Fort Pierce, FL – They show up every spring and fall and have a cute name. In this Treasure Coast essay, Paul Janensch reminds us why we hate them.
Darned lovebugs. I'm not talking about white VWs named Herbie. I'm talking about those little insects that get splattered all over the front of our cars. Lovebugs are plentiful on the Treasure Coast this time of year. They spend the early part of their lives burrowed in grassy areas unseen by us. On reaching maturity they fly around in large swarms. The males and females hook up and stay hooked up. That's why they're called lovebugs or honeymoon flies. Sound romantic? The next chapter of their story is not so romantic. After mating, the male dies but stays attached to the female until she lays her eggs - about 350 of them. Lovebugs are attracted to the heat and exhaust fumes of motor vehicles. Clouds of them hover above highways and, of course, end up smashed on our windshields, hoods and grills. Get rid of them quickly. They can block your vision and pit your car's surface. But don't use your windshield wipers. That can make the mess even worse. Wash them off with a high-pressure hose. Some motorists bring a gallon of water and a window squeegee. When riding a motorcycle, be sure to keep your mouth shut. What good are lovebugs, anyway? Well, they feed on dead vegetation and release nutrients back into the soil. They also are a boon to the car-wash business. 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.