Love Bugs Invade Central Mississippi

If you live in a Gulf Coast state, you've seen the black clouds of mating love bugs. Dry summers have kept bug's numbers down the past few years, but more rain this year means more bugs -- and more problems -- for drivers.

WAPT 16 reported splatted love bugs on your grill aren't just gross, they can ruin your car's paint job and block up your radiator. Scientists at the University of Florida told WAPT that the bugs are highly acidic, and need to be removed within 24 hours to prevent their corpses from eating through paint. They suggested using a dryer sheet with soap and water to remove the bugs.

Love bugs are actually flies, which breed in wet, decaying organic matter in the fall and spring. Tim Lockley, an entomology specialist and retired research scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrote in the Sun Herald that love bugs are attracted to roads because gasoline, tires and asphalt smell similar (at least to the bugs) to rotting plant matter. Lockley suggests waxing your car for an extra layer of protection against their acidic bodies.

If possible, avoid driving during peak love bug hours -- early morning and dusk -- and try to drive slowly through the clouds of amorous insects. He also suggests motorcyclists keep their mouths closed while speeding down road ways.

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