Florida residents should have a very close relationship with car washes this month as we’re smack in the middle of the second lovebug swarming season.
The small flies’ acidic bodies can wreak havoc on auto paint. Leaving their splattered bodies on cars for several days only strengthens the acidity. According to the University of Florida’s entomology department, if enough get under your hood they can even clog your radiator.
The bugs are a huge issue in the Gulf states and Central America. According to WDAM-7 TV in Mississippi, Rainforest car wash in Hattiesburg has set up a lovebug station so customers can make sure the bugs are removed.
“Customers have the option to pull over to the side before they wash their car and take as much time as they need to scrub the bugs off the front of their vehicles,” Rainforest operations manager Barry Broome told the station.
The good news is that the bugs only swarm for about four weeks. The bad news is that, like most other flying insects, there is little pest management that can be done to control these nuisances.
Just be prepared to load up on car wash products next spring when they return.