Cold weather myths: Germs and insects

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 9:44 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2023 at 12:18 AM EST
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(WHSV) - There are many myths surrounding cold weather, some that of you may have heard.

One myth is that we need the cold to kill germs. Michael Cavender of Carilion Clinic Family Medicine - Fort Defiance said the cold weather actually makes germs thrive.

“In reality, it’s more our behavior that is based on the temperatures. For example, when it’s cold outside, we tend to be more inside in tight groups which is really an ideal situation for viral spread,” said Cavender.

Another myth is that cold temperatures kill off insects. This is not entirely true. The cold weather may dictate where the insects can live.

“Fire ants have a northern stopping point for their spread that may be affected as temperatures warm in the years and decades to come, but as far as the bugs that live with us day in and day out, they know how to survive and they will still be here in the spring,” Cavender said.

It may seem like the cold kills off the bugs, but really it just causes them to not be active.