Even though the winter season is hardly over by the time the month of February rolls around, several bugs begin to emerge during the late winter weeks. The weather during February is usually too cold for most insects to survive, but certain arachnids and insects can easily survive and thrive in spite of late-winter temperatures. In fact, some species of spider and insect begin to emerge while snow is still covering the ground. Although this time of year sees several different insect species emerge from their winter slumber, most people living in urban regions will not notice the increase in certain insect populations. People living in cities that are located in relatively cold midwestern states, like Chicago, do not usually notice an increase in wild insects until the spring and summer months. However, in rural regions, insects are thriving.


The types of insects that emerge during the earliest weeks of the year typically thrive in the wild, as opposed to merely surviving. This is due to the vast amount of food and resources that are available in the environment during the late winter months. Since most insects are not yet active, untouched and substantial food sources are available only to the insects that are the earliest to appear during the winter. As the year progresses and spring arrives, these abundant food sources are overtaken by the most dominant insect species. The vast amount of plant matter that is available to insects will ensure that soil is properly fertile for the coming spring season.


This time of year sees the earliest emerging insects rapidly consuming and expelling vast amounts of soil and plant matter. The removal and the recycling of plant matter into fertilizer, prepares the ground for plant growth once the spring season arrives. During the latter half of the winter season, one of the most populous midwestern states, Illinois, sees more than fifty different insect and arachnid species emerge to lay eggs before the spring thaw. Stoneflies, snow flies, many different arachnid species and thousands of tiny springtails are just a few of the lesser known bugs that appear in between the winter and the beginning of the spring season in most regions of the United States.


Have you ever witnessed an insect or arachnid species actively moving within snow?


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