What are Love Bugs, and How Can I Eliminate them?
Suppose you live in cities like Florida or other Gulf Coast states; you must have seen swarms of love bugs swarming the roads and making it almost impossible for drivers to get enough visibility while driving. Despite their fanciful name, love bugs have been a nuisance to motorists and residents of Florida and other such infested states. You may have at some point asked questions like, what are love bugs? How do they thrive, and how can I eliminate them? We have the answers that you seek!
What are Lovebugs?
When you hear the name "love bug," you'd think they're some cute bug, but that's the exact opposite of what they're. Lovebugs derive their name from the fact that they're always paired together like lovers. The bodies of two love mates stay attached as they fly together.
Lovebugs are typically flying insects— just like mosquitoes and biting midges—and not bugs as they're called. They're usually between 6 to 9 millimeters long with black bodies and redheads.
Female love bugs lay up to 200-300 eggs, which metamorphose into the larval stage—where they spend most of their life cycle- before they mature into flies. Due to their large number, these flies can limit visibility in the air, causing a nuisance to drivers. However, they do not have any direct harmful effects on humans or pets. Your car's paint, on the other hand? Well that they can damage if not removed and washed off quickly.
Where are lovebugs most common?
Lovebugs are primarily found in Gulf Coast states such as Florida. They thrive mainly in warm and humid environments. This is why they're most rampant and mate in the spring season (April to May) and late summer (August to September). The weather conditions of these seasons favor their reproduction; hence they come swarming in large numbers around cars and other gas emissions sources.
Why do Lovebugs Cause So Much Hazard?
Indeed, love bugs do not bite humans or pets, but they're not entirely harmless. They can still be hazardous to you and your car in the following ways:
They distort visibility: Lovebugs can swarm around cars, forming thick clouds that can impair your vision when driving. This reduced visibility can cause a road accident. Hence, it is necessary to drive carefully during the mating seasons when love bugs swarm out in thousands. Also, for safety purposes, you need to either slow down or pull over when love bugs swarm around your car while you're driving.
Lovebugs can spoil your car's engine: Because they're attracted to emitted gases, Lovebugs can quickly get into critical parts of your vehicle and cause some damages. They can clog the car radiator and coat the grill, thereby causing the car to overheat due to the engine's airflow malfunction.
Lovebugs can decolorize your car: Dead Lovebugs can cause as much—if not more— damage as the living ones. When Lovebugs die on your vehicle, the sun's heating causes their bodies to turn acidic, which could damage your car paint. It is, therefore, advisable to rinse your car thoroughly and look out for any hidden Lovebugs that may be trapped on unlikely surfaces.
Lovebugs can invade moist areas: Humid areas are favorable to Lovebugs due to food availability and a conducive breeding environment, so while they're notorious for swarming cars, they can also get into your home. Hence, if you live in areas prone to love bugs, you should be careful because they could get into your storage room, basement, attics, and other dark and humid areas of your home.
Lovebugs can also be plant pests: Lovebugs can breed and feed on plants. Plants are an ideal feeding source, where female Lovebugs can also lay their eggs. So, you need to check the flower beds around your home to look out for possible infestation.
How to Eliminate Love Bugs
Just as is applicable in other cases, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to controlling Lovebugs! However, because you may not always be in control of everything, here are some of the ways you can prevent and eliminate Lovebugs in Florida and other states:
Wax your car before the mating season to make it difficult for Lovebugs to stick to the exterior. However, if your vehicle is already covered in lovebugs, wash it with warm soapy water to remove all the bugs.
Remove all stagnant water in your home and yard to prevent lovebugs from getting in. Also, check your home's humidity and ensure that it isn't convenient for lovebugs to breed.
Use natural sprays with essential oils like peppermint. These oils repel Lovebugs and protect your home from infestation.
Remove all debris from your yard to ensure that Lovebugs don't use them as conducive sites to lay eggs.
Vacuum them up: If Lovebugs get into your home or yard, you can quickly eliminate them by suction of a vacuum cleaner.
What's the best thing to do if you have Lovebugs?
The best way to eliminate Lovebugs and prevent another infestation is by hiring an expert pest control company.
Ideally, female Lovebugs survive for only three to six days, but they lay eggs, which will still hatch to cause another infestation. Hence, it is crucial to hire a pest expert who can clear the Lovebugs, destroy their eggs and ensure that your home or car is safe.
At Imperial Pest Prevention, we offer the best pest control service for eliminating Lovebugs and other pests. Contact us now to get a quote.