Many insect populations die off when cold weather hits, but some species are able to survive through the winter. Adult beetles, aphids and leafhoppers seek shelter under loose tree bark, in ground debris and even in our homes. Honeybees create heat in the middle of their hives by rapidly moving their bodies and wings. Beetle grubs bury themselves several inches deep in the soil.
If you look closely at odd-shaped dead leaves, you may find the cocoon of a moth or a butterfly chrysalis. As long as predators don’t find these insects in a dormant state, their life cycles will continue in the spring.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, environmental outreach coordinator with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.