About Love Bugs
There has been a rumor circulating around the internet for years that Florida Love Bugs were created as a result of a genetic experiment gone wrong during the late 1970’s by the University of Florida. This tall tale has been proven false and denied according to officials at the University of Florida. Said DR. Philip Koehler, and esteemed entomologist at UF, “this is far from the truth and we have no idea where these rumors started, but if we had created these Love Bugs, we would be blue and orange’.
As if Hurricane Irma didn’t bring enough grief to Orlando, this September’s invasion of Love Bugs coincided with the aftermath of one of the biggest Storms in the history of Orlando. These Love Bugs are so numerous, they are a hazard to Central Florida motorists. Love bugs are most active during the day and usually subside by dusk. They will damage your paint too so if you drive through swarms of their mating madness, you should immediately go to a car wash to remove them. Otherwise paint damage will ensue within a couple days.
Love bugs originated in Central America and were introduced in the deep south via the shipping industry in the Gulf area of Texas and New Orleans in the early years of the roaring 20’s. Shortly thereafter, Love Bugs made their way to Florida in the late 40’s from New Orleans. Upon arrival they found a habitat that was incredibly conducive to their proliferation and these condition in Central Florida have led to the incredible numbers that are a major urban nuisance in Central Florida and Orlando.
While love bugs won’t bite you, their sheer numbers are are enough to create annoyances for Florida homeowners and motorists. These pests are black and red in color and swarm Central Florida in the Month of May then again in September. They are often found in connected pairs mating and that is where their name originates.
Tips to avoid love bugs are as follows:
Avoid driving during peak times in the morning before noon and the two hour period before dusk. This is when their activity is highest.
It has been reported that applying a damp dryer sheet across the surface of your vehicle is a deterrent.
Be aware that Love Bugs cause permanent damage to a vehicle’s heating and cooling radiator.
Insect screens are often recommend to protect your vehicle from Love Bugs.
Different from other insects, Love Bugs have something in their metabolic make up that causes damage to paint jobs on vehicles.