For the Love of Lovebugs

lovebug
Back in the 1960s, this would have been a mild lovebug attack.

Speaking of plagues, at the Hermits’ Rest it’s apparently time for another of those infrequent visitations of the insect kind, the lovebug. This is one of their big years, as the front of my car will attest.

Fascinating creatures, they didn’t show up in the US until the 1960s, much to the delight of those of us who were children at the time. We spent a lot of time devising ways to shoot them out of the sky with the water hose, or pulling them apart (eww). Yes, they spend most of their adult lives mating.

Lovebugs were a real danger during the time when I was in college, traveling up and down through the middle of Florida. People were always on the side of the Florida Turnpike, broken down, because the bugs had clogged their radiators. My 1972 Pinto Squire wagon had a very small radiator; that did not combine well with lovebugs.

The rest stops had special lovebug removal stations set up, so folks could clear their windshields and radiators enough to go home. They sold special screens to put on your car grill to reduct the damage. Wikipedia says that modern car paint doesn’t suffer as much, but in the past you had to get the bugs right off or their acidity would eat into paint. You can see why no one liked them.

Continue reading “For the Love of Lovebugs”

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