Table of Contents Show
- What Are Florida Love Bugs?
- When Do Love Bugs Come Out in Florida?
- What States Have Love Bugs?
- Are Love Bugs Harmful?
- Do Love Bugs Have a Purpose?
- How to Prepare for Love Bugs in Florida
- Prepare for Love Bug Season
Many people avoid planning vacations to Florida during hurricane and tourist season. However, love bugs season is another time you want to avoid. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never experienced the nuisance of the Florida love bugs.
These critters show up in swarms a couple of times each year and can drive you insane. If possible, plan your trip around them. Unfortunately, Floridians have no other choice but to prepare for battle.
Today, we’ll share how to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the Florida love bugs.
What Are Florida Love Bugs?
Love bugs look similar to another flying insect that most of the country experiences, the lightning bug or firefly. They’re roughly the same size and have a similar shape, but love bugs lack the flashing rear end. Despite their tiny size, they can be rather annoying.
These pesky creatures come out a couple of times each year. They’re most active during the day, and you’ll typically see them feeding on nectar from flowers.
You’ll typically find them in large swarms, often resulting in drivers plowing through them as they drive. It’s common to see vehicles with grills covered in swarms of love bugs in Florida.
When Do Love Bugs Come Out in Florida?
Love bugs typically come out in two seasons in Florida, late spring and early fall. The spring love bug season will start in late April or May and last several weeks.
On the other hand, the fall love bug season occurs in late August or early September and can last until October.
However, love bug season can vary from year to year. Many factors contribute to when and where they appear.
Additionally, those same factors significantly affect how many show up. Unfortunately, some seasons are worse than others.
What States Have Love Bugs?
While love bugs are most prevalent in Florida, they’re all over the southeastern portion of the United States. They thrive in warm and humid climates.
Outside of Florida, you can see love bugs in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
As mentioned, many factors contribute to when and where love bugs appear. Unfortunately, you could live in one of these states for years and never see or touch a love bug. However, having experienced a couple of love bug seasons, you’re not missing much.
Are Love Bugs Harmful?
Thankfully, love bugs are not harmful to humans or pets. They don’t bite, sting, or pose any threat. In reality, they’re not typically interested in humans all that much. However, despite not being a threat, many find them quite annoying.
They often congregate on the sides of buildings and vehicles, looking for heat and light.
They’re not typically attracted to a specific color but are most visible on white surfaces. If you have a white vehicle, home, or business, they will stick out like a sore thumb.
Do Love Bugs Have a Purpose?
As frustrating as these flying insects can be, they serve a purpose. Love bugs play an important role in the ecosystem in Florida and other locations.
They’re an easy source of food for many animals. A swarm of love bugs is like a buffet for hungry birds, bats, spiders, ants, and wasps.
Additionally, love bugs are incredible pollinators for various plants. While looking for food, love bugs will also munch on dead plant materials and animals. This helps speed up the decomposition process.
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How to Prepare for Love Bugs in Florida
Unfortunately, love bugs are an inevitable part of life in Florida. You can’t do anything to stop them from coming; the most you can do is prepare for them. Let’s look at a few ways to prepare for love bugs in Florida.
Wash and Wax Your Car
Before they show up, wash and wax your car. This creates a barrier between them and your vehicle. If done properly, removing them from your car should be rather simple. However, if you do not wash and apply a fresh wax coating, the hot Florida sun could bake them to the front of your vehicle.
Install a Bug Screen
If you’ve ever seen a car with a net or screen on the front, it’s there to protect the vehicle’s paint. You can typically find these at automotive supply stores and on Amazon. Just ensure you get one compatible with your vehicle and fits snuggly.
These screens keep the bugs from getting stuck to your vehicle’s surface or the grill. Getting their guts out of the tiny crevices can be challenging. Thankfully, these screens make it easier.
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Keep Your Windshield Washer Fluid Full
You never know when you’ll drive through a swarm of love bugs in Florida. When you do, their guts can splatter all over your windshield, making it difficult to see. Keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir full, so you can spray and wipe it clean.
You may not typically carry a jug of washer fluid in your trunk, but it’s a good idea. You may need to fill it up more frequently if the swarms are particularly thick where you live in Florida.
Thankfully, windshield washer fluid has a rather long shelf life, and it’s always good to have on hand.
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Wash Your Car Regularly
The final thing you should do is to wash your car regularly. You don’t want the bug guts to sit on your vehicle’s paint for too long.
These insects can have high acidic levels, which is very corrosive to paint. Letting it sit on your vehicle will eat away at the protective coatings and eventually the paint.
If you want to keep your vehicle looking new and in good condition, wash your car often during love bug season. If you drive through a swarm of them on the interstate, it’s not a bad idea to hose them off or wipe them off when you get home.
Prepare for Love Bug Season
With a little preparation and preventative measures, you and your vehicle will survive love bugs in Florida. Take the time to prepare yourself and your vehicle for the infestation.
You’ll typically see one or two floating in the air before the massive swarms arrive. It’s best to start planning as early as possible to prepare for their invasion.
Have you experienced swarms of these buggers?
Last update on 2023-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
38 years in FL & we learned from the college sports fans; baby oil. Prior to travel during the height of love bug day/ week/ season, prep the nose of your vehicle with a light wipe of baby oil. Obviously, NOT the windshield. The bumper, Grill, nose of the hood, edges of the windshield posts, from of mirrors or front of your travel trailer. Get where you’re headed; a straight stream blast from a garden hose will flush the vast majority of the “buggers” off. Any really stuck on? Saturate them with baby oil & allow to soak in. They’ll come off easily. Repeat the coating of oil for your return trip.
Wash your windshield often. If traveling the FL Turnpike, the Travel Service Plazas have a high pressure nozzle, aimed at windshield height, that you can pull up to and it will automatically deluge your windshield with water. Turn your wipers on and wash away the Bull of your blocked vision. Be mindful of those waiting in line. Pull out and the system shuts off, for you. It doesn’t clean the front of the vehicle just your windshield but it’ll keep you on the road a bit longer with a clearer view.
Try using “Turtle Wax Ice seal n shine” on the front of your tow vehicle and travel trailer front cap to make cleaning a lot easier.