Love is in the air

In Florida, there are four seasons. We have hot and humid, slightly less hot and humid, three days of winter, and finally, love bug season. And before the colder weather starts, we have to go through love bug season. The lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is a species of march fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. During the mating season, males and females will pair together even during flight and remain paired up for over a week.

While considered a nuisance in Florida, lovebugs cannot cause any physical harm to humans, although they do pose a more substantial threat to our cars. The body of a squished lovebug has a PH level of around 4.25, which can easily peel some paint off a car. Luckily in newer car models, the coating has been improved to where the bug’s acid doesn’t affect as many colors. Ironically though, as much as an annoyance as they are, they do provide some benefits to humans.

The larval stages of the lovebug ingest decaying organic material on the ground soil and remain in the ground for around 120 days before becoming a pupa and eventually turning into the black and orange menaces Floridians have come to dislike. Although they are called lovebugs, that doesn’t mean everyone loves these bugs!