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Florida Love Bugs Aren’t So Lovely

“Lovebug” is usually thought to be a term of endearment from parents to children, but in Florida a lovebug is a small flying insect that drifts through the state twice a year and causes havoc.

The Origin of Lovebugs
The lovebug was first seen in 1911 in Louisiana, although it wasn’t formally described and classified until 1940 by D.E Hardy. It is now known that lovebugs migrated from Central America and flew through Texas and Louisiana before settling in Florida.

About Lovebugs
Lovebugs swarm Florida two times a year in the spring and later summer and, despite being harmless to humans, cause quite a ruckus when they arrive. Mating males first fill the air, where sperm-seeking females join them. They mate along roads and highways because they are attracted to heat and decomposing plant debris. After mating, a male and female lovebug remain connected and entwined, even while flying. They find a place for their eggs and feed on nectar. This is a reason why lawn care in Tampa is so important throughout the year.

Public Nuisance
Most bugs are known as being a public nuisance because they bite or sting, but lovebugs are considered a public problem for a different reason. Since lovebug flights can occur in the hundreds of thousands in just a few weeks, the flying insects look almost like a black snow fall. Since this “snow fall” occurs on the sides of highways, mating lovebugs actually pose a hazard to motorists who find that their windshield views are obstructed by lovebugs. The acidic nature of their body fluid can also damage a car’s paint.

Lovebug Control at Home
Though lovebugs prefer to gather around highways, any Florida home is susceptible to their infiltration, especially on patios and screened porches. Tiki torches, mosquito candles, and inspect spray can all be utilized to discourage the presence of lovebugs, but no system can permanently eliminate them. Talk to your local Tampa pest control center to see what they might be able to do for you!

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