What Happens to Ladybugs in Winter?

ladybug in winter

Where are the ladybugs during winter?

Do you know where are the ladybugs during winter in the Rocky Mountains?  Read on to learn how ladybugs survive a cold, snowy winter.

So many insects just seem to disappear in the winter and then reappear again in the spring  like magic!  During winter time there is so much snow and it is just so cold.  I am cold all winter long and I have fur and live in my owner’s house.  But, ladybugs don’t have any fur or feathers, can’t put on a jacket, and don’t live in a house.  How do they do it?

ladybugs in winterLadybugs Have A Relatively Long Life In Their Adult Form

Ladybugs are different than most other insects because they live for a long time as adults.  Similar to many insects they transform from an egg to a larva to a pupa and finally to an adult.  This whole transformation takes them about one month.

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Once they are adults they live for on average one year, but can live for several years.  This means that they are somehow able to survive an entire season as an adult and have strategies to survive winter’s cold and summer’s heat.  An adult may survive one, two, or even three winters!

Ladybugs Are Cold-Blooded

Insects are cold-blooded, which means they get their body temperature from their surroundings.  As the temperature drops heading into winter their body temperature drops and they become less active.

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Many insects survive winter in their juvenile form as opposed to their adult form.  Ladybugs face some difficult challenges because they face winter in their adult form.

As they become colder their body functions slower and slower.  Sometimes they will simply go into a state of dormancy.  They may go into a form of hibernation called diapause.

ladybug cluster

Cluster of ladybugs.

Ladybugs In Winter Cluster In Huge Groups To Survive

As winter is coming the ladybugs will gather into large clusters (this could be from just a few to thousands of them).  They do this in order to keep each other warmer during the cold winter months.  The clusters of ladybugs also will find hiding places to gather, such as under bark or leaves, inside hollow trees, or in crevices of trees and rocks.

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If there are homes around, the ladybugs may find a way to get into part of the house to stay warm.  They may in attics or under roofs during the winter then go outside again in summer.

The post What Happens to Ladybugs in Winter? appeared first on Jake’s Nature Blog.

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