For those of us swimming through the swarms of love bugs committing suicide on our windshields, it’s not hard to see that there isn’t too much that is lovable about the love bug. This morning I drove to work down I 95 with the *titittitititit* sound of love bugs smearing their dead bodies all over my beautiful Scion TC. By the time I got to work, guts had turned my windshield a shade of pukey white. Barf.
Infuriated that I had recently taken my car through the carwash, I thought it necessary to do some research.
So here goes…
10 things every Floridian should know about love bugs
10 ) Love bugs only appear for two seasons during the year. The text books refer to these seasons as “flights” and they usually last anywhere between four and five weeks in late April/May and again in late August/September.
9 ) As much as I would like to blame the University of Florida (booooo) for this inconvenience, the love bug’s existence did not stem from some experiment gone wrong. Actually, we can blame Texas for our infestation. Apparently, the love bug originated in Central America and somehow made its way to Texas…and then on to Louisiana… and then oh hey… here in Florida.
8 ) Love bugs LOVE Florida because they thrive in warm, humid weather. They also favor light colors and fresh paint. a.k.a. if you drive a newly-painted, white car, you are screwed.
7 ) The average life span of a love bug is about three to four days. However, I find this hard to believe based on the 4,000 I, alone, killed on my way to work today.
6 ) Love bugs aren’t favored by many predators… because they taste like… poop… just ask a motorcyclist in Florida this time of year. I’m sure he’ll have some experience with that… no yawning or you’ll get a mouthful! The love bug’s main predators are… your car, birds, spiders, earwigs and centipedes.
5 ) Love bugs do not eat. The only time a love bug consumes food is when it is in its larvae stage, and ironically… it’s actually good for plant life. This being said, they DO NOT eat mosquitos… therefore, they do not have a purpose.
4 ) Love bugs reach their peak activity level at 10 am and stop flying at dusk. Plan accordingly.
3 ) If you wax your car, the likelihood of love bug guts ruining your car’s finish is significantly reduced.
2 ) Given you are a lazy person, letting love bug guts sit sticking to your car for more than a few days can actually cause permanent damage to your paint job. Trust me, it’s true.
1 ) Some various suggestions for products known to remove the guts from your car:
*Use fabric softener dryer sheets (forums seem to recognize Bounce as being the best brand)
* Simple Green cleaner
* A mixture of baking soda and dish soap
There you have it, everything a Floridian should know about love bugs. But one last thing….ever notice that one love bug season appears to be worse than another? That’s because depending on the life of the larvae, the amount of love bugs produced can vary. If the larvae harvests itself in pastures or widespread areas it makes it more susceptible to be eaten by birds… thus.. reducing the love bug population.
With that being said, thank your local bird.
Hunker down everyone! Only about three more weeks of this madness!