It’s early summer, one of the best times to be a local Floridian. The temperatures aren’t into the unbearable 90s yet, the tourists aren’t hogging the beaches, and . . . wait, what are all those dead bugs doing on your windshield?! That’s right—the lovebugs are back to mess up your perfect summer.
The Lovebugs Are Back!
Lovebugs, formally called plecia nearctica, are a type of fly. They are commonly found in the southeastern United States, and generally arrive in April or May. Lovebugs are best known for their mating process, which involves two flies attaching to each other. This make lovebugs look like they have two heads, one on each end of their body. Thanks to their public displays of affection, they are sometimes called honeymoon flies or double-headed bugs. A popular Floridian myth says that lovebugs were created in a University of Florida lab to stabilize the mosquito population. However, they are actually a natural—albeit annoying—part of our environment.
Lovebugs have their mating ritual cut short by the windshields, hoods, and radiator grills of fast-moving cars. This isn’t just gross, but can also cause actual damage to your car. As dead lovebugs dry against a car, their bodies quickly become acidic, which can damage the vehicle’s paint and chrome. They can also lead to visibility issues when the dead bugs become numerous enough to coat an entire windshield. Vision obstruction can be a danger on the roads, as a driver might not be able to properly see an upcoming obstacle, like a pedestrian.
Lovebugs and Florida
According to an article published by the Tampa Bay Times, Floridians only have themselves to blame for our lovebug infestation. In the 1960s and 70s, farmers rearranged their fields to bring their cows closer together. At the same time, the Florida Road Department increased grass-trimming near highways. This created the perfect combination of manure and fresh grass to lure lovebugs closer to our roads. According to the Tampa Bay Times article, the situation became so desperate that drivers had to step every ten miles to wipe the dead flies from their car. A representative from Florida even testified before congress, asking for emergency funding to quell the lovebug population.
Dealing with Lovebugs
Thankfully, lovebug populations have slightly decreased in recent decades, and drivers aren’t as bombarded with dead bugs. Still, lovebugs are an annoying aspect of our otherwise pleasant summers, and car accidents caused by decreased visibility are still a real concern.
To protect your car and yourself, there are many home remedies you can use to keep your car lovebug-free. There are many methods, from pouring soda on your car’s paint to spraying cooking oil on the bumper, but one of the most effective methods is to simply wipe down your car at the end of the day. Make sure to remove the dead bugs quickly, since they are more likely to cause damage if they stay on your car to dry for a few days.
Do you have a lovebug prevention tip? Help out some fellow Floridians and let us know!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.