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Get Rid Of Those Annoying Lovebugs

By Expert Author: Steve Lum

If you have ever had the pleasure of driving down a Florida highway in either the early spring or late summer, then you, perhaps unknowingly, have probably run into the lovebug – and quite literally.

These annoying little insects are a Florida outdoor pest control nightmare, particularly on the open road. Lovebugs are attracted to the heat of the engines and the fumes of the exhaust so they appear in swarms along busy roads. And although their name may be lovebugs, it is hard for people to find any love in their hearts for the unlovable pest, the lovebug.

Lovebugs typically appear twice a year in Florida. You’ll see them in April and May and again in August and September. They are active during most of the daylight hours. Usually they will become active by about 10 am and continue till at least 4 pm. They will usually cease their activity by dusk so you can avoid meeting them on the road after nightfall.

This unusually named insect has been the subject of urban myths. The red and black lovebug gets his name from the rather unique trait of remained joined to his mate for up to several days after the act. The two bugs fly in unison with their back ends attached.

Urban myths say that this insect was introduced by university researchers or created in a genetic engineering experiment gone horribly awry. Neither of these stories is true. The insect is native to Central America and migrated northwards into the entire Gulf Coast region.

As to how and why they migrated, that is still a bit mysterious. They may have jumped from ships arriving in Galveston, TX, or New Orleans or just flow up through Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. For whatever reason they came, they’ve decided to stay. Conditions in the Southeastern US seem to suit the lovebug.

These insects don’t bite or sting so they aren’t especially dangerous to people. However, they are certainly bothersome in terms of pest control. Their swarms can reach epic proportions or hundreds of thousands in a cloud-like fog of bugs. They’ve been known to stall car engines when huge numbers of bugs are drawn into the cooling systems.

Something in their bodies is particularly caustic to automotive paint, too. If their carcasses are not removed within a day or so, the paint will be permanently pitted and the chrome etched. They will also become harder and harder to remove the longer they are left on the car.

In addition to their love of vehicles, lovebugs also like fresh paint in light colors. No one quite knows why, but the evidence stands for itself. If you’ve just painted your front door during the swarming season, you’ll probably find a pile of lovebugs on it or below it. You might smell them before you see them – along with their other charms, they have a tendency to stink.

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to eradicate lovebugs entirely from your property. The best you can hope for is to minimize the quantity of bugs you see.Green pest control measures seem to work best to control their numbers. Here are a few tips to keep them at bay in your home and yard.

- Mow the lawn. The lovebug larvae live in thatch so keep your yard trimmed and dethatched to curb the eventual adult population.
- Vacuum inside and out. Use an indoor/outdoor vac to clean up the bugs as they congregate.
- Wait to paint. Do your painting after the fall swarming season is over so the fumes don’t inadvertently attract lovebugs.
- Use a fan. Turn on ceiling fans to blow the bugs away. Install a ceiling fan on your porches to keep them away from the house.

Lovebug season will eventually end. Until then, plan on washing your car frequently.

Article Source: Slug-A-Bug

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