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Love Bug Season is Back
09-12-2008, 09:32 AM
Post: #1
Love Bug Season is Back
One good thing about living in Central Florida, is that we are just below the main swath of the Love Bug zone. Glad I am not in Mobile right now!

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Lovebugs settle over Gulf Coast /ByBy CASANDRA ANDREWS
Friday, September 12, 2008

Staff Reporter

A soggy spring and more rain in late summer have brought out a bumper crop of lovebugs.

"Right after Katrina, I was sweeping up 95 pounds of lovebugs every day," said a joking Matthew Smith, a local entomologist explaining the role of wet weather in dictating lovebug populations.

"We have people call us and ask if we can spray," said Smith, who works with the Mobile County Health Department's Vector Control Program. "I say 'No, they are not spreading any disease.'

"And even if we did spray it wouldn't matter. They are hatching out and dying constantly. That's why it's like this constant storm."

Lovebugs — classified by scientists as flies — live in the top layer of soil, thus thriving in moist conditions, Smith said.

For the record, they may be pesky, but they don't bite. They typically emerge twice a year, in May and September. The season can last as long as five weeks.

The bugs have to pack a lot of love into a tiny stretch of living. The adults are usually around for just four days, according to Norm Leppla, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida who has published a paper named, "Living with Lovebugs."

The lovebug, he explains, has a complete metamorphosis, transforming from egg to larva to pupa, and finally to a fully grown specimen with wings and a red thorax.

When the bugs couple, they land on the ground and mate for as long as 12cm HALF hours, according to Leppla. Then, they disperse and look for other partners.

Females deposit an average of 350 eggs. The larvae feed on dying leaves and grasses for up to 240 days, until they pupate, a stage lasting seven to nine days.

When mature, the bugs survive just long enough to mate, feed, disperse and bring forth new eggs.

The Florida professor wants to dispel some of the myths about the much-maligned creatures.

For one thing, he said, the bugs are not constantly copulating when flying in tandem. The males, he said, are simply keeping other males from cutting in.

In his writings, he explains that lovebugs are late risers, taking flight around 10 a.m. At night, they tend to hang out in the grass.

"Because they are so little, people don't see how interesting they are," Leppla said. "If you look at lovebugs through a microscope you'll see the lovebugs have big pretty eyes like a puppy dog."

But there's not much pretty about lovebug remains on

car windshields and grilles.

"They're irritating," said Stephanie Irby, who works at Griffith Shell in Mobile. "They'll go up your nose and in your eyes and everywhere."

AARoads
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09-12-2008, 10:02 AM
Post: #2
Love Bug Season is Back
wow..already? It seems like they usually come out in October...yikes...and we are driving to Miami and Winter Haven between today and tomorrow...looks like I'll be cleaning cars on Sunday!

http://katiebuglj.blogspot.com

http://www.youtube.com/katiebuglj

http://hardcoreweather.com/chat/flashchat.php
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09-12-2008, 10:25 AM
Post: #3
Love Bug Season is Back
They always appear in full force after hurricanes. I had to stop and clean my windshield twice during a 25 mile trip on Wednesday. Disgusting!
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09-12-2008, 11:06 AM
Post: #4
Love Bug Season is Back
y'all get them up there? I thought they were just a Florida issue....I don't recall ever having them when I lived in Pensacola and Tallahassee...only here in Central/South Florida.

http://katiebuglj.blogspot.com

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09-12-2008, 11:07 AM
Post: #5
Love Bug Season is Back
The Bug Wrote:y'all get them up there? I thought they were just a Florida issue....I don't recall ever having them when I lived in Pensacola and Tallahassee...only here in Central/South Florida.

horrible love bug area. will mess up your radiator too if you don't hose them off. not to mention your paint job.:gun1:
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09-12-2008, 11:10 AM
Post: #6
Love Bug Season is Back
yeah, I know all about paint job. My first car when I was 16 had horrible damage...I had no idea that I had to wash them off...I was lazy. Now, I have to wash after EVERY long drive and atleast once a week just from around town driving.

http://katiebuglj.blogspot.com

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09-12-2008, 02:52 PM
Post: #7
Love Bug Season is Back
Hopefully, Ike will blow away all of our lovebugs.

Only people with oversized egos believe that mankind has caused global warming.

Scientific Consensus is an Oxymoron
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09-12-2008, 03:15 PM
Post: #8
Love Bug Season is Back
Fabric softener sheets remove them, but wet them first and be sure and wash off well so the softener doesn't ruin you paint!
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09-12-2008, 03:30 PM
Post: #9
Love Bug Season is Back
Windwatcher Wrote:Fabric softener sheets remove them, but wet them first and be sure and wash off well so the softener doesn't ruin you paint!

Concentrate on the ones of the hood of your car. It's hell trying to get the stains off the back of you shirt!
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09-12-2008, 03:37 PM
Post: #10
Love Bug Season is Back
Katfive Wrote:Concentrate on the ones of the hood of your car. It's hell trying to get the stains off the back of you shirt!

You see, Kat? There you go again--always thinking the worst of me. Why do you think I have a big SUV?/daz
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