Thursday, May 12, 2011
Love is in the Air
It’s May, and in Central Florida love is in the air. Literally. And on the ground. Crawling on walls. Clinging to window screens. Swarming our cars. Splattering on our windshields. Dissolving our paint.
What kind of love is that? Glad you asked. It’s the love bug. Also known as the March fly, although why I do not know since they take flight twice a year—in May and September.
In late spring and early fall, adult love bugs swarm up out of the grasses and mate. The male dies, but the happy couple remains co-joined while the female flies around for a few days. Blech! Adults live less than a week, but I have to tell you, these little buggers are the bane of my existence while they’re in flight.
They don’t bite—thank goodness—but they have enough heft that if you walk into a cloud of them, you know it. My advice? Don’t swat. They leave a nasty stain. They’re attracted to heat, and hover in huge swarms over the roadways, making it a good time of year to own a car wash. Or a radiator shop. Many a car owner has faced expensive repairs after bug bodies clogged their car’s air intake.
Talk about a love gone bad.
Some say love bugs were a present from my alma mater. But the story that they escaped from a UF science experiment is only urban myth. They actually migrated up from Central America, passing through several southern states before finding Florida's moist climate to their liking.
All that being said, I simply don’t like them. I don’t like bugs in general. I hate and fear spiders. And love bugs make my skin crawl. Which I can handle, I guess, as long as there aren’t any love bugs crawling on me.
Love bugs crawling on the wall outside my office made me close my window blinds.