It’s that time of year again when love bugs seem to appear in huge swarms out of nowhere. These critters, also known as honeymoon flies, can float together while mating for days at a time. Often, their mating can last their entire lifespans! Hence the sweet names they’re given.
Unfortunately, the sheer volume of these bugs can effectively clog your radiator. Even worse, their acidic insides can take the paint right off your car. Luckily, they don’t sting or bite people or animals. So before you write love bugs off as nothing more than a nuisance, here’s a little more about them.
A Little Back Story on Love Bugs…
Rumor has it, love bugs started their humble beginnings inside a lab at the University of Florida. Although genetically engineered bugs sound like a great way to star these villains in a Sci-Fi film, unfortunately none of it’s true.
Actually, they originate from Central America and migrated their way through several southern US states. Today, they’re found in places like Texas, Louisiana and Alabama. But Florida seems to be where they like it best.
Their endearing names are often misleading. If you’ve ever walked or driven through a swarm, you already know what a nuisance love bugs can be. To help you understand them better, here are some reasons why we should still love, or at least like, love bugs.
What Benefits Do They Offer the Environment?
Love bugs play a vital role in maintaining our ecosystem. As larvae, they closely resemble maggots and function in a similar way. Although that sounds gross, it’s a necessary part of keeping the balance in nature.
Mothers deposit their eggs in moist soil. Then, the tiny eggs hatch and release the larvae who consume the decaying matter around them.
Adults consume nectar and help pollinate flowers in their feeding process. But they don’t stick around for long as their life cycle lasts only 3 to 5 days. Basically, they live long enough to eat, mate and lay their eggs before dying.
Overall, love bugs act as natural recyclers of organic matter, aid in the natural decomposition process, and help with crucial flower pollination.
Even with their positives, of course these pests are still irritating and can cause significant damage to your car. To help you combat the worst problems, here are some tips to keep your vehicle protected.
How to Keep Love Bugs Away From Unwanted Places
The best way to prevent love bugs from getting on your car is to keep your car in your garage and not drive it at all. Since that’s not practical for anyone, we’re here to share the news on the next best thing.
As soon as you notice love bugs floating around, wash your car and give it a good coat of wax. In a pinch, wiping your car down with baby oil can offer the same kind of protection.
Basically, it’s adding an extra layer to your vehicle’s paint to make removing dead bugs easier. Remember, the longer you leave caked on bugs to your car, the more time it has to bake on and the harder it is to get off.
The simplest answer? Wash thoroughly and wash often.
Another really important thing to consider is getting a grille to prevent the bugs from clogging your radiator. This will help prevent overheating your vehicle, which can be easy to do in the Floridian heat.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for reducing love bug problems? Let us know in the comments below!