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Lovebugs. So many lovebugs. But are they dangerous?

The skies are blue, flowers are blooming, birds are singing ... and lovebugs are swarming.

That's right, the lovebug — also known as double-headed bugs, honeymoon flies and united bugs — has made its spring appearance.

The red-necked insects, often seen flying in tandem, can appear twice a year, in April-May and August-September. The insects are in larvae state for 120 days in the summer and 240 days in winter. The adults live for only a short time — long enough to bother us and deposit eggs. Hundreds of eggs.

You’ll see them in the Gulf States stretching from Texas to Florida with some reports of lovebugs as far north as South Carolina.

Lovebugs don’t bite or sting. They are attracted to lighter surfaces as well as the vibrations and exhaust fumes of vehicles. That's why you see so many of them around and on your vehicle.

They're annoying, sure. But did you know the bugs can actually damage your car or truck?

Lovebugs’ bodies are acidic and can damage the vehicle’s clear-coat and paint if not removed. Their fatty tissue can eat through a vehicle’s finish if left in the sun. Lovebugs can also clog radiator fins, block airflow and cause vehicles to overheat, which can lead to expensive repairs.  

Experts recommend washing your vehicle at least weekly during lovebug seasons to prevent damage. In between washes, you can wipe down any problem areas with a microfiber or terry cloth towel and some warm water to prevent build-up

About lovebugs

  • What are they? A species of march fly. Plecia nearctica, if you must know.
  • Why are they connected? They're making babies. You know, making whoopie. Mating. Sperm transfer lasts for hours — like half a day! — but the pair may remain coupled for several days during which they feed, according to the University of Florida.
  • Are they harmful? A nuisance to motorists, but not to you personally. They may hurt your car — when so many smash into your radiator that your engine overheats. Their guts are acidic and may hurt your car's paint if left too long.
  • But . . . Lovebug larvae are good for your garden. They live in decaying plant material, helping to break it down further.
  • Fun facts: Female lovebugs are bigger than their male suitors. The guys have bigger eyes, though.
Source: https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/2018/04/30/lovebugs-south-louisiana-can-damage-your-car/565273002/
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