Mon May 23, 2011
By Paul Janensch
Treasure Coast – I have never seen so many love bugs this time of year on the Treasure Coast. Clouds of them at Sexton Plaza in Vero Beach. Even floating in glasses of beer on the patio of a restaurant there. Earlier as we were returning on Route 60 from kayaking on Blue Cypress Lake, the front of my white car was plastered by them. Ronda, our kayaking guide, told us they had been even worse farther west. Near Yeehaw Junction it was like driving through "black rain," she said. My friend Erin said she drove through "heavy waves" of love bugs west of Stuart. Drivers stopped at gas stations in Okeechobee to clean their windshields. But the attendants said they were out ofwasher fluid, and the windshield scrapers had been taken by other motorists. Love bugs spend the early part of their lives under decaying organic matter. Adult love bugs fly around in large swarms. Males and females hook up - literally - and stay that way even after mating is completed. In a few days, the male dies, and the female lays about 350 eggs. Love bugs love heat, exhaust fumes and white surfaces, such as my Toyota Prius. Hose them off your car without delay. They can block your vision and pit the surface. I tried swearing at them, but that didn't do any good. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.