Our very own entomologist, Jon Simkins, Insect IQ,was featured on this morning's Fox 13, and talked about love bugs. Did you know that love bugs aren't 'bugs' at all? Where did they come from? Were they hatched by some university as a biocontrol project gone awry? Fox 13's Anne Dwyer interviews Jon and they offer suggestions for dealing with these pesky critters. Click here for Fox 13's love bug story
Love Bugs congregating around a white door. Love Bugs are attracted to white , because ultraviolet light causes the white surface to mimic desirable flower colors. image courtesy of Dave Eicher Photography
Both male & female lovebugs feed on nectar and do fulfill a pollination role . Their larvae feed on decaying organic matter. Image courtesy of The Buzzkillers
Love bugs are the bane of millions of motorists in the South. They are actually flies (Diptera) not bugs, and for two seasons (spring & fall) the adults engage in mating behavior, sometimes flying 5000 feet in the air and several miles over the Gulf of Mexico. They even have their own airline..the slogan is "Fly United" : )
Believe it or not, they are actually considered beneficial; the larvae live in decaying vegetable matter and help decompose it. Thousands can be found under cow patties. The adults feed on nectar and can help pollination of flowering plants. And, no despite what you've heard, love bugs are NOT a University of Florida Entomology Dept biological experiment gone awry. If anything blame Florida State Univ... Love bugs migrated along the Gulf Coast from Mexico in the 1940's-- and FSU had first duty to stop them as they blew threw Tallahassee : )
And yeah, even though we deal with killer bees, hornets, and yellow jackets daily, there is no reasonable control methods for love bugs. Oh why did it have to be love bugs ??
--Richard Martyniak M.Sc., Oct. 1, 2007