The STEM Way

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The STEM Way

Why do so many bugs come out in the spring?

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As the weather is getting warmer, we are spending so much more time playing in the yard and we’ve been seeing SO MANY interesting bugs out there. We’ve seen spiders, ants, bees, wasps, worms and a new bug i’ve never seen before – A boxelder bug !  They are black with orange markings ion their back. Boxelder bugs are harmless. They come out in spring and feed on developing leaves.

What do Boxelder Bugs Look Like? | Boxelder Bug Identification Guide


Can you find the boxelder bug in the above pictures? They look so cool! But we have to be really careful they don’t get into and infest our home once the weather cools down again.

But where are all these bugs coming from? What were they doing all winter?


Some bugs, like the monarch butterfly migrate south for the winter and other bugs become dormant.

They save all their energy in the winter, since it’s so cold and they don’t find food to eat during the winter.

Many bugs hide under the ground,rocks, in trees, even in our attics- all winter and stay completely still and preserve their energy.

FUN FACT: Ants hiberbate in the winter!


As the temperatures rise they start moving and come out looking for food.  They must be so hungry after that long winter!

Not only adults but even eggs that were laid in the fall – stay dormant during the winter and hatch when the weather gets warmer. The bugs that hatch find it easier to survive with all the food around.

As the flowers start budding, butterflies and bees come out for the nectar! Bees that used up all their honey during the winter start preparing for more honey. New queen bees start laying eggs and start new colonies.

Leaves, fruits, flowers start sprouting giving ample sources of food for all bugs.

Springs and rivers start flowing again giving access to water sources and moisture.

Al these are ideal conditions for bugs to thrive !


Our homes provide a sure source of water, shelter and food for bugs! We must be careful to clean up leftovers, throw out the garbage regularly and cover any potential entry points for bugs into our homes!

Why are there so many bugs in spring?



More resources:

Bug identification worksheet from

All about insects from firstieland

Collections of insect lessons for all ages from

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