As a resident of Florida, we all know lovebugs are not the most loveable of bugs despite their name. Many lovebugs swarm near roadways and, as a result, cars that drive through clouds of these insects wind up with decreased visibility — which can result in potential car accidents. If you’re dealing with a swarm of lovebugs in your home or on your vehicle, you aren’t alone! Let us talk about what lovebugs are, where they flourish, and how to eliminate them.
What is a Lovebug?
The title says it all–lovebugs are bugs that are usually paired together using a”mate.” They will attach their bodies for their partner and fly in tandem together. Although known as bugs, these pests are actually flies. They are more closely related to biting midges and mosquitoes as opposed to other ordinary bugs like grasshoppers or termites.
Since their time as flies is just a brief period of their life cycle, they spend more of their lives as larvae. Females lay their eggs on the floor and can have around 200-300 eggs alone. Yikes! The fantastic news is although these bugs are a nuisance to motorists, they cannot cause any physical harm to you or your pets.
Where Are They Most Common?
Many times these flies are observed in swarms, most commonly during their two specific mating seasons–once in the spring (April to May), and then again in the late summer (August to September). Lovebugs are most frequently found swarming cars since they’re attracted to the gases emitted from vehicles. You will most commonly find them swarming fast moving vehicles during the day.
Why Are Lovebugs This type of Hazard?
Although lovebugs don’t bite or sting humans, they can lead to harm in several others ways — most notably to your vehicle.
Since they swarm cars so thickly, they could create clouds that can seriously impair your driving visibility. Make sure to drive carefully during their popular mating months, and if you become aware of swarms of lovebugs on your car as you’re driving, slow down or pull over.
They cause damage your vehicle’s engine. As you’re driving, lovebugs can enter the radiator of your car, clogging your automobile parts. Yikes!
They can damage your car’s paint. What is more, they can cause much more damage even if they are already dead. The remains of lovebugs can damage the paint on your car because hours in the sun can cause their bodies to turn acidic. To avoid this, be certain to wash and remove the lovebugs on the surface of your vehicle within a day.
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While these pesky pests are most frequently found on automobiles, that doesn’t mean they can not enter your residence. Since these humid areas have the potential to grow plants, it creates a food and environment for lovebugs to strain.
They can disturb your plants. The plants surrounding your house can be breeding and feeding grounds for lovebugs. The female flies search for moist environments, complete with food sources, to lay their larvae — so keep an eye out for them on flower beds.
Ways To Eliminate Lovebugs
So now that we know exactly what lovebugs are and why they’re such a hazard, let’s discuss how to get rid of them. You know what they say — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to lovebugs, that statement is true. Here are the best ways to prevent and get rid of lovebugs in Florida:
Clean your vehicle frequently with warm, soapy water if it’s covered in lovebugs. In order to prevent lovebugs, wax your car before their mating season–this will make it harder for them to stick to the exterior.
Ensure your house doesn’t have any standing water, in both your yard and storage spaces. Know about your home’s humidity to secure your house before it catches an infestation.
A safe, simple (and sometimes effective) approach to say farewell to lovebugs.
Clear debris from your lawn. These items can also draw in a breeding female to put its larvae.
Vacuum up them: If lovebugs have found their way into your home, you may attempt to suck them up via a vacuum.