(Click on image above, to learn more about this cartoon.)
The lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is a species of fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, specifically South Carolina where I live. Also known as the honeymoon fly based on its unusual ritualistic behavior. Appearing as one bug, the matured pairs of this insect are actually a male and female that bond together in flight up to several days in early Spring and late Summer.
Lovebugs are beneficial
It's been determined by the University of Gloria's Institute of Food and Agriculture that lovebugs are actually beneficial for the environment.
The pesky, slow-flying insects lay their eggs in places where dying vegetation exists, known as thatch. Feeding on thatch redistributes essential nutrients back into our soil, which benefits our plants and the environment in general.
Love Bugs are detrimental
The one major detriment to man is what lovebugs do to our automobiles. For some reason, they seem to like them. Perhaps they like "the ride" and open air, but they tend to be attracted to car emissions and black top roads during the daytime. They don't fly at night.
Their acidic bodies can cause damage to car paint if their remains are left untouched for a period of time.
To counter this deleterious activity, there are some bug removers on the market that will not harm the paint on our cars.
Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover costs less than $5 and will remove bug residue and tree sap. There is also a recommended $9 bug splatter sponge that comes five to a box. You can also purchase a relatively inexpensive bug screen that attaches to the front of the car to prevent bugs from clogging radiators.
Why lovebugs are stuck together . . .
The answer is basic-- they are actually mating. Their mating process actually takes hours, thus you see most of them stuck together while in flight. They mate frequently in the late summer season. The reason the male stays connected after death is the female drags him along until she lays her eggs. And once she completes that process, she herself dies. So is the circle of life. That is of course . . . until next year, my friends.
Primary Source: TC Palm