Eli5: Where do insects go when temperatures drop below -25C in the winter and isn’t the soil frozen for them to go under?

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Eli5: Where do insects go when temperatures drop below -25C in the winter and isn’t the soil frozen for them to go under?

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18 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Insects have a lifecycle that goes like egg > larva > pupa > adult. A cold snap could kill all the adult insects, but if there’s still eggs or grubs hanging out underground, underwater, or in some sheltered spot, then they’ll be back before long.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Obviously this will vary by species. But generally:

Soil doesn’t freeze very deep down. Many insects will burrow down deeper into the soil.

Many will also find protected spaces like crawl spaces under houses or fallen trees and stumps that offer some slight insulation from the cold.

Many insects can also tolerate very low temperatures. They don’t have nearly as much water by weight as other animals so there’s less risk of cell damage from frozen water. So when there’s a hard freeze, they aren’t necessarily injured as we or other vertebrates would.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most insects live less than a year so they just die when it starts getting cold or earlier. The ones that live longer tend to spend a good chunk of their life underground waiting for it to get warm.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Some good answers here another factor is that snow is very insulating, and temperatures at the snow ground interface tend to be much warmer than air temperatures. So insects and other animals that burrow under the snow are able to remain warm.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ever drank water from a well ?

It’s not at all cold in winters. And it’s so cool in summers.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are multiple strategies used by various insects… I can’t remember them all, but here’s what I remember

1. Some just flat out don’t survive
2. Some find sheltered areas that don’t get as cold, and survive in them
3. Some are underground beforehand, I think 10cm underground is like moving 100km towards the equator in terms of the temperature
4. Some are able to survive limited freezing
5. Others are able to survive complete freezing

The strategy used is generally dependent on the origins of the insect, a mosquito from tropical regions would fit in number 1 while an insect from northern regions that doesn’t have a burrowing phase could be a number 4 or 5

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Insects are not warm blooded like mammals; they just get slower and less energetic in cold weather. Some insects can increase the amount of sugars in their blood, which acts as an antifreeze. Larva are typically underwater, at the bottom of the creek where it never freezes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Bees will collect together and keep each other warm. I have seen rocks in Colorado that were red, on a closer look it is covered in ladybugs six inches deep in constant motion rotating in and out to regulate temperature.