As professional exterminators, we have to learn a lot about insects and bugs, especially the kinds that live in North Carolina and South Carolina. We have learned what insects eat, where they like to nest, what they do in winter
, and how they spend their days. We know where in your house bugs like to live, where they try to get into homes, and how they form their nests. One question we were asked recently was, “Do insects sleep? If so, when?” This provided a great chance to do a little more research into the lives of our local bugs.
The short answer is yes, insects sleep. Like all animals with a central nervous system, their bodies require time to rest and restore. But not all bugs sleep the same.
An insect’s circadian rhythm – or the regular cycle of awake and asleep time – changes based on when it needs to eat. Bed bugs
, for example, sleep during the day so that they can spend the night eating their prey (animals and people) as they sleep. On the other hand, bees (including carpenter bees
and honey bees) need to spend the day traveling to nectar sources (flowers and flowering plants), so they sleep at night (and have been observed to take naps during the day as well). Scientists have shown in lab studies that insects that are sleep deprived (kept awake during sleeping hours) have to make up for that by getting extra rest during the time they’re supposed to be awake (bugs, they’re just like us!).
So why do we care about sleep cycles in bugs? Not only is it interesting to learn more about the wildlife around us, it can also help us be able to find and, if needed, attack insect pests. Bugs are less responsive when sleepy or sleeping, so having an exterminator attack their nests during resting hours is more efficient and effective. For example, it’s more efficient to poison wasp and yellow jacket
nests in the evening when they’re all in their nests.
Do you have any more burning questions about bugs and insects in the Carolinas? We’re always happy to learn and teach about pests and insects. Send your questions for the exterminators via the Contact Us form
, and we’ll answer them in an upcoming blog.