How To Get Rid Of Lovebugs in Yard: Cheap & Effective Ways

how to get rid of lovebugs in yard

If you live in the Southeastern United States or Central America, you’re probably all too familiar with the topic of our post today: lovebugs. No, they’re not some romantic insect out of a fairy tale, but quite the nuisance, especially during the late spring and summer, which marks the peak of love bug season. Read on to learn how to get rid of lovebugs in your yard.

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Lovebugs, scientifically known as Plecia nearctica, are small, black-bodied insects with a red thorax. You’ll often find them stuck together, flying around in large numbers. This is because they’re in the midst of their mating season, giving them the nickname “double-headed bug.” But why are they called love bugs, you ask? The reason is fairly straightforward: during the mating process, the male and female love bugs remain coupled for up to several days, creating an image of two bodies sharing one purpose – love, perhaps?

Do Lovebugs Bite? Are Lovebugs Harmful?

Here’s some good news! Lovebugs do not bite or sting humans. They feed on plant nectar, and their larvae consume dead leaves and other plant material, acting as nature’s little composters. But don’t get too comfortable yet. Though not harmful in the traditional sense, swarms of lovebugs can become quite a problem.

During the lovebug season, it’s common to find your yard, house, and car windshields covered in these annoying insects. They are attracted to light colors, bright colors, and freshly painted surfaces, which include your lovely white house or that new paint job on your car. A lovebug infestation can cause absolute havoc, especially if they start exploring the interior of your home, storage rooms, and vehicles.

[Read More: Essential PPE For Spraying Pesticides]

And speaking of cars, lovebugs have a reputation for ruining car paint. When squashed, their acidic bodies can damage your vehicle’s paint if not cleaned immediately. 

Love bugs are often seen stuck together because they are mating. The male and female love bugs attach themselves to each other and can remain connected for several days during their mating process.

Cheap and Effective Ways to Get Rid of Lovebugs

Now that we’ve covered what lovebugs are and why they can be a problem, let’s dive into the best ways to get rid of lovebugs in your yard. The good news is that you don’t need to resort to chemical insecticides immediately. There are several natural and inexpensive solutions at your disposal.

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1. DIY Lovebug Spray: Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Lemongrass, peppermint, or citronella are great choices as they repel many types of insects. Spray this mixture around your yard, paying extra attention to areas where you’ve seen lovebugs gathering.

2. Cooking Spray & Baby Oil: This might sound like an odd combo, but it works! Spraying cooking spray or baby oil on your outdoor furniture, siding, and even your car can make the surfaces slippery, preventing lovebugs from sticking. 

3. Cleaning Up: Lovebug larvae feed on organic matter, plant debris, and dead vegetation. Keeping your yard clean and free of leaf litter and grass clippings can help reduce the food source for lovebug larvae, preventing their numbers from growing.

4. Water Hose: A straightforward but effective way to get rid of lovebugs is by spraying them off your home or vehicle. Just be sure to clean up the dead lovebugs afterward to prevent potential paint damage.

5. Vacuum Cleaner: For lovebugs that have made it inside your home, a vacuum cleaner is a great way to collect and dispose of them quickly. 

6. Wet Dryer Sheets: The University of Florida discovered that wet dryer sheets can also help clean lovebugs off cars without damaging the car’s paint.

7. Natural Pest Control Spray: If the lovebug infestation is quite large, you might want to consider an organic pest control spray. These are commercially available and are usually safe for plants and pets.

Wondercide Organic Pest Control
  • KILLS & REPELS. A flea and tick yard treatment and preventative, this pest-repellent spray is powered by natural essential oils and protects your pets and family.
  • SPRAY & PLAY! Safe around cats, dogs and people of all ages when used as directed, with no wait time for drying or reentry into sprayed areas and environments. Just attach directly to a garden hose, spray your backyard, and enjoy. Keep the bottle & Refill the sprayer with our Flea and Tick Spray Concentrate!
  • TREATS UP TO 5,000 SQUARE FEET. Can be safely used on lawns, gardens, grass, patios, dog kennels, vegetables, flowers, siding, brick, paint and more. Treat an existing pest infestation or for prevention. Application coverage depends on water pressure and walking speed.

Lovebugs and Your Car

A lovebug infestation can be especially troubling if you’re a car owner living in warmer climates like the Gulf Coast States. Lovebugs are attracted to exhaust fumes and the heat from engines and can quickly cover the front of your car in a swarm of lovebugs.

Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover and wet dryer sheets can help remove these nuisance pests from your vehicle’s paint without causing damage. Always remember to clean your car as soon as possible after a lovebug encounter to protect your paint job. 

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Preventing Future Lovebug Infestations

Though we’ve covered ways to deal with a current infestation and how to get rid of lovebugs in your yard, prevention is always better than cure. Regularly maintaining your yard, especially during lovebug season, is crucial. This includes mowing the lawn periodically and removing dead leaves and organic matter that could serve as a breeding ground for lovebug larvae. Also, painting your house darker could deter lovebugs, as they’re attracted to light and bright colors.

Lovebugs might be a nuisance, but they’re not impossible to manage. Whether you use a DIY solution like essential oils and baby oil or a store-bought natural pest control spray, remember to take action as soon as possible. The quicker you address the issue, the less likely these uninvited guests will ruin your late summer or late spring. 

While lovebugs aren’t harmful to humans, they can cause significant stress when in large numbers. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a lovebug-free yard in no time. 

If the situation gets out of control, don’t hesitate to call a professional pest control service. After all, you want to love your home, not share it with lovebugs!

[Read More: How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Larvae In Your Pool]

FAQ Section: Lovebugs

Why are lovebugs stuck together?

Love bugs are often seen stuck together because they are mating. The male and female love bugs attach themselves to each other and can remain connected for several days during their mating process.

Where are lovebugs the worst in Florida?

Love bugs can be a nuisance all over Florida, but they’re particularly heavy in Central Florida and the Gulf Coast. Highways with heavy traffic are often the most infested due to the bugs being attracted to heat and exhaust fumes. (WUSF)

Why were lovebugs introduced to Florida?

Contrary to popular belief, love bugs were not intentionally introduced to Florida. They are believed to have come naturally from Central America, arriving in Florida in the 20th century. They have since increased due to the state’s warm, humid climate, an ideal breeding ground for them.

Do lovebugs die when separated?

Male lovebugs die shortly after mating, but this is not due to separation from the female. On the other hand, the female can mate again and will only die after laying all her eggs.

How long do lovebugs live?

Adult love bugs typically live for about 3 to 4 days. However, considering their life cycle stages from egg to larvae, pupae, and adult, their entire life span ranges from four to six months.

Where do lovebugs go after the season?

After the mating season, the females lay their eggs under decaying plant material and die. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the plant debris and organic matter. They then turn into pupae before emerging as adults in the next season.

Do love bugs eat mosquitoes?

No, love bugs do not eat mosquitoes or any other insects. Both adult lovebugs and their larvae primarily feed on plant nectar and decaying plant material, respectively.

What do love bugs eat?

Love bugs are not predatory insects. The adults feed on the nectar of various plants, and the larvae, known as love bug larvae, feed on decaying plant material and organic matter.

[Read More: Wondercide Pest Control: Is It Safe & Effective?]

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Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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