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Love bugs soar again in the South

October 14, 2013
KEYWORDS bugs
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ORLANDO, FL — Hated by vehicle owners, but loved by carwash and detail shop owners, the love bugs are back for the last time this year, and are proving to once again be a huge annoyance to car owners, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The Sept. 20 story said love bugs (Plecia nearctica) have only one natural enemy which is fungi. And, the only thing that gets rid of the carnage, once the bugs have splattered on the cars, is to get the cars washed, which is a huge benefit to the carwashing industry.

The story said some motorists think it's okay to use cooking spray on their bumpers to keep the bugs away. And, while this can work, it will cause damage to the car's paint.

Philip Koehler, an endowed professor in the University of Florida's entomology department, stated in the story, "The best way to kill a lovebug is to hit it with your car.  Then find a carwash. ... The acidic splatters that lovebugs leave behind can ruin the paint.

Koehler also stated that the lovebugs usually only stick around for about three weeks, therefore if you're a carwash or detail shop owner, now is the time to take advantage of the love bug infestation, or you'll have to wait until next spring.

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