What Is a Lovebug (and How to Get Rid of It)?

lovebugs matingSince it’s the month of love, we at Fantastic Pest Control decided to pay attention to a particular pest that reminds us of Valentine’s Day, namely – the lovebug.

What Is a Lovebug

The lovebug, or otherwise called “the honeymoon fly” or “the double-headed bug”, is a species of fly that frequently graces the region of Central America and the southeastern parts of the United States with its presence.

As you can see from the picture above, this overly graceful pest gets its name from the fact that, during the mating season, it remains attached to its partner for several days on end. The couple even flies in this latched-on state, which can either look funny… or terrifying.

Depends on your mood, really.

The Urban Legends About the Lovebug

Curiously, there is an old wives’ tale that the lovebug is a synthetically-grown insect. They say it’s part of a failed genetic experiment from the University of Florida to control the mosquito populations. However, there is no adequate proof to support this statement.

When Can We See the Lovebugs?

Lovebugs fly in swarms and can be noticed twice a year – once in late spring (April and May) and once in late summer (August and September). Sometimes, a third fly-by can occur in December. Flights extend for about four to five weeks. After their mating (and if you happen to be walking nearby), you will see swarms of two-headed bugs flying towards you.

Romantic, right?

Also, since they seem to be drawn to highways, they are a big nuisance to drivers as they often get splattered on the windshields of passing vehicles.

Natural Pest Control

The lovebug migration, like any other, was a major cause for concern. The migration of a new species to a new place is usually excessive and in many cases causes devastation. However, they also faced a new predator, as is the natural course of things.

Now, the lovebug flights are not as many in numbers as they were in the beginning. Their biggest predator now is fungi, but they also serve as food for birds like quails and robins, as well as for spiders and centipedes.

How to Get Rid of Lovebugs

woman with a swatter

  • Blow them away with a fan. If you have a fan (especially a ceiling fan), it will be a lot easier to chase them out of your house, or prevent them from getting inside in the first place. If this method doesn’t work as intended, use the following alternatives:
  • Light mosquito candles. Most mosquito repellents and incenses drive away lovebugs as well.
  • Suck them in with a vacuum cleaner. This is the easiest way to remove them and it might also be fun. If you have a small hand-held vacuum – it’s ideal for the job.  
  • Mow your lawn. If you live in a house with a front or back yard, you better keep the lawn mowed. If not, it’s a perfect place for lovebugs to hide and breed their larvae.
  • Do not swat. Unlike the regular housefly, the lovebug leaves a big mess because of the high acidity of its body. So, try to compose yourself and don’t jump straight into violence mode as soon as you see them.

How to Get Rid of Lovebugs on Your Car

Since lovebugs have acidic bodies, it may be very hard to clean up their remains once they hit the windshield of a vehicle and remain there for a long time. Here is what you can do to amend this:

  • Soak the area with water.
  • Scrub with a paper sheet.
  • Rinse.
  • Repeat.
  • Wax your car. There are car waxes made for easier cleaning of splattered insects. This will help you tremendously when dealing with future splatters. Use a transparent cooking spray on the windshield to achieve the same effect.

Whether lovebugs are an experiment gone wrong or just an annoying invasive species, they are a pest that knows how to stick to their mate. Until the female dies, that is. Now that’s love.

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