Not a Creature was Stirring... (AKA: The holiday edition)
It’s the winter holiday season and I’m taking some time off. So here’s some winter and holiday-related items to carry you through to next week.
In the US, there are plenty of insects still active in the cold months. Stoneflies are probably my personal favorite. It’s not just those outside insects, plenty of pests stay active inside during the winter. German cockroaches are still perfectly happy in warm kitchens munching on holiday treats and bed bugs aren’t taking any time off during the holiday season. Lastly, there are the overwintering pests like the Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs that get in and just hang out for the winter.
Pests in trees/plants
People like to bring in plants and trees for the winter. They are pretty and add some holiday cheer. So far this year, I’ve seen news reports of koalas, owls, and raccoons in trees that were brought into the home. That’s just the big ones, lots of insects come in on trees and plants. There is even a good chance invasive insects like the spotted lanternfly are being moved around. I remember a few years back I bought some poinsettias and didn’t check them too well. A week later, I had whiteflies all over my living room.
It may be winter in the northern hemisphere, but it is summer in the southern hemisphere. Christmas beetles are native to Australia and there are actually 35 species of this colorful scarab beetle. The association with Christmas comes from the fact that right around this time, the adults are out and mating.
Spiders are one of my favorites. Some spiders may get in and while away the winter hours in a nice dark corner. They don’t ask for any winter presents, just the occasional insect to eat. There is a cool legend, likely from Ukraine or Germany about the Christmas spider. The story goes: a widowed mother was too poor to decorate the holiday tree so spiders can down in the night and spun their webs all over the tree. When the morning sun lit the room, the tree sparkled with silver and gold.
So check your incoming goods for pests, protect yourself from the indoor pests that operate year-round, and hang some lucky Christmas spiders to decorate your space. Stay safe and have a happy holiday!
Not enough for you? Fine, check these out: