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A who’s-who of common Massachusetts pests and what they’re up to in winter.

It’s that time of year. We’re waiting anxiously to see what New England weather will throw at us. So far it’s been pretty mild, but we all know how sneaky February and March can be. Then of course there’s the first thaw of spring and all the pest problems that come with it. Here’s what pests in Massachusetts are up to now, and when you can expect to see them again.



Where are they now? Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes do not simply die off when the cold moves in. Depending on the species, mosquitoes can overwinter in standing water as eggs; adult females of some species may take cover and hibernate in hollow logs or trees, animal burrows, even basements.

When will we see them again? Typically, mosquitoes will slowly start to reappear when temperatures rise above 50 degrees (around April), although they much prefer temperatures closer to 80. Eggs will begin to hatch and hibernating adult females will begin hunting for food so they may lay their eggs, continuing the life cycle for the next season.


Where are they now? Certainly not hibernating! Recent mild temperatures have had ticks out and about. Some species may go dormant, but others can hide out in leaf litter or attached to a host. Warm weather can bring them out, wide awake and hungry until the next round of cold sends them back into hiding.

When will we see them again? Well, according to the latest news, you could see ticks roaming around today if you’re in the right place. While most tick species thrive in warm, damp environments, it’s important to stay vigilant all year.


Where are they now? As with mosquitoes, people tend to assume termites die or hibernate in cold temperatures, but as busy as termites are, they can’t afford to stop. Rather than go dormant, termites will burrow deeper into the ground the colder the weather becomes. If a colony is able to settle into a home or business before the freeze, termites can spend all winter feeding on that structure without a care in the world.

When will we see them again? Subterranean termites (the only termite native to Massachusetts) will swarm as the weather warms, and typically after a period of rain. These swarming termites are on a mission to pair with a mate and find a location to establish a new colony. Often, swarmers or their wings are the first sign of an infestation.


Where are they now? Ants tend to spend the fall consuming a large amount of nutrients to sustain them through the winter. They will nest in warm areas deep in the ground, inside trees, under rocks, or inside homes. As the temperatures continue to drop, ants will huddle around the queen to keep her warm and ensure the survival of the colony.

When will we see them again? Depending on the weather, ants can reemerge as early as late winter-- and if they’ve been overwintering in your home, you may see them sporadically even in January. After a couple weeks of consistently warm weather, the queen will awaken, rousing the rest of the colony.

Since winter is generally a time for pests to rest and regroup for spring, it’s a good time for people to learn about and prepare for what’s to come. Call Burgess Pest for a free inspection and be ready all year long with one of our Pad Protection Plans. Even if the pests are resting, we’re not.

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Topics: Cape Cod Pest Control, Termites, Mosquitoes and Ticks, massachusetts pest control, pest control, winter pest control, ant control, south shore pest control, Boston pest control

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