Florida has a lot of seasons: Hurricane/wet season, wildfire/dry season, tourist/snowbird season, spring break/sunburn season, ‘gator season and ‘skeeter season.
Welcome to “Car Wash Season,” otherwise known as “Love Bug Season.”
Usually, they’re just a nuisance. For two weeks, they swarm over roadways, enticed by exhaust fumes, mating on the wing and upsetting motorists who just want to keep a clean windshield or grill.
It’s probably why one of two huge car washes in town is called “Love Buggs,” right?
This year, they’ve been thick. They’re everywhere: On my car, on my clothes, in my car, in the kitchen, at my desk, and in restaurants.
I went to the restroom at Publix. I kid you not, one was in there.
He’s got to take a break sometime, I guess.
I’ve bought a gallon of windshield washer fluid before, but I’ve never run out.
My window went dry on Wednesday, with plenty of gooey bugs to spare.
They swam all over my car. They must like white paint jobs.
The bugs arrived in Florida along the Gulf of Mexico, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science.
Native to Central America, they entered southeastern Texas in 1940 and spread to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Their young munch of grass clippings (so that’s where the dead grass goes). Adults show up twice a year during May and September, for about two to four weeks, and mate on the wing.
You’ll find them splattered on your windshield, hood and grille.
They’re attracted to heat, exhaust and the vibrations of traffic.
Also white cars, air-conditioning and every one of my shirts.
This year, they sparked the interest of our son, as they swarmed his preschool.
He’s tried to catch them like fireflies. All he’s managed to do is squish them.
At last Tuesday’s meeting, County Commission Chair Jim Brooks said a resident sent him an email asking the county to do something about the love bugs.
They can’t do anything. No one can, short of having bats and birds munch ‘em.
They aren’t too tasty, ... I’ve heard.
Commissioner Greg Harris remarked that we’d have a lot more of them if we didn’t have windshields killing them off.
He also said the resident should be glad love bugs don’t bite.
Which reminds me, we better start buying repellent for mosquito season.
Phil Attinger is a staff writer at the Highlands News-Sun. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com.