For fans of Herbie (the actual Love Bug), I have to apologize in advance–this is about the other kind of lovebug at Walt Disney World, Plecia nearctica. Twice a year, in spring (April and May) and in late summer (August and September), lovebugs (part of the march fly family) descend on Florida, and Central Florida is not immune. Lovebug season has started to hit the Walt Disney World area in full force, and these little buggers will be with us for a few weeks.
Contrary to at least one confused tourist that I ran into this weekend, these aren’t some mammoth mosquitoes here to drain the life out of you. (Don’t worry–those will show up in a few weeks when the rainy season gets into full swing.) Aside from being profoundly annoying, these bugs won’t do much of anything except be in your way–they don’t bite, but they they will land on your clothing, they’ll cover walls and benches, they’ll fall into your food if you’re eating outside. Their sole purpose is to look for love. Charming, right?
One exception: If you are driving your car in and around Walt Disney World, you will likely gather quite a collection of these bugs on your car and the windshield. Due to their body’s composition, lovebug “juice” can eat into the paint on your car, so you’ll want to wash them off frequently to avoid paint damage. They also can create a waxy film on your windshield that regular windshield wipers can’t easily clean off. Windex and a lot of scrubbing can remove that film from your windshield. If you go through a large enough swarm, they can actually clog your car’s air intake, leading to reduced engine efficiency, another reason to frequently clean the front of your car this time of year.
Have you seen lovebugs in and around Walt Disney World this time of year? Do you think they’re worse this year than in the past? Got another question you want us to answer about “what in the world is that?” Let us know in the comments.