The Insect that Lives Throughout Winter!
Winter, whether you love it or hate it, in Michigan the snow has come early this year! Even if you are on “Team Hate”, winter does have some charms to it. For example, at least you don’t have to worry about bugs…or do you? There are quite a few insects that can and do live through our cold Michigan winters. One of these little buggers, is called the Snow Flea. “Yuck, fleas.” The good news about this little guy is, you don’t really have to worry about these little fellows, but they can be alarming when you encounter them.
The most upsetting thing about the Snow Flea is probably how abundant they can be. During winter, you might spot literally thousands of them. Imagine you are on a quiet walk outside, you look down on what seems to be dirty snow, and see all these little black specks. You look down to get a closer look, and all of the sudden you see thousands of small black specks springing up at you all through the air around you. Yes, you found them, Snow Fleas! Snow Fleas typically live in soil, leaf litter, and under bark. They are still somewhat of a mystery. It is believed that they are mostly plant eaters, but they may scavenge on some animal matter. When conditions are just right, they emerge from damp dark quarters and cover the snow. One source says their population may number in the millions per acre! How are they alive??? Snow fleas are capable of synthesizing an antifreeze-like protein that keeps their bodies from freezing. They automatically begin producing this protein when temperatures dip beneath a certain threshold. Snow Fleas have been called one of the most hardiest animals ever! This antifreeze, along with an easily-satisfied diet allow them to survive our Michigan winters without much effort. The good news is, Snow Flies are not dangerous at all. They can’t bite or sting, nor can they damage plants, food products, property, or clothing. If you had to choose a bug to deal with in winter, you could do a lot worse than snow fleas. These little guys are totally harmless, non-invasive, and content to stay away from you. At worst, all they’ll do is ruin your view of endless expanses of snow. Even though pests largely take some time off every winter, that doesn’t mean your pest control should. There’s still plenty good year-round pest control can do for you this season. Remember: prevention is always more effective than treatment. If you need some pest prevention (or treatment!) this winter, give Presidio Pest Management a call anytime. We’re always happy to brave the cold for you.