Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A lovebug, also called a March fly or love bug
I don't know how many of you have heard of lovebugs, but I saw a pair today and it got me thinking about the little beasties. Once a year, they invade. In fact, the hoards usually appear twice a year in the fall and spring, but for some reason where I am we only get them in mass numbers in the fall. Its a bit nice, actually, because when they do appear the clouds are so thick that if you drive through one your car will become plastered with dead lovebugs. I know it doesn't sound nice, but I'm getting to that. So, in the fall our cars turn disgusting with dead bugs and in the spring our cars turn disgustingly yellow with excessive amounts of pine pollen. It's nice because we don't get pollen and bugs at the same time. Either way, we have to wash our cars very often during both lovebug season and pollen season because both can cause serious damage to paint if left on the car for long periods of time. I foresee that the hoards I mentioned will appear any day now.

Lovebugs in love
So, you're probably wondering why they are called love bugs. It's because the invasions are actually mating flights, and when they occur the bugs are always in pairs attached at the abdomen. As you can imagine, the reason for this is because they are making little baby lovebugs. A lot of people freak out when they are around, especially if the lovebugs land on them, but these little guys are completely harmless except for the damage their dead bodies can do to your car. They lay their eggs under decaying plant matter, which is what the larvae feed on. The adults feed on the nectar of various plants and can actually interfere with beekeepers because bees won't go to flowers that are covered in lovebugs.

If you're curious, here is a semi truck that has been plastered with dead lovebugs. I don't think plastered is an over-exaggeration. I'll probably post images of my car if it becomes covered this year, though I'm moving to the city soon so I have no idea if it will or not because there is little dead plant matter for the bugs to lay eggs in.

Source is the University of Florida. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under creative commons licenses: one, two


  1. That is what our van would look like when we lived in Florida. On a trip into town, you'd had to scrape them off the windshield before you got home.

  2. Ah, yes. That I am quite familiar with.