humor, life

Love Bugs … Literally

palm-people (510x800) wm
I was born and raised in Chicago, so when I moved to Florida (many years ago), I had a lot to learn about this state. From the environment, to the culture, to the chameleons, to the lack of four seasons, and … the bugs!

I wrote a little about this in my post Look, Up in the Sky. And, in my poem, Infestation. Except, I failed to mention one new-bug-learning-experience.

The attack of the love bugs!

The first time one landed on me, I thought it was a lightening bug.

But, no.

These are one of the few bugs in the world that do not send me into a squealing whirl of flailing body parts. They are completely harmless. In fact, when they land on your skin, you can’t even feel them crawling on you. They are so light and paper thin, if you try to gently remove them, they’ll fall apart. They have difficulty flying, because any current in the atmosphere will blow them around.

Upon closer look, you can see why they are called “love bugs.”

lovebug (640x479)Two of them are attached at all times. On occasion you’ll see a single one, probably because its mate died. They like to hover in the heat over anything white. If you have a white car … plan to have sun-baked love-bug in the paint. Actually, plan to have sun-baked love-bug on any car in May and September. That’s right, they only show up in those two months each year … in droves.

lovebugs2 (640x336)On a white car

Here is the story I heard when I first moved to Florida. The fire ants in the sunshine state are horrific. Their bite truly does feel likeΒ fire.Β I can’t tell you how much I miss walking barefoot in cool, soft grass. But, I’ll leave that complaint post for another time (Nah, not really … maybe … nah).

Anyyywayyy, the rumor goes that love bugs were man-made and created for the purpose of eating the fire ants into extinction. Gross. I know. However, surprise, surprise, man’s little experiment went wrong. These things only harm themselves by flying into cars and/or the wind. In one case, into my teeth and eyes as I slid down a water slide on a day at a water park. The only thing love bugs destroy is the paint on cars if not promptly washed off after a short ride on the highway.

The other story, is that they were meant to eat the mosquitoes, but I’ve also been told these are just rumors and not fact. Who knows, and does it really matter? In May and September we’ll continue to see ….

the return of the love bugs.

Doesn’t sound quite as horror movie-ish as I had hoped.galor2010

Now go hug your love bug and have a nice day.

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15 thoughts on “Love Bugs … Literally”

  1. To think there are actually insects called love bugs! Now you will get 500 hits from people over the years googling “What is a love bug?” ha ha. P.S. Who is that in the last picture? Is it you and your love bug or…?

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  2. I’ve never heard of these love bugs… quite a story. We’re heading into mozzie season. They are our love bugs. They love to bite us. But they love to bite the G.O. more, so he takes the flack. That’s a love bug πŸ™‚

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    1. I always forget about the love bugs, until they start showing up in swarms. Then I think, “Oh yeah, it’s September. They’re back.” Thanks for reading, Carrie.

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