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Remember when love bugs were this bad?

 
Old 05-15-2019, 09:26 AM
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RatDog
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Default Remember when love bugs were this bad?

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Old 05-15-2019, 09:44 AM
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mikelj
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Yes, there were many years in the Houston area where they were just as bad. People had to stop every few miles to clean their windshields on I45.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:23 AM
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I grew up in the Panhandle and lovebugs were a nuisance, but apparently not as bad as down in the Panbottom. ... But I flew into McDill AFB in Tampa around 1974 in a T-37. It was a hot day so the crew chief opened the canopy to cool off the cockpit before I arrived. When I climbed in there must have been a hundred lovebugs strolling around inside. I chased off maybe a third of them but others were coming in as fast as I could throw them out. So my student and I started up and taxied out to the runway. When cleared for takeoff we closed the canopy, rolled onto the runway and took to the sky. The lovebuys were annoying at first as they landed on the instruments and canopy. But the T-37 does not have a pressurized cockpit and we were headed to 25,000". Around 10,000 feet the lovebugs started to drop and by 20,000 feet not a one was moving. When we landed an hour later, none revived while I was there. ..... So I guess the moral is that if we could suck all the air out of south Florida for an hour or so we could solve the lovebug problem.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:17 AM
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Around the redneck Alabama world...we call them telephone bugs...they say Hello and Hang Up!

The “love bug,” a fly in the Bibionidae family (also known as the honeymoon fly, telephone bug, double-headed bug, united bug, and March fly), is a nuisance any Florida motorist is unhappily more than passingly familiar with. Though these bugs neither bite nor sting, at certain times of the year their sheer numbers transform these innocuous insects into airborne hordes seemingly determined to devil anyone fool enough to take to the road.

The adults splatter on windshields, lights, grills, and radiators of motor vehicles, and their dried remains are hard to remove. Suicidal pairs of love bugs have been known to cause overheating of motors when large numbers of them are drawn into the cooling systems of liquid-cooled engines. Unlike other bugs, something particular to them adversely affects the paint jobs on cars, pitting and etching the paint if their mortal remains are left on vehicles for more than 48 hours.

Every May and September these sex-crazed critters become an annoyance bordering on intolerable as the air teems with mating pairs. But the “love bugs” haven’t always been part of the Floridian landscape, thus we’ve seen an abundance of “mad scientist” stories about how the state came to be infested with them. (Love bugs are not solely a Floridian plague; they range throughout the Gulf states and into Mexico and Central America, as well as up into Georgia and South Carolina. But they seem particularly enamored of Florida.)

Truth is, Mother Nature is far more to be feared than any mad scientist and is far more capricious. In this case, she inspired some of her children to migrate to a new area, and in doing so prompted the creation of a number of rumors which attempt to explain why these critters came to take up residence in places where they weren’t found before.

Love bugs are not the result of a genetic cloning experiment gone wrong, nor were they unwittingly loosed from a research facility charged with studying exotic insects. They also weren’t bio-engineered as a natural solution to the mosquito problem. (Love bugs do not eat mosquitoes: the adults do not eat at all, and larvae feed on decaying plant material.)

These overly amorous critters are native to Central America; the best guess as to how they came to these United States places them as undiscovered stowaways who arrived by ship in Galveston or New Orleans around 1920. They migrated into Florida in 1947 from Louisiana, looked around, liked what they saw, and decided to stay. Their natural capacity for reproduction took care of the rest.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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i worked construction while attending the U of F in gainesville fl in the late 60's early 70's and remember
sometimes having to wear a bandanna over my mouth to keep from breathing them.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:28 AM
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It was a pain when I rode a motorcycle in my earlier teen years. Ate a many of them.

Last edited by smacota1; 05-15-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 3154tm View Post
i worked construction while attending the U of F in gainesville fl in the late 60's early 70's and remember
sometimes having to wear a bandanna over my mouth to keep from breathing them.
I also attended the U of F during that same time period. If you rode a motorcycle in May or September, you were never hungry when you arrived at your destination.

Steve
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:41 AM
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:42 AM
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by csherman View Post
Its sad what crack cocaine can do to a person.

Steve
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:24 PM
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ratdog, i did actually. had a yamaha DT1 250 that i rode in the woods and sink holes outside the city.
i imagine that's a lot harder to do these days.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 3154tm View Post
ratdog, i did actually. had a yamaha DT1 250 that i rode in the woods and sink holes outside the city.
i imagine that's a lot harder to do these days.
I continued to live in Gainesville after graduation, teaching HS English in Palatka. Took a tumble from a dt 250 and was on crutches for awhile. My students began calling me Easy Rider.

Eventually, my wife and I built a house (with our own hands) on 2 acres off Millhopper Road,1 mile from the Devils Millhopper sinkhole. No doubt you are very familiar with that area.

Sold our our house in 2005 and left the area.

Small world.

Steve
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:45 PM
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Am I correct that they arrive 2 times, spring & fall?
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:49 PM
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used to go out to the millhopper all the time and look for fossils. of course in those days it wasn't a park
and kids would go out there for all kinds of reasons, parties, etc. i was in gainesville about 6 or 7 years ago and barely recognized the place.

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Old 05-15-2019, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ricks327 View Post
Am I correct that they arrive 2 times, spring & fall?
Yes, every May and September like clockwork.

Steve
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:24 PM
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And it seems like May flies show up near lakes right after the love bugs...yuck!



They love bright lights (and houses painted yellow/white). Unlike love bugs they don't splatter on your car....however they will cling to your car until you hit exactly 52MPH whereupon they blow off.... This statistic is the result of extensive research by me and the wife...
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:31 PM
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Frank - We donít get those May Flies over this way. Our house isnít directly on a lake but there are lakes all around us, one of which I can see from the living room window.

Whatís wrong with our lakes?

Steve
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RatDog View Post
Frank - We don’t get those May Flies over this way. Our house isn’t directly on a lake but there are lakes all around us, one of which I can see from the living room window.

What’s wrong with our lakes?

Steve
I can't say Steve - but count your blessings - I DO know that these critters are a sign that a lake is pristine and in good health.

I'm on the board of the John's Lake Improvement Association and learned a lot about insects, invasive plants, etc.. that I never knew..

I have to say, one of the benefits of the "invisible bra" on my car is that the love bugs wipe off with some quick detailer and a microfiber towel with minimal effort.

Last edited by Frankie the Fink; 05-15-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:12 PM
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I remember after Katrina a worker from an electric company, up north somewhere, came down from my in-laws pole and said he was sick of the heat and the black bugs. He quit right there and left. The only thing I've found that will take them off easily is Downy sheets. Wet the car, wipe with the Downy sheet until milky, let set 5 minutes, and then wet the car and use a second Downy sheet. Usually works great.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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Makes it no fun to ride a motorcycle, especially without a face shield.

Doug
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