It’s lovebug season! How do I protect my home and car from lovebug damage?
Ahh, lovebugs — such romantic little pests! If you live in North Florida, you know that lovebugs are an annual problem for homeowners. In particular, our cars tend to suffer the most from these cute little bugs. Lovebug season usually runs from mid-August to the end of September, so this week, we’re taking a look at what lovebugs are, the kind of damage they can do, and how to protect your home and vehicles.
What are lovebugs?
Lovebugs are pretty cute, but we appreciate them less than their name might suggest. This little bug is called a “lovebug” because it usually flies along in tandem with a mate. The bugs are still able to fly when attached together, which is why we often see these red-and-black bugs in pairs. Technically a species of fly, lovebugs live a very short time (females tend to live only three to six days), which means that their annual flight takes up a short–but often VERY annoying–portion of the year, typically mid-August through the end of September.
What’s more, lovebugs love warm, humid areas, which makes Jacksonville, Florida the ideal mating grounds for these pests. If you’re a long-term Florida resident, you’re probably familiar with the sight of smooshed bugs on cars and on homes.
Are lovebugs dangerous?
Nope! Lovebugs are non-venomous, and they do not bite. Luckily, this means they pose no physical danger to you, your family, or your pets. However, because of their tendency to swarm (and their annual growing season), lovebugs can collect on cars, homes, windows, and more. When they bake in the sun for a few hours, lovebug bodies can turn somewhat acidic, posing a problem for house paint and car paint. Plus, they can be quite annoying and difficult to clean up!
What kind of damage can lovebugs do to my home and vehicle?
As we mentioned above, lovebugs themselves aren’t dangerous — it’s the acidity of decomposition that presents a problem for our homes and vehicles. Because of the sensitive nature of house paint and vehicle paint, lovebug swarms that are left in the sun for long periods of time can cause paint to chip on your vehicle or home. Plus, cleaning off lovebugs can also scrub away protective layers, like sealants.
However, it’s important to note that the biggest danger lovebugs pose is ruining visibility for drivers. Because of their tendency to swarm, lovebugs can gather on highways or roads. Driving through a swarm of lovebugs can leave a collection of gunk on your windshield and windows–and sometimes, this gunk is too much for your car’s windshield wipers to clean away quickly. This low visibility poses a big problem for Florida drivers, and must be dealt with quickly and safely.
How do I protect my car from lovebugs?
The best way to protect your car from lovebugs is to wash it frequently. If you spot dead lovebugs all over the front of your vehicle, take action quickly to rinse them off. As we’ve mentioned, the combination of dead bugs and sunlight creates a paint-peeling acidity that can ruin your car’s exterior.
You should also check frequently for clogs in your car’s engine, particularly the radiator. Again, these flies present the most danger when they appear in swarms. Because of this, it’s smart to check for clogs a few times a week during lovebug season. In the most extreme cases, these clogs can cause parts of your engine to overheat–that’s a lot of damage from some cute little bugs!
How do I protect my home from lovebugs?
Homes tend to suffer less damage from these pests than vehicles. In fact, the effects are mostly aesthetic. The best way to protect your Florida home from lovebugs is to invest in regular pressure washing and soft washing treatments. (Luckily, we know the best pressure washers in North Florida — our stellar team!)
You’re most likely to find bug buildup in your outdoor areas. This includes pool decks and patios, roofs and gutters, and driveways and sidewalks. If you catch these pesky bugs early, they can typically be rinsed away with simple cool water. However, it’s very common to go on vacation and come back to find crusty buildup during lovebug season. We can help with that!
To learn more about our pressure washing and soft washing treatments, give us a call at (904) 747-4DPW (4379). You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our online form to receive your FREE estimate.