Where do bugs go in winter?

Where do bugs go in winter?


(phone rings) – Hi, it’s Doug. What’s the most colorful
insect you’ve ever seen? Well, a couple of years ago I
visited the state of Florida and I was amazed to see these things. They’re some of the most
colorful grasshoppers I’ve ever seen. It’s called a lubber and
what was strangest of all it was the middle of
December when I saw them. Florida doesn’t ever get
very cold in the wintertime so you can see lots of
insects there all year. Someone named Kylie has
a question about insects. Let’s give her a call now. (phone rings) – Hi Doug. – Hi Kylie. – I have a question for you. Where do bugs go in winter? – That’s a great question. If you live somewhere
with cold, snowy winters you might have noticed this too. Just a few months earlier in the year you could find all kinds
of insects around you. Butterflies, ants, bees and lots more. But then winter comes
and they’re just gone and it’s weird too. I mean it’s not like there
are no animals out in winter. For example you might still
see deer or squirrels. Even a few birds like if you get a chance to watch a bird feeder. So, where do all the insects go? What do you think? Now would be a good time to
pause the video and discuss. Well, I grew up somewhere cold and snowy and I used to wonder this myself. But before I tell you about
where insects go in winter let me give you a clue
involving a very different kind of animal. These, frogs. You see, I’m kind of obsessed with frogs and one of my favorite places
to visit when I was younger was this pond that was near where I lived. I’d look for frogs there. I actually got to be pretty
good at catching the frogs, showing them to my friends and family and then releasing them
again into the pond. But every winter the
pond would freeze over and the frogs would disappear. It wasn’t just the frogs either. I stared to notice there’d
never be any turtles in winter and never any snakes too. It was kind of sad for me actually. I missed seeing all these creatures I would find in the summer. One winter while walking around the edge of the frozen pond I was bored. I saw this rotten log sitting
there, nothing too unusual. But since I was bored I
decided to flip it over. As I flipped it over I was
totally shocked by what I saw. There, under the log, nestled
into the freezing cold mud was this frog in the middle of winter. It was just laying there barely moving. Whoa, wait a second. The frogs were there the whole time? That’s when I learned
that frogs do something kind of like hibernation. They go into a long sleep in winter burring themselves in the mud when it first starts to
get cold in the fall. I’d heard of hibernation before
but thought it was something that only bears did and it
turns out it’s not just frogs and bears, but turtles do
this as well, and snakes. In fact some snakes like
these will actually all gather in a big pile like in a cave underground which helps them to stay warm. Oh yeah, I’d never thought
about where the snakes went. So now, what about insects? Could it be that they hibernate
during the winter too? I’ll be honest with you. When I first heard this question, where do bugs go in winter? I thought you might be really
disappointed by the answer because the first thing I thought of were insects like these, praying mantises. Praying mantises are one of many insects that well, the answer is they don’t survive the winter, they die. While it’s sad it’s
part of their lifecycle. Every fall preying mantises
and lots of other insects too will lay eggs that do survive. So even though the adults
don’t survive the winter by spring babies will be born and their lifecycle will go on. But as I started to research
more about this question I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not all insects die in the winter. Now, I’d known that some
insects like monarch butterflies will actually escape the cold
by flying thousands of miles farther south to reach warmer places. They migrate just like many birds do. But what about hibernation? Are there any insects that
can do something similar to what frogs, turtles and bears do? Where they stay alive all winter but just aren’t very active. In fact there are, like these. Ladybugs are a good example and just like the snakes you saw earlier ladybugs will often gather
together in a big pile in a warm place. Sometimes they even try to stay warm by sneaking their way
into people’s houses. If you live somewhere cold in winter you might be able to notice
ladybugs doing this too. So in summary insects and other bugs have different ways of
surviving cold snowy winters. Some of them fly south to warmer places. Others die but lay eggs
and still others are able to survive all winter. They do something similar to hibernation. That’s all for this week’s question. Thanks Kylie for asking it. Now, for the next episode I
reached into my question jar and chose three questions submitted to me that I’m thinking about answering. When this video is done playing
you’ll get to vote on one. You can choose from, why
do people throw confetti? Who invented the alphabet? Or, how is glass made? So submit your vote when the video’s over. I want to hear from all of you watching. There are mysteries all around us. Stay curious and see you next week.

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