Second swarm: Lovebugs about to reach peak swarm across the South

Updated: Aug. 17, 2018 at 6:38 PM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Our second lovebug season is quickly approaching and is expected to reach a peak in September.  Some bugs have already been seen! Some think this bug was created by the University of Florida, while others believe that the intensity of swarms warns of a bad hurricane season. I'm here to let you know that neither of these are true!

The lovebug, a part of the fly family, migrated from Central America and traveled through Texas and into Louisiana.

The good news is that you can avoid lovebugs, but at the cost of never seeing the sun again. If you can confine all your outings to the early morning or evening hours you can limit your interaction with these 'lovely' bugs because lovebugs are typically only active during the day when temperatures are above 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

These bugs do serve a purpose according to Herman Auer of the Galveston County Master Gardeners. He says that in the larval stages the bug serves as a decomposer of organic material and adults aid in the pollination of flowers.

These bugs are mainly an annoyance though. They do not bite or sting humans meaning they pose no real threats. They do however cause damage to paint on vehicles. If lovebugs are left on paint and left to 'bake' in the sun for multiple days they can cause paint removal.

Unfortunately, lovebugs are attracted to car exhaust fumes, heat from engines and the vibrations of the vehicles, according to Thomas Fasulo, an entomologist with the University of Florida.

The best solution for these problems is to remove the lovebugs by washing your car after driving through large swarms of them. This often takes some elbow grease so be prepared to scrub.

Luckily for us in Southwest Louisiana, the number of bugs seen is related to soil saturation. Herman Auer also writes that favorable environmental conditions such as a prolonged period of soil saturation from high rainfall can influence swarm sizes. The abnormally dry conditions we have been seeing across the area could help to lessen the swarm size of these bugs.

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