How To Get Rid of Love Bugs In Florida

Lovebugs in Florida
March 20, 2023

If you’ve ever had to clean bug guts off of your windshield on a hot summer day, you probably have the love bug to thank. Here are the essentials you need to know when it comes to the species of March fly called the Love Bug, or Pleicia Nearctica Hardy.

What Are Love Bugs?

Love Bugs are tiny flies that love humid weather, including the coastline of the southern states. Love Bugs are tiny flies that are characterized by black bodies with a reddish-orange midsection. Their single pair of wings give them an ever-so-slightly triangular look. Adults are ⅜ of an inch in length. Because Love Bugs love humid weather, they are common along the coastline of the southern states. 

Why Are They Called Love Bugs?

Also called “honeymoon bugs,” these not-so-cute flies earned their nickname due to the way they can stay attached and in flight while mating. Love Bugs only live for a few days to a few weeks, and a majority of that is spent in flight while pursuing other Love Bugs. 

According to the University of Florida, mating can last around 56 hours.

Do Love Bugs Bite?

Love Bugs do not bite or sting, though their swarming is obnoxious, which is why they are  known by pest professionals as “nuisance pests.”

What Attracts Love Bugs?

Love Bugs are attracted to:

  • Open or semi-open areas like roadways, truck stops, and gas stations.
  • Car exhaust fumes, hot engines, and vehicle vibrations.
  • Lighter colors and paints.
  • Animal manure.
  • Wet paint.
  • Dead leaves and grass.

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When Are Love Bugs Active?

Love Bugs emerge in the spring and autumn, with their appearance in autumn being the biggest. The months of May and September are when you’ll see the most adults.

Love Bugs also don’t like the dark, so they’re most active between 10 am and 4 pm in temperatures above 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Get Rid Of Love Bugs

So how do you repel these nuisance flies if you can’t avoid their active hours? Fortunately, there are lots of practical ways to get rid of Love Bugs, such as:

  • Keeping your lawn clear of thatch and debris.
  • Keeping your grass short to discourage larvae.
  • Turning off vehicles and mowers immediately–don’t let them idle!
  • Washing your car and waxing it before the love bug season.
  • Applying netting on the grill of your vehicle.
  • Wearing darker clothes.
  • Using darker outdoor paint colors.
  • Running a fan to discourage love bugs indoors.

Additionally, Love Bugs are very weak fliers that won’t last in the wind or heavy rain. 

Most of these preventative strategies can naturally repel Love Bugs. According to entomologists, Love Bugs do not respond to DEET or citronella formulas, and DIY fogging methods yield inconsistent results.

Call Professional Pest Exterminators

Swarms of Love Bugs may be harmless, but they’re still unpleasant to have to congregate around your home. If you’re feeling overrun, a professional exterminator can help drastically reduce love bugs on your property without the hassle of cleaning up dead insects.

At Dean’s, we have over three decades of experience–that’s a lot of Love Bugs seasons! Getting professional love bug control helps:

  • Reduce egg and larvae counts for fewer love bugs next season.
  • Protect your vehicles from engine gunk and paint damage.
  • Defend your indoor space by keeping garages and patios clear of insects.
  • Allow you to enjoy outdoor space no matter the time of day.
  • Make you, your family, and your guests more comfortable!

Contact our team of experienced exterminators today to schedule your inspection.

FAQ About Love Bugs In Florida

To know a bug is not to love one, but what you do know about Love Bugs will help you prevent them. Here are some common questions about these insects:

Where Can You Find Love Bugs?

Love Bugs came to the U.S. from Central America, so they enjoy warm and humid climates across the Gulf of Mexico and the southern U.S. coastline.

When Is Love Bug Season?

Adult Love Bugs are most active in the spring and fall, specifically in May and September.

Are Love Bugs Dangerous?

No. The most dangerous thing about Love Bugs is that they can clog radiators and engine parts.

What Do Love Bugs Eat?

Adult love bugs enjoy nectar from flowers. Love Bugs larvae enjoy breaking down organic matter like leaf litter, thatch, and animal manure.

What Eats Love Bugs?

Love Bugs are eaten by spiders and birds, both of which are natural predators—though wind and rain can also pose as natural enemies of this insect.

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