Florida

People are not loving these Florida lovebugs. ‘They were going in my bathing suit’

Love bugs swarm Florida’s couple’s fishing boat

When will they go away? Because love bugs have officially taken over the state of Florida. They’re harmless to humans, but create a nuisance until the mating season ends.
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When will they go away? Because love bugs have officially taken over the state of Florida. They’re harmless to humans, but create a nuisance until the mating season ends.

Lovebug. What a cute name for such a noxious creature.

If you live in Florida, it’s likely you’re well aware of their existence.

In the past few weeks, love bugs have been out in full force, swarming homes, cars and even, in one instance, a boat.

Yes, it’s lovebugs’ mating season. And they won’t be ignored.

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Love bugs cloud the window of a car at a turnpike plaza. A sign for high-pressured hose offers drivers some relief. Jeff Kleinman jkleinman@miamiherald.com

We’ve seen disturbing examples all over the place. People all around the state have posted video of these low fliers, scientifically known as Plecia nearctica.

A Florida woman’s fishing trip outside of Lido Key Beach in Sarasota on Silvertooth Reef “was ruined last week after literally hundreds of bugs hit the deck last week.

“We gotta get out of here!” yells Dana Hayes Erickson, in her video posted to her Facebook page. She is on the boat with two other men as their vessel is inundated by the sizable black insects. “Look at that! Aaahhh!!!”

Erickson later told ABC Action News in Tampa Bay that she was pretty shaken up by the experience.

“They were going in my bathing suit,” Erickson said. “If you touch them, they smush. I’ve been down here 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like that ever.”



Florida man Devi Dev had a hard time making it to his front door.

His video shows him flailing his arms, kicking and grunting while battling the bugs outside his Palm Bay house.

The caption: “This lovebug season got me like...”

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This is what a car looks like passing through Central Florida along the turnpike. Jeff Kleinman jkleinman@miamiherald.com

So what’s going on here?

“I have experienced this phenomenon on many occasions growing up in South Florida, but I must admit that it seems to be particularly bad this year,” said Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill. “The good news is that it will be over within the next two weeks. The bad news is that it will happen again! This is the annual cycle where every May they swarm for two to three weeks and then again in September for about the same amount of time.”

Though they are a huge nuisance, they are harmless to humans, Magill adds. “They don’t bite or sting and they are not poisonous.”

The expert’s advice: Try to avoid driving in the heat of the day because lovebugs are attracted to heat; hence their swarms over the asphalt and your radiator. That’s why you’ll never encounter them at night. Since it’s tough to get them off car hoods and grilles, car wash businesses must be thrilled.

Their name comes from the way they mate — sticking together while in flight.

Finally, even if they seem dangerous and scary, they are harmless to humans. Just not to your poor car.

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