As you settle in on a long, dark, winter night, maybe waiting for Strictly or I’m a Celebrity to start, does your mind ever wonder “do wasps die in winter?”  Well, read on to find the answer to this and 9 other strange (and some practical) winter-related questions.

  1. Do wasps die in winter?yellow jacket

Yes, wasp colonies die off in the winter months, not due to the cold, but to lack of food; with only queen wasps hoping to survive by hibernating. Wasps can gain entrance to your property through cracks in ill-fitting windows or doors, so make sure you regularly check your property for any potential entrance sites!

  1. Can you get hay fever in winter?

Yes, you can, the pollen season can start as early as January and can continue through until as late as November. The NHS and give helpful advice about the symptoms and how to manage them. If you know someone elderly and on their own this winter, please try to make time to check on them.

  1. Can you cut grass in winter?

This question is often the subject of many a heated debate amongst keen gardeners. The answer according to the Royal Horticultural Society, is yes, providing the weather is mild enough for the grass to be still growing. However, if you do decide to mow your prized lawn, make sure you pick a dry day, and that the ground underneath is firm, not soft or frozen underfoot. Set your lawnmower blades to a higher setting, normally 5 centimetres (2 inches) is fine.  If you cut your lawn on too low a setting, you may scalp it, which will weaken the grass, and could result in bare patches of lawn, where weeds and moss could take hold.

  1. How much is a winter fuel allowance?

If you were born on or before 5th April 1954 you may be able to receive between £100 and £300 towards your heating bills. Remember if you want to keep your heating bills down, make sure your windows and doors fit well, you don’t want your fuel allowance heating outside your house as well as inside! uPVC windows and doors are both energy and maintenance efficient.

Good uPVC windows will have an energy efficiency rating of A, A+ or A++, the higher the rating the better the thermal performance.

  1. Do cats sleep more in winter?sleeping cat

Any cat owner will know that cats like to sleep, in fact it might seem that is all they do, curling up by the radiator on a soft surface! A healthy cat will normally sleep for an average of 15 hours a day, but this can extend to up to 20 hours, often if the weather outside is too cold or wet. However, if you notice a significant change in your cat’s sleeping habits, it would be wise to pay a visit to your vet just to rule out any possible underlying cause.

  1. What tog rated duvet should I use in winter?

Does your duvet leave you shivering in winter? If so, your duvet might not have the right tog rating. Tog stands for Thermal Overall Grade, and this determines how much thermal insulation your duvet provides. The higher the tog rating the warmer your duvet will keep you. Duvets are typically available with 4.5, 10.5 and 13.5 tog ratings. However, it is also possible to get combination duvets, which will normally have a 4.5 and 10.5 duvet that you can use individually or combine to create a 15-tog duvet.

However, if your bedroom windows are making you feel the winter chill by letting out more heat than they are keeping in, it might be time to consider replacing them as well.

  1. Will it snow this winter?snowing day

The thought of soft white snow blanketing the ground, paints a picture post-card image, but the reality of living with snow, especially if you live in a remote location or have elderly or ill relatives is an altogether different situation. The Met Office can provide you with up to date weather forecasts both nationally and locally. Remember, if it does snow, take care when outside, wrap up warm, and check on people that you know are vulnerable in these conditions.

  1. When does winter start?

Oddly enough winter can start on different dates, depending on which system you are following. If you follow the meteorological system, which is based upon the Gregorian calendar, then winter commences on the 1st December and ends on the last day of February. If, however, you follow the astrological system, then winter starts on the date of the winter solstice, which usually falls on the 21st December

  1. What does winter is coming mean?

Any avid Game of Thrones fan will know exactly what it means, but for those of you who have managed to avoid this epic saga, “Winter is coming”, is the motto of House Stark. The Starks are the lords of the North, and this saying acts as a reminder to always be prepared.

  1. What to wear in winter?girl on a countryside

Whatever your age, in winter, it is always best to wear layers of clothes, that you can remove or add according to the conditions. The first layer should fit snugly to your skin and be able to absorb moisture. The next layer is the insulating layer, and should fit close to your body, but allow for free movement. The final layer is your protection against the outdoors and should be breathable and waterproof. It should fit comfortably over your other layers. If you follow this, you should be able to cope with whatever the weather throws at you this winter!

Hopefully these strange questions have spread a bit of warmth to you this winter. Stay safe and keep warm, and if we can help you with any home improvements, get in contact, and one of our team will be happy to help.