’s a worst part about scabies mites.
Scabies mites are contagious, which means they spread from one person to another. They also spread from infested fabric and clothing.
Scabies mites are active during winter months because they survive longer and better in climates with lower temperatures.
That’s why infection from scabies mites bites spreads faster in winters than in summers.
In a research study, 28.6% scabies mites survived in sub zero temperatures.
Scabies mites are not visible to the naked eye.
If you observe them under a microscope, scabies mites, which are known as Sarcoptes scabiei, appear as a humped rounded body with eight tiny legs.
In our guide on microscopic bugs that bite, there’re easy ways to get rid of scabies mites and other biting bugs that you can’t see.
Bed Bugs – The Most Unlikely Biting Bug That Is Active In Winters
Let us reveal the truth first.
Bed bugs can’t survive extreme cold temperatures. They die.
But there’s a catch.
Bed bugs will die when you expose them to 0 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four days.
But is there any home, especially in the US, where homes have that kind of bed bug killing freezing temperature?
We haven’t come across any.
Most homes during winters are warm from inside and under heating systems.
That’s more than perfect conditions for bed bugs not just to survive, but to thrive and reproduce.
They’ll hide in warm and cozy places in your home, one of them is your bed, waiting patiently to bite you when you’re asleep.
But do bed bugs hibernate? Yes, they do.
But only if the conditions demand them to go under hibernation.
And what does that mean?
It means that when there are no human hosts around to feed on.
If there are no hosts around then bed bugs will go into a hibernation state. In the hibernation state, bed bugs can easily survive for months.
But while they’re inside your home, the winters have an opposite effect on bed bugs. They become more active!
It’s because, first of all, your home is warm and cozy. Your bed has thick sheets and blankets during winters that make your bed a perfect hiding place for bed bugs.
And the second reason is that there’s a host, which is you, to get the blood meals that they need.
Bed bugs are resilient pests and they’re hard to kill.
And given the environment, coziness and warmth that your home has during winters, bed bugs in winter can become a menace unless you get rid of them.
So, are these the only bugs that get inside your home during winters?
Of course not!
This guide wouldn’t have been helpful to you had it not have a list of common house bugs in winter.
The bugs that you’re about to find out are more nuisance bugs than biting bugs.
But some of them may bite you if you try to take them in your hand or poke them.
Let’s find them out.
7 Common House Bugs In Winters Revealed (And How To Stop Them)
In this section you’ll find out bugs that sneak inside your home during winters.
The reasons are the same as the reasons for the winter bugs that bite get inside your home.
The best part is that most of these bugs don’t bite.
Unlike other common species of roaches that you find in the US, the German cockroaches are more likely to get inside your home during winters.
It’s because German cockroaches are dry and heat seeking roaches. This behavior makes them different from other roach species.
Other home roaches like the oriental cockroach, American cockroach, and the brown-banded roaches, German roaches are the smallest and tannish.
German cockroaches hide in different places too.
Most roaches will hide in damp places like the kitchen and the bathroom.
In contrast, the German roaches are more likely to hide in dry places like wall voids, kitchen cabinets, food pantries, and even inside the drawers.
As heat attracts German roaches, so they sneak inside electronic appliances too. Toasters, the rear side of the refrigerators, and ovens, are the go-to hiding places for German cockroaches.
And the worst part?
German roaches spread faster than all the other domestic roaches.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Overwinter In Your Home
The brown marmorated stink bug, or stink bug, is a kissing bug look-alike that enters home during winters.
The reason they enter homes is because they go into diapause.
Diapause is a hibernation-like stage in bugs when they pause all their feeding and mating activities.
They remain inactive till the spring.
Inside your home stink bugs will hide in tiny cracks and gaps that they’d find in places like attic, storage places, basement, windows and window frames, baseboards, and even in the floor.
Stink bugs are attracted to light. So, the light coming out of your home causes the stink bugs to sneak inside your home.
When inside your home, stink bugs will release pheromone, a type of secretion that bugs use to communicate with each other.
Pheromones emit a smell, that is like a cue for other stink bugs to follow the ones that are already there inside your home.
That’s why during winters, many homeowners report hordes of stink bugs inside their home.
But the relieving part is that stink bugs don’t carry an infestation risk when they’re inside your home.
It means that they won’t breed or lay eggs inside your home during the winters.
Nor do stink bugs cause any damage to clothing, furniture, books, carpets, rugs, and sofas.
Getting rid of stink bugs is no big deal. Use a vacuum cleaner on them to get rid of them and dispose of the vacuum dirt bag away from your home.
Using insecticide spray on them to kill them is a waste of money and energy.
And no matter what you do, don’t squash the stink bugs.
The guts that splashes out of stink bugs when you squash them emit nasty nauseating odor.
Also, it may attract the attention of unwanted pests that feed on dead bugs like the ants and roaches.
