Bitten by the Lovebug
Ahhh, Valentine’s Day! Wine, hearts, roses – expensive meals and chocolates. It’s all a part of being in love. Valentine’s is a day to show your partner how much you care and to celebrate your relationship and commitment to each other. What does this have to do with pest control, you might ask? Not a lot – but who doesn’t enjoy a holiday post now and then? Besides – we have a tie-in! Perhaps you have heard the term “bitten by the lovebug?” If you aren’t much of a traveler, then it might surprise you to learn that there actually is a lovebug!
Meet The Lovebug
The lovebug is a type of march fly that resides in Central America and the southern United States. In their larval stage, they feed on decaying plant matter and adults have a penchant for sweet clover and other plant nectar. Lovebugs are famous for congregating in excessively large groups in their adult stage – groups that can easily be counted in the thousands. It is, therefore, fortunate that they do not actually bite.
How Did the Lovebug Get Its Name
When lovebugs mate, they remain coupled for hours or days after and during the entirety of their mating flight. This has earned them a variety of entertaining names such as the honeymoon fly. After they have separated, the female lays her eggs on decomposing plant matter and dies 2 to 3 days afterward.
A Southern Pest
In their natural habitat, these flies can be expensive and dangerous. Lovebugs are attracted to areas of concrete and gas and may appear as vast swarms on motorways and at gas stations. Not only does this make it difficult for drivers to see – when killed the lovebug becomes acidic enough to peel the paint off a car! Luckily for us, we don’t have to deal with lovebug swarms this far north. We have our hands full with an assortment of other annoying, hardy pests.
We at Capitol Pest would like to wish you and your loved one a happy (and pest free) Valentine’s Day!