‘Tis the season here in Southwest Florida, and maybe the rest of the Sunshine State and Southeastern United States, for those pesky flying pests called lovebugs. Contrary to popular belief, these tiny biological bombs were not a science experiment gone wrong (read the Snopes.com entry) but one of Mother Nature’s wonders. I’m not sure what positive purpose these orange-headed black bugs serve other than ensuring drivers keep their cars polished.
Lovebugs. A Driver’s Worst Friend.
See, when driving Florida’s highways and byways during lovebug season (usually May and September), expect to be splattered from windshield to grill to hood to front bumper with a vibrant yellow splat of insect guts. And it’s not just the splatter that sticks around, so do the bug body parts, specifically the wings. The mess they leave is annoying and could be a driving hazard. Regular ole’ windshield wipers don’t remove them so on long hauls through masses of lovebugs, it’s a smart idea to clean off the windshield during rest and fuel stops so you have a clear view of the road.
If left on a car, the bug goo can bake on and eventually eat away at the paint. If the car is waxed, this will help protect the car’s paint along with removing the lovebug guts in a timely manner.
How Do I Remove Lovebugs from My Car?
So what’s the best way to get rid of them? I’ve run my car through standard car washes and it gets some off but not entirely. Sure, a hand car washing works but that’s pricey. Don’t use a green scrubby, you know, the kind to scrub the pots and pans. It scratches the car’s surface. (I learned that the hard way with my previous car and somewhere have the photos to prove it.)
Seasoned Floridians have their favorite tricks for removing lovebugs from cars and mine is a wet dryer sheet. Yeah, ya know, like Bounce Dryer Sheets. It doesn’t need to be a fresh one, it can be used which is recycling.
I cleaned off the front of my car this evening (after accumulating an impressive lovebug splatter collection after a 100-mile trip) and although there was some stubborn splatter, everywhere I used the two dryer sheets I successfully removed bug guts. I’m not sure if the Bounce PR people want to be promoting this cleaning tip, I mean, it doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies like using a used dryer sheet to freshen an undergarments drawer. [Note: I used a wet rag to moisten the lovebugs prior to using the dryer sheets.]
It rained this evening and I kept the car outside so Mother Nature could rinse off whatever magical film Bounce Dryer Sheets use to remove lovebugs.
So what’s your secret for removing lovebugs from your car?
Interested in learning more about the annoying critters? University of Florida IFAS Extension has some posted some quite interesting information on their website. Check it out.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support my traveling habit.