Boxelder Bugs Sneak Inside Homes During Winters
Boxelder bugs also enter your home for the same reasons as stink bugs.
They look for a place to overwinter.
When the temperature outdoors drops, boxelder bugs get attracted to the warmth from your home.
Once they’re inside your home these bugs will also hide in gaps and cracks. And they’ll remain inactive till the temperature outdoors drops.
Both stink bugs and boxelder bugs are harmless and they don’t bite humans.
But as they enter homes in large numbers during winters, they quickly become a nuisance.
To get rid of boxelder bugs use a vacuum cleaner on them. That’ll take care of them.
The Western Conifer Seed Bug In Homes During Winters
The western conifer seed bugs enter homes during the fall to hibernate till the end of winter.
Winters are also egg laying season for the western conifer seed bugs.
Inside your home, the western conifer seed bugs will hide in the cracks and clutter of your home.
They’ll also lay eggs, which will hatch by the time spring arrives.
So, when spring arrives, you’d notice baby western conifer seed bugs inside your home coming out of nowhere.
The best way to get rid of them is to stop them from entering your home.
Sealing cracks and gaps on the walls, windows, and doors is one of the ways to do it.
Also, installing window shields with fine meshes that stop bugs from flying in by getting attracted by the light.
Western conifer seed bugs are common in the northern US. They feed on the sap of conifer cones growing in conifer trees.
But the best part is that you don’t need to be afraid of western conifer seed bugs. Neither they bite nor do they cause any damages inside the home.
Termites In Winter
Termites don’t invade homes specifically during winters. They do it all year round.
But during winters, you’ll notice a reduction in termite activity in and around your home.
If termites are in your yard, then you wouldn’t see them during winters.
It’s because during winters, they’ll go deep into the ground to hibernate.
If there’s a termite infestation inside your home then you’ll also notice a reduction in termite activity.
During winters, termites in homes destroy woods closer to their nests. They don’t spread far, wide, and deep inside your home during winters as they’d do in other seasons.
That makes winters an opportune time for termite treatment.
Silverfish In Homes During Winters
Not all states in the US have dry winters. Some regions like Southern California, Washington, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have wet winters.
Silverfish are moisture seeking bugs. That’s why homes in these regions see a sharp spike in silverfish numbers.
This is quite unusual because normally silverfish sneak inside homes during the summer months in search of dampness and cooler places to live.
The most common places in your home where you’ll find silverfish are wet places.
So, the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and basement are the places where silverfish hide.
Silverfish are nocturnal bugs and it’s unlikely to come across them during the day.
They come out during the night in search of food.
Silverfish are not predators and they don’t eat other bugs. They’ll eat stored food in your pantry, protein rich food, grains, vegetables, and even fabric.
False Honey Ants In Home During The Winters
All species of ants are active in human dwellings during winters. The reasons are availability of food, places to make nests, and warmth.
But there’s one species of ants that gets active during winters even outdoors.
And these ants can enter homes during the winters.
These ants are known as false honey ants. False honey ants are tiny, measuring only up to 3 mm (0.11 inches).
The queen false honey ant is the biggest which measures up to 8 mm (0.31 inches).
False honey ants are also known as winter ants. These ants are common in homes during the winters all across the US.
These ants are highly active during winters in the outdoors when most species of ants remain idle.
False honey ants are aggressive to other species of ants, especially to Argentine ants and carpenter ants.
Outdoors, false honey ants will invade their territories and either chase other species of ants away or kill them.
False honey ants are from light to dark brown. They’ve got a prominent oval abdomen which looks like the biggest part of their body.
On noticing closely, you’ll also notice bristles of hair on their abdomen and on their head too.
Thankfully, unlike other ants, the false honey ants don’t fall under the pest category as they’re not invasive species of ants.
Your home is not an ideal habitat for these ants. If they enter your home, they’re less likely to remain there.
But these ants can accidentally enter your home while foraging or when the winged reproductive ants flies in through open doors and windows.
Sealing gaps and cracks of your home and using window shields are the best ways to prevent false honey ants from entering your home.
False honey ants are not dangerous. They do not bite or sting humans and pets.
In this guide you’ve found out the most widespread four winter bugs that bite. These are –
- Kissing bugs
- Scabies mites
- Bed bugs
You’ve also found out the common winter bugs that sneak inside your home. These bugs are more of a nuisance than pests. The common winter bugs in homes are –
- German cockroaches
- Stink bugs
- Boxelder bugs
- Western conifer seed bugs
- False honey ants
This post also reveals to you why these bugs enter your home during winters and what they do.
To know more on other types of bugs that you can easily overlook, check out our post on tiny white bugs that look like dust and microscopic bugs that bite.
In both of these guides you’ll find ways to stop them from entering your home and to protect yourself from their bites.