“Love Bugs” …. A Florida pest!!


~~May 16, 2014~~ 

TRUTHFULLY, THEY ARE A PAIN IN THE BEHIND

OBVIOUSLY YOU CAN SEE WHY THEY HAVE THAT NAME

The lovebugPlecia nearctica, is a member of the family of march flies. It is also known as the honeymoon flykissingbug, or double-headed bug. The adult is a small, flying insect common to parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to several days.

The lovebug was first described in 1940 by D. E. Hardy from GalvestonTexas. At that time, he reported the incidence of lovebugs to be widespread, but most common in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. However, by the end of the 20th century the species had spread heavily to all areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico, as well as Georgia, and South CarolinaL. A. Hetrick, writing in 1970, found it very widespread in central and northern Florida and described its flights as reaching altitudes of 300 to 450 metres (980 to 1,480 ft) and extending several kilometers over the Gulf. In 2006, it was reported as far north as WilmingtonNorth Carolina.

Immature lovebugs larvae feed on partially decayed vegetation in the landscape and, in this respect, are beneficial. Adults primarily feed on nectar from various plants, particularly sweet clover, goldenrod, and Brazilian pepper.

Lovebug
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Bibionidae
Genus: Plecia
Species: P. nearctica
Binomial name
Plecia nearctica
Hardy, 1940[1]

~~Semi-annual pest status~~

Localized lovebug flights can number in the hundreds of thousands. The slow, drifting movement of the insects is almost reminiscent of snow fall except that the flies also rise in the air. Two major flights occur each year, first in late spring, then again in late summer. In south Florida, a third (but smaller) flight can occur in December. The spring flight occurs during late April and May, and in the summer during late August and September. Flights extend over periods of four to five weeks. Mating takes place almost immediately after emergence of the females. Adult females live only three to four days, while males live a little longer.

This species’ reputation as a public nuisance is due not to any bite or sting (it is incapable of either), but to its slightly acidic body chemistry. Because airborne lovebugs can exist in enormous numbers near highways, they die in large numbers on automobile windshields, hoods, and radiator grills when the vehicles travel at high speeds. If left for more than an hour or two, the remains become extremely difficult to remove. Their body chemistry has a nearly neutral 6.5 pH but may become acidic at 4.25 pH if left on the car for a day. 

In the past, the acidity of the dead adult body, especially the female’s egg masses, often resulted in pits and etches in automotive paint and chrome if not quickly removed. However, advances in automotive paints and protective coatings have reduced this threat significantly. Now the greatest concern is excessive clogging of vehicle radiator air passages with the bodies of the adults, with the reduction of the cooling effect on engines, and the obstruction of windshields when the remains of the adults and egg masses are smeared on the glass.

Lovebug adults are attracted to light-colored surfaces, especially if they are freshly painted, but adults congregate almost anywhere apparently reacting to the effects of sunlight on automobile fumes, asphalt, and other products affected by environmental factors still not completely understood.

Lovebug adults are attracted to light-colored surfaces, especially if they are freshly painted, but adults congregate almost anywhere apparently reacting to the effects of sunlight on automobile fumes, asphalt, and other products affected by environmental factors still not completely understood.

~~Folklore~~

Urban legend holds that lovebugs are synthetic—the result of a University of Florida genetics experiment gone wrong.

Much speculation about the lovebug still thrives. This is partly because the larval form of this insect is seldom seen, as it lives and feeds in the thatch of grasses for most of the year. While various fungi are suspected of being natural controls for this species, biological control of these non-pest flies is not a priority for funding.

Research by L.L. Buschman showed that migration explained the introduction of the lovebug into Florida and other southeastern states, contrary to the urban myth that the University of Florida created them by manipulating DNA to control mosquito populations.

~~SOURCE~~

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Love_bugs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovebug

http://www.bradenton.com/2014/04/20/5112095/lovebugs-are-back-in-florida-but.html

~~Love Bug Season Returns To Florida~~

~~Published on May 11, 2012~~

Love bugs emerge into the air twice a year.

We ALL are ONE!! 

4 thoughts on ““Love Bugs” …. A Florida pest!!

  1. Not so bad, just twice a year. Love driving through Louisiana bayou country and having a battle with the Palmetto bugs along with all the other critters of the bayou on the way from Tejas to a weekend in New Orleans.

    Great information, combination of fable and truth. Loved the cartoon.

    Like

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