Babies Dig Deep. The larvae (early life stage) of some insects survive the cold by borrowing deep into the ground, often under piles of leaves, to stay warm. The woolly worm caterpillar, a favorite of Carolina children, is one such larval that will overwinter underground. In the spring, these larvae will emerge from the ground and start their transformation and growth into adult insects. (Some people even think the woolly worm – or woolly bear – can predict winter’s temperature.)
Underground Eggs. A few insects will lay their eggs underground to wait out the winter. Locally, this is most familiar for praying mantis.
Wrap Up to Wait It Out. Some insects will stall out winter in their pupal stage. One example is silkworm moths (family Saturniidae), which become dark brown pupae wrapped in tan, paper-like cocoons that you can spot on tree branches or in piles of leaves or the crevices of rocks.
Move South. Like humans, many bugs just want to flee colder temperatures. Monarch butterflies and other winged insects will fly to warmer locals, often quite far away. Thankfully, the pests that eat garden and food crops usually take their leave in winter too.
Sleep Through It. Many species of insects hibernate through the winter. They find warm, protected areas to sleep out of winter’s way. Some can even turn part of their body water into a substance that works like antifreeze. Honey bees and Japanese lady beetles (a.k.a. lady bugs) will each huddle together with their own kind in large groups to keep warm.
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