There may be some readers out there who are blissfully unaware of the existence of lovebugs. You are fortunate. Those of us in Sebring, Florida aren’t so lucky, especially this year, when we are experiencing a taste of what a plague of locusts might be like.

Contrary to their name, lovebugs are not loving or lovable. They are pests in the truest sense of the word. Even though they got their name because they are always engaged in mating behavior, I think it should be reconsidered. Demons from the Underworld is a much more appropriate label for these creatures. They are that bad.

There are a few theories about where lovebugs came from. One popular tale is they are the result of a genetic experiment gone wrong at the University of Florida. According to www.snopes.com, this is not the case. According to the article I read, the critters migrated here from Central America, looked at Florida and decided they liked the place (While lovebugs aren’t exclusive to my home state, they seem to prefer it to other locales).

While in years past they have been an annoying fact of life in May and September, this year it seems they reproduced with a vengeance. I have seen actual swarms of these black and red monsters so thick they’re a noxious cloud. They seem to be attracted to light colors, such as Paul’s white car. Given the fact our siding is a light almond color they seem pretty attracted to our house, too. If you aren’t quick getting inside, they will follow you into your home, to taunt and torment you.

Lovebugs are horrible to cars in general. They are impossible to avoid while driving, their smashed bodies smearing windshields and front bumpers. There is also something about their bodily secretions that eat paint on said cars. This has given rise to several home remedies for removing lovebug residue from your vehicle safely. And while I can’t imagine anyone loving lovebugs, I’m sure those who wash cars for a living appreciate the uptick in business they provide.

I normally try to find some redeeming quality of any creature God has created. Lovebugs are one of the creatures that I can’t come up with anything (another is cockroaches). They swarm all over the place, get in my hair, and generally cause aggravation wherever they go. In fact, I can’t recall anyone having anything nice to say about them — with one exception.

According to an article on www.tcpalm.com, lovebugs do one thing right. They lay eggs in dying vegetation, which the newly hatched young consume, thereby redistributing vital nutrients into the soil.

That may be true, but I wager Floridians like me aren’t impressed. Sure, the kids do something good for the environment — does that mean they have to become obnoxious pests when they grow up?

Most people I know can’t stand lovebugs. We hate them, say nasty things about them, and write columns decrying their very existence. Especially this year, when Floridians seem vastly outnumbered by the swarms of bothersome critters.

This could perhaps be a unifying theme in our country. Maybe we can all agree that lovebugs are noxious pests and come together in shared loathing for the creatures. Think of it — something that Democrats and Republicans could agree on. The concept is staggering.

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