How Do Insects Survive Freezing Temperatures?

Insects survive freezing temperatures in a variety of ways: burrowing underground and hibernating, living under ice as larvae and even producing chemicals that protect their bodies against freezing. In fact, insects produce their own antifreeze called glycerol, which was once used an ingredient in antifreeze for cars. Partial dehydration of an insect's cells also protect against freezing.

More about how insects survive cold temperatures:

  • Like other animals, insects sometimes enter a dormancy period known as diapause, relying on external signals, such as a change in the length of a day, to determine when to emerge from the dormant state.

  • Cockroaches and other insects often prefer to spend their winters in the warmth of people's homes.

  • Mosquitoes have been known to survive being trapped in airplane landing gear for several hours, even at temperatures as low as minus-58° Fahrenheit (minus-50° Celsius).

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Discussion Comments


Regular draining of puddles and other water bodies near home is key also. Or stock mosquito-eating fish in your pond.

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