Love Bugs Begin Seasonal Invasion of Florida
As many motorists are figuring out courtesy of the sticky, gooey corpses hanging from headlights and front bumpers. Love bug season has returned.
These pesky little black and red bugs make their appearance each May and September,. Leaving a trail of carnage in their wake as they readily collide with vehicles on local roadways. Generally seen in pairs that are locked in a reproductive position. The slow moving critters enjoy two mating seasons a year with an estimated four week peaks each May and September.
Here are a few things you need to know about these crazy little critters as they begin their invasion
- Where they come from – There’s an urban legend around these parts that the University of Florida introduced love bugs to the Sunshine State.
As with most urban legends, it’s just not true. The bugs migrated all on their own from Central America, first arriving in Texas and Louisiana before making their way to Florida.
- When they are active – Love bugs tend to be most active between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. They prefer it when the temperature outside is above 84 degrees.
- Why they love highways so much – For those wondering just why it is love bugs tend to congregate in a suicidal dance along roadways, the university delivers an answer. These insects are attracted to decomposing plants. Unfortunately, for people’s cars and their paint jobs, the odor of exhaust fumes confuses and draws them. What’s more, they just like heat, so highways are the place to be.
- Other things that attract them – One of the reasons why the critters seem drawn to garage doors is the fact that adults are attracted to surfaces that are light-colored. They also seem to enjoy freshly painted surfaces.
- How to remove them from vehicles – These little guys are known for getting “baked” onto the car and may damage paint if they are left in place. With that in mind, it’s best to wash them off as soon as possible using a soap and water solution. A good soaking of about 20 minutes might be required to loosen them for removal.
- How to get rid of them – This can be rather problematic. UF says chemical pesticides are pretty ineffective against the twice yearly swarms.