OCALA, FL ― Lovebugs: The anything-but-lovable insects, which explode into white blotches on car windshields throughout the Southeast are back and drivers are once again fed up. However, carwash owners on the other hand, are reaping the benefits of the seasonal pests.
According to an Ocala.com story, the bugs hover in the air, attached in sets of two. “The eruptions are quite heavy,” Mark Hostetler, wildlife ecology and conservation professor at the University of Florida, said in the story. He added that they can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs, and they’re possibly attracted to cars because of the irradiated exhaust fumes.
Last Friday, between 400 and 500 vehicles were expected at the Cactus Car Wash here.
Bus company SunTran has to wash their nine buses daily. Operations Manager Debbie Miller said smudges “from lovebug impacts were so severe the company temporarily ran out of washing fluid to remove the dirt from its buses.”
Miller said the automatic bus washer removes dirt from the buses, but said the lovebugs tend to be hard to remove. “We have a fueler/detailer that's using some muscle … because of the lovebugs,” she said in the story.