Almost all insects have some ability to withstand cold weather. One of the most common strategies is to bury themselves underground, beneath leaf litter, or to burrow under tree bark for protection and hibernate for the season. These protective maneuvers work pretty well most winters, allowing insect populations to remain relatively stable.
When winter temperatures never reach a truly deep freeze, bugs make it through to spring unscathed and ready to multiply. When temperatures drop well below 0° F, though, many individual insects die. The colder the temperature becomes, the fewer survive.
The actual temperature required to kill off pests varies across species. The emerald ash borer, for instance, can generally withstand temperatures as low as -20° F. Any colder than that, and about half of their population dies off. At -30° F, even more of the invasive pests are wiped out. So unfortunately for us the cold temperatures in our region will not impact the EAB.
Fortunately, beneficial insects, such as honey bees are not likely to be impacted by a cold winter. Bees hibernate in their hives for the winter and huddle together for warmth, emerging in the spring to resume their annual flower feast.
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