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Question Where do the Love Bugs In Florida Come From? (Posted by: Anonymous )

Raubi Answered by: Raubi, an
expert in the Insects - General category
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They say love is a battlefield, and you know what, they are right. I know this is true, because I have found that battlefield. Somewhere in Florida between Tampa and Ocala on Interstate 75, lovers are prematurely departing from one another at a rapid pace. I know this because I found about a hundred of them stuck to my windshield. It is LOVE BUG season.

As sweet as they sound, Love Bugs are actually pretty gross, and not to mention, annoying. The only thing worse than one bug flying around your head is two bugs that are stuck together flying around your head. The only thing even WORSE that that is two bugs flying around your head while possibly in the middle of a sexual encounter.

If you have ever been in Florida during Love Bug season (April/May & August/September) you know what I mean. You have most likely been annoyed by them while laying by the pool. You’ve swatted them away as they stopped for a moment to make love on your exposed kneecap. You’ve been disgusted by their blatant disregard of sexual discretion. And you’ve asked yourself the inevitable question, are they really doing it?

My favorite rumor explanation for the attached insects was that the bugs were a science experiment gone wrong. That professors at the University of Florida made a huge mistake while toying with bug genetics and accidentally added too much of one hormone to another creating a miniature, sexual monster. A simple beaker misreading and now love bugs simply can’t stay off of each other.

The real truth has nothing to do with UF professors or spilled beakers. And while those lies are hard to grasp, the biggest lie behind Love Bugs is that they aren’t even bugs at all! They are flies. LOVE FLIES do not sound nearly as romantic.

But what is true about the Love Flies is that they are really doing it. In fact, they mate most of their lives. Shortly after going through their little bug version of puberty, the male and female latch onto each other and never let go, even in flight. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily call this flying. It is more like the hopeless drifting of a romantic blinded by love, which is probably why it is so annoying and disgusting when they land on your leg by the pool. You might lie to yourself, but you know you are envious of the Love Fly, literally breezing through life, oblivious to the world, flying high and making love.

But before you make your plans on being reincarnated into a Love Bug in the next lifetime, lets remember one thing. Love is a battlefield, and being hit by my car isn’t the only way Love Bugs pass onto the next world. The male flies don’t live very long and they die shortly after sex. But not even death can’t disconnect these lovers, and the female is left to drag around the male’s body until she lays her eggs and dies a few days later.

Hmm, a female dragging around the baggage of her male lover until the day she dies. I guess those Love Flies are more romantic than we give them credit for.

So next time you find flying lovers landed on your kneecap or breezing past your car window, remember every blessing has its curse.

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Love Bugs are native to Central America. The first noted sighting in the US was around 19
0, probably a stowaway on a ship entering Galveston or New Orleans. As adults, Love Bugs have a very short life 48-96 hours. Single love bugs (unmated) feed on nectar, but it appears this is only to store it for the eggs (female) and energy storage (male) when united. This could be called a pre-adult stage, like a late teenage human and lasts only about 6 hours. Once becoming an Adult they mate within 3 hours. Once mated both Male and Female begin giving up their lives for their offspring. The male first and then the female as the fertilized eggs suck the life out of them. The larval stage of the insect is Long compared to other insects. A year average. The Larvae feed on decaying plant matter. Their natural enemies are Arachnids(mostly Spiders), Fungus, drought, extended freezing Temperatures, and automobiles. They are attracted by the "smell" of the exhaust from Petrol burning vehicles. This easily proven in two ways, 1) when mating, if there are few cars on the road there are few Love Bugs.
) If the air is Breezy or Windy, there are few Love Bugs on the roadway. If the air is still...Lookout. By BuBu Spidecky on 06-10-12 at 02:51am
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