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Lovebugs probably with us until October

Their scientific name is plecia nearctica, but they are known simply as lovebugs for their determination to pitch some serious woo with their fellow winged mate anywhere and everywhere.
They have a strong urging to partner up with their mate on vehicles – especially ones of the color white traveling at 60 mph.
And this year the lovebugs -- or honeymoon flies or double-headed bugