Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What’s Buggin’ Us? Love Bugs?!?

love bugs
The pen provides scale for this "love bug" couple
copulating on the Ortega Landing Marina's clubhouse

(exterior window!).
Mahogany birds, Timothy Burton spiders and, lately, “love bugs,” that’s what’s bugging us.

“Love bugs?” you ask, wondering perhaps if I’m serious.  Yes, and I'm not referring to the lighthearted Mill’s Brothers/Tommy Dorsey love song (click here to hear that really “moldy oldie”).

Contrary to urban legend, love bugs (less commonly but more officially known as plecia nearctica) are not escapees from a lab experiment gone wrong (click here for more facts on the love bug migration).

They don’t bite but  “The love bugs will get you if you don’t watch out” Love Bug lyrics do indeed ring true, literally. However, it’s more likely to be your car than you that get it, with the love bugs being far worse for the wear….  They are dubbed “love bugs” because they are joined in a 12-hour long mating frenzy, too busy procreating to focus on anything else.

Love bugs are so prevalent, some seasonally astute Floridians claim “There’s the hot season, cold season and love bug season.” 

Indeed, I do recall back in the days of yore, living in Florida in the 70s…. There was a veritable love bug epidemic.  Concerned car owners sometimes needed to add a protective shield of sorts, typically netting over their car, to keep it from getting gummed up from these hordes of horny buggers.  Keeping windshields and other car parts clear in the midst of this mating ritual is challenging, not to mention just plain disgusting.

Love bug “season” is, blissfully, short-lived.  

More on “Mahogany birds” and “Tim Burton spiders” coming soon…. 

Meanwhile, if you can't wait for or get enough creepy crawlies, check out these prior buggy blog posts


  1. For a few days we had an orgy of love bugs on deck. Pretty annoying, as they tend to fly in your face. Deb was enjoying them because they kept my mouth shut for a while.
    One thing I noticed around here on the ICW, is the fish are not really eating the bugs that hit the water. Up north if you throw a spider in the water it's gone in seconds. The cockroaches on the dock actually jump in the water to escape the sole of your shoe, and somehow do not get eaten. Must be plenty of food down there to not bother with bugs.

  2. One of the things I loved about the living on a boat/cruising life. Living life slowly. When working in the modern world life was just not noticed much. Too much going on too much to do. Now would you have noticed these bugs if you were back in the "other world"? I never thought much about little things like bugs or weather. While cruising I noticed and learned to see the next sunrise/sunset, or even two bugs hooked together in mad passion. Ken