How To Get Rid Of Love Bugs [7 Effective Methods]

how to get rid of love bugs

How To Get Rid Of Love Bugs

“How to get rid of love bugs” might be the question you ask yourself every spring and summer.

If you live in Florida or any southern state in the US, then you are definitely familiar with love bugs and how much of a nuisance they can be. During late summer and autumn, people from these areas tend to be wary of love bugs because it’s their season.

Although not harmful, these little insects can be quite a nuisance by covering your windshield, staining your paint, and more. They move in swarms and can be so numerous that it might cause traffic along the road.

In essence, these conjoined lovebugs can be a pain in the ass. Being on this page means you are looking for how to get rid of love bugs. Without wasting time, let’s get to that. However, let’s better understand the love bug first.

What Are Love Bugs?

love bug on woooden surface

You might be wondering how these insects got the name “love bugs”. They have worked hard to get their name, if I may say. They got their name because of their mating habit. You almost never see a single love bug; they are almost always conjoined to one another.

This behavior has also earned them other names, such as honeymoon fly and double-headed bug. However, the official name for the love bug is Plecia neartica. Now, that’s for scientific and official purposes, not everyday users. I mean, who would remember that?

There has been a myth that love bugs were a result of some experiment from the University of Florida. However, these insects are from Central America and migrated into Florida and other US states through the Gulf of Mexico.

What Do Love Bugs Look Like?

how to get rid of love bugs

If you are unsure whether it is love bugs that you are dealing with, then we will give you a brief description of how they look. However, it is very difficult to miss.

Love bugs are tiny insects with a pair of wings that are smoky in color. They have slender black bodies with red on their heads.

The most striking feature about them is that they are always seen in pairs. They are conjoined through their rears while mating. They can even fly around like this.

These insects are small and measure anywhere from 7 – 9mm depending on sex. Females usually look bigger.

What Is the Purpose of Love Bugs?

It is a very common belief that love bugs are useless in the environment. While that may be true for the adult love bug, it isn’t for the early stages of the love bug’s life.

After fertilization, the female love bug lays eggs in decaying vegetation. These eggs hatch into the larva stage and start feeding on the cut grass. This will help enrich the soil until these larvae develop into the pupa stage.

Love bugs live the majority of their lives in the larvae phase, hence they are quite useful in enriching the soil with nutrients that can enable plants to grow.

When Is Love Bug Season?

Love bug season occurs during the spring and late summer. Love bugs prefer warmer climates, which is why they thrive in Florida and other Gulf Coast states.

Your next question is probably, “How long is love bug season?” Well, the love bug season can last for a few months, depending on location and weather conditions.

These affectionate bugs usually have two flights each year. The first one occurs during spring, around April to May. The second one takes place late in summer, around August to September. In total, love bugs season usually lasts for about four weeks.

The Behavior of Love Bugs

love bugs mating

As you already know, these bugs move in swarms. They feed on the nectar of certain plants and spend their nights resting on these plants.

Love bugs spend most of their adult life mating. That is why you see them conjoined to themselves, even during flight.

What Attracts Love Bugs?

As we already said, adult love bugs feed on plant nectar. Therefore, they will be attracted to your home if you have plenty of flowers around, especially the goldenrod and sweet clover species of flowers.

If so, why do they swarm the highways then? It turns out love bugs are attracted to the exhaust fumes from cars, the warmth of engines, and the vibrations made by vehicles. This might be because they prefer warm conditions.

They are also attracted to bright colors, wet paint, and other sources of carbon or methane gases.

How To Get Rid Of Lovebugs

Being a nuisance, these bugs can affect you anywhere. It can be inside your house, porch, or even your car. We will talk about different methods to get rid of love bugs in these different situations.

how to get rid of love bugs

How to Get Rid of Love Bugs in Your House

There are several ways to get rid of love bugs in your house, and we’ll be pointing out a few of them. The methods we will be discussing are very easy and straightforward.

1. Use a Fan

Just like any other flying insect, love bugs do not like too much air. Therefore, putting on your ceiling or oscillating fan can prevent them from staying in your house. Luckily, love bugs know how to make use of an open window, unlike house flies.

2. Use insect spray or repellent

Getting a good old insecticide spray can be the solution to your love bug problem. This insecticide spray can kill any love bug in your house and even other flying or crawling insects. Spray it all around your house, including the entrance door and plants.

If you are scared of insecticide chemicals, you can go for a homemade insect spray. Mix warm water and citrus detergent or dish soap. Add a small amount of mouthwash and shake. You’ve just made a potent insect spray.

Pour it into a spray bottle and spray it all over your house, including the entrance door, walls, and plants. This homemade insect spray is potent enough to repel love bugs from entering your house.

How to Get Rid of Love Bugs in Your Porch or Yard

1. Reduce flowers and fallen grass around your home.

Flowers attract love bugs and serve as shelter and food sources for them. Reducing the number of flowers around your house can reduce love bug infestations. Make sure to mow your lawn. However, remove any cut grass or debris. This is because love bugs love to lay eggs on cut grass and debris that can serve as their food.

2. Reduce usage of lawn mower

Love bugs are attracted to the fumes generated by the exhaust of your lawn mower. Therefore, you shouldn’t use the lawn mower more than you need to, or else you might attract love bugs.

3. Spray an insecticide or homemade insect spray.

This will kill any existing love bug and prevent a possible infestation.

How to Get Rid of Love Bugs in Your Car

1. Wax your car.

Usually, love bugs attach to the body of your car and even stay there while you drive. It is especially so if your car has matte paint. For best results, it is best to apply the wax to your car before love bug season.

Waxing your car will prevent love bugs from holding onto your car while you drive. It also makes it easy to clean off bug splatters on your car. All you have to do is wipe it off with a piece of dryer towel or spray water on it.

2. Repainting

Love bugs are attracted to bright colors. Hence, they are likely to assemble in large numbers on any bright, light, or shiny colored surface, especially if newly painted. Repainting your car is an option if love bug season is hectic and a big nuisance in your region.

The repainting should be done during the winter, fall, or early spring when love bugs are not swarming around yet.

3. Owning an electric car

Love bugs are attracted to fumes from the exhaust pipes of cars. Therefore, owning an electric car will drastically reduce the chance of attracting love bugs. In addition to that, if your electric car is dark-colored, you are less likely to have a love bug problem.

How To Kill Love Bugs?

So far, we’ve talked about how to prevent and get rid of love bugs. However, when the population of love bugs in your house, porch, or yard becomes too much, you will have to exterminate them.

In your home, the easiest way to kill love bugs is to vacuum. This will pick up any love bugs in your house. The suction pressure will likely be enough to kill them off. However, after vacuuming, you can spray insecticide into the refuse bag to kill any living love bugs.

To kill love bugs, there are several insecticides available on the market that are potent enough to do the job.

How To Keep Love Bugs Away

While we’ve discussed how to get rid of love bugs, it might not be cost-effective to repaint your house or vehicle. It’s even harder to consider switching to an electric car. All these are ways to keep love bugs away, but they come at an extreme cost.

The most practical solution is to make a homemade love bug repellant. Spraying it in your house or vehicle will keep love bugs away.

An example of a homemade love bug repellant is the one we talked about above. It only involves mixing three ingredients, water, citrus-scented liquid soap, and mouthwash. Shake this well and put it into a spray bottle. With this, you are ready to repel love bugs.

Another homemade love bug repellant makes use of essential oils. Love bugs and other insects are known to be kept away by essential oils. The ratio of the mixture is up to you. However, a good repellant will contain 3% peppermint, 3% citronella, and 4% turmeric. The remaining 90% can be water, lotion, or whatever you want to use.

Summary – How To Get Rid of Love Bugs

Love bugs are harmless but can be quite a nuisance during spring and summer, especially in coastal states. They are attracted to flowers, bright colors, car engines, and fumes from exhaust pipes.

Not only do they constitute a nuisance, but love bugs can also easily stain or damage your paint by splattering all over it. This may cost you money when you have to repaint.

Therefore, getting rid of love bugs becomes important if they have become a nuisance or damaged the paint of your properties. This post details several ways to kill and get rid of love bugs in your house, porch, yard, and even car.

FAQs

How long do love bugs stay around?

The love bug season lasts about a total of four weeks per year. Therefore you will have no choice but to face them during spring and summer especially if you live in Florida and other coastal states.

Do love bugs bite humans?

No, they do not. Love bugs do not bite nor sting humans.

Are love bugs harmful?

No. Love bugs are not harmful or dangerous. They only constitute nuisance to you due to their movement in swarms and potential damages to your paint.

Are love bugs good for anything?

Yes. The larva stage of love bugs help eat thatch left over from cut grass and enrich the soil. This will make the soil richer for your plants and flowers. It is important to note that love bugs spend most of their life in larva stage.

Do love bugs die if pulled apart?

During mating, the genitals of love bugs become interlocked. Therefore trying to separate them during this process will tear off their genitals and kill them.