As residents of Florida, we are all aware that, despite their name, lovebugs are not the friendliest of insects. Lovebugs frequently congregate close to highways, which reduces sight for vehicles passing past them and increases the risk of accidents.
You are not alone if a swarm of lovebugs has taken over your house or your automobile. Let’s discuss lovebugs, their habitats, and methods for getting rid of them.
What is a Lovebug?
Lovebugs are bugs that are typically coupled with a “partner,” as the name suggests. They will join forces to fly in tandem by attaching their bodies to their partner. They are usually 6 to 9 millimeters long with black bodies and crimson heads.
Despite being called bugs, these creatures are actually flies. They are more closely related to mosquitoes and biting midges than they are to other common insects like termites or grasshoppers.
They spend a larger portion of their lives as larvae since their time as flies is a very brief stage of their life cycle. Females might have 200–300 eggs all to themselves, which they deposit on the ground. Yikes! The good news is that while these pests annoy drivers, neither you nor your dogs will be physically harmed by them.
Why we dislike them
Lovebugs may damage your car, which is one of the reasons we despise them so much.
When the lovebug season is in full swing, your automobile will be plastered with them. This occurs because lovebugs are drawn to the heat from the roads and your car.
Furthermore, insects may be drawn to light-colored surfaces.
Since the annoying insects are most common during the day and sleep at night, they are most active probable when you are traveling about town.
If you don’t wash your car often, they may do a lot of harm. Over time, their bodies may get more acidic, which might harm the paint on your automobile.
Therefore, it is advisable to often wipe them off of your automobile before the damage their bodies cause.
What states have lovebugs?
Leppla claims that in the 1920s, lovebugs traveled from Central America to Texas and Louisiana. In an IFAS instructional film about the insect, Leppla states, “They came to Florida right after World War II, we assume pretty much by themselves, over the Yucatan.”
By the turn of the century, they had expanded across all of Florida, any area bordering the Gulf of Mexico, then Georgia and South Carolina.
Where Are They Most Common?
Lovebugs thrive in hot, humid areas, which are frequently found around the Gulf Coast, therefore they have made Florida their home. These flies are frequently observed in swarms, especially during their two distinct mating seasons in the spring (April to May) and late summer (August to September).
The gases released by moving automobiles attract lovebugs, which is why they are most frequently seen swarming around them. They tend to congregate around fast-moving automobiles during the day.
Do lovebugs like white surfaces?
Lovebug adults are drawn to light-colored surfaces, especially those that have just been painted, although they may gather nearly anywhere because of how sunlight affects materials like asphalt and car exhaust gases that are still poorly understood environmental influences.
What to Do If You Have Lovebugs
If you do have a lovebug infestation, whether it be on your car or in your house, you should be aware that female lovebugs only survive for three to six days. As a result, your infestation will probably go away naturally and spontaneously.
Many pest control firms, including Anti-Pesto, will not treat for lovebugs. Therefore, if you are dealing with an infestation, we advise waiting it out or, if you want quick relief, sucking them up with a vacuum.
They do some good
Although the insects are bothersome to people, they are necessary for the ecosystem. Lovebugs consume decaying plants, which aids in the return of nutrients to the soil.
According to experts, it is impossible to predict how busy the lovebug season will be from year to year. But prepare. They could soon start to emerge all throughout Florida.
Do lovebugs eat mosquitos?
No, but they do play a significant part in maintaining our biosphere. According to a University of Florida investigation, lovebug larvae transform plant waste into organic components that developing plants recycle for sustenance.
How do I clean lovebugs off my car or truck?
The main gripe people have with lovebugs—and the reason this response ranks first—is that during the mating season, there are clouds of them everywhere, coating everything in a tarry black mess made of the dead bugs you’ve driven over. How do you remove them, anyhow?
Paying someone to scrub them off is, quite simply, the most effective method.
Wash your car within 24 hours to prevent paint and plastics from being burned by the acid from them “explained Naples Car Wash’s Patti Fowle. “They may block your radiator and raise the temperature of your engine. They smell, and it permeates your automobile.
To safely remove them, we combine specialized chemicals with high-pressure water. As a final option, if things are extremely awful, we’ll employ brushes.
It’s crucial to remove them soon and prevent accumulation. Keep water and cleaning supplies in your car so you can touch up things frequently. Consider installing a hood air deflector or screen to make dealing with bugs simpler. It also helps to maintain your car clean and polished to make it harder for bugs to attach.
Along with a variety of different treatments including baby shampoo, hydrogen peroxide, soft drinks, Pledge, and more, using dryer sheets is frequently advised. Experiment responsibly. But be mindful that certain remedies might scratch off lovebugs while also harming your car’s paint.
Why Are Lovebugs Such a Hazard?
Although lovebugs don’t sting or bite people, they can nonetheless injure you and your automobile in other ways. The following are the most typical ways that lovebugs pose a risk:
They may impair your ability to see while driving. They swarm automobiles so densely that they may produce clouds that significantly reduce your ability to see while driving. During their popular mating season, be sure to drive cautiously. If you see swarms of lovebugs on your car as you’re driving, slow down or pull over.
They harm the engine of your automobile. Lovebugs may enter your car’s radiator while you’re driving, blocking various areas of the vehicle. In severe circumstances, they may cover the car’s grill, obstructing airflow to the engine and causing the vehicle to overheat. Yikes!
They could harm the paint of your automobile. Furthermore, even after they have passed away, they can still do harm. Because lovebugs’ bodies can become acidic after spending hours in the sun, their leftovers might harm the paint on your automobile. Make sure to clean and get rid of the lovebugs on your car’s surface within a day to prevent this.
They may enter places with a lot of dampness. Even while these annoying bugs are typically found on automobiles, it doesn’t mean they can’t get into your house.
The ability for plants to flourish in these damp places provides food and a breeding habitat for lovebugs. If you reside in a location where lovebugs are prevalent, they can readily get into damp, dark spaces like basements, attics, and storage spaces.
They could annoy your plants. Your home’s surroundings may serve as a lovebug breeding and feeding area. Keep a look out for the female flies in flower beds as they seek out damp areas with food supplies to lay their larvae.
Then what’s all the fuss?
For the most part, Floridians who have lived there for a while find this question a little confusing.
Lovebugs may be a pain since they might land on you while you’re sunbathing (you might not even notice them because they’re so tiny and light), at which time they will become utterly enmeshed in your suntan oil. (Not a problem if you use ‘dry’ sunscreen)
They could stumble drunkenly into the water or, worst of all, into the drink you’re holding at your elbow. Fish ‘em out and cover your drink with a lid or napkin. While it may not be very appetizing, they are not known to be disease carriers and don’t really merit tossing your drink. If you’re holding a barbecue, the same rules apply to picnic fare.
Why are there so many lovebugs on the highway?
Lovebugs are drawn to heat and irradiated exhaust gases from vehicles, lawnmowers, and other motors because they resemble rotting plant matter.
Where they anticipate seeing females soon, guys congregate in those areas. Usually between 8 and 10 in the morning and 4 and 5 in the afternoon, the females fly into swarms of the hovering males. So, to put it another way, rush hour. Additionally, the vegetation by the sides of highways and interstates is ideal for lovebug habitation.
Ways To Get Rid of Lovebugs
Let’s discuss how to get rid of lovebugs now that we are clear on what they are and why they pose such a threat. When it comes to lovebugs, the adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment” is accurate. The most effective techniques to avoid and get rid of lovebugs in Florida are listed below:
If your car is covered in lovebugs, wash it often with warm, soapy water. Waxing your automobile before the lovebug mating season will help to prevent them since it will make it more difficult for them to cling to the outside.
Make sure there is no standing water around your home, including in your yard and storage areas. To prevent an infestation in your house, be conscious of the humidity levels there.
To keep flies away from your environment, try using natural sprays that include essential scents like peppermint. A secure, easy-to-use method of saying goodbye to lovebugs that can occasionally be beneficial.
Clean up the trash in your yard. These things can entice a breeding female to lay her larvae as well.
In the event that lovebugs have made their way into your house, you can try to vacuum them up.