We've all been there: it's snowy and cold outside, and yet, here comes a creepy crawly from the dark corner of your room. Why isn't that little fellow asleep somewhere in a hibernation hole? Don't all bugs hibernate in winter?
The short answer is no. Some insects will migrate, some will die off (such as mosquitos, where only the females survive the winter), and some will overwinter through hibernation. Many insects, however, do not go into full hibernation and are simply hunkered down until the next warm day. Ants and lady bugs are good examples of this. These insects simply seek a warm, sheltered place and bide their time until it becomes warm enough to move around again.
One pest control problem we face here in Virginia is that we often get warm days here and there throughout the Autumn and Spring, and we even get them at random in the middle of the Winter months. Just as it feels nice to us to have a break from the cold, the bugs also get excited about the warmth. The rising temperature will pull them from their dormancy and then, on the next cold night, those bugs are seeking shelter somewhere warm. And that "somewhere warm" is likely to be your home. Often, insects will seek to shelter in cracks and crevices of your home's exterior, and will be right there, ready to sneak inside and get cozy with you at the first opportunity.
That phenomenon is why it is important, especially here in Central Virginia, to maintain yard control through October and why it's necessary to maintain a home pest control barrier throughout the year, even when it seems like spraying for bugs in the middle of January isn't as useful. It will protect you and your home from insects year round. So next time there's an unseasonably warm day in February, you can enjoy it without thinking about all insects waiting to sleep in your house with you tonight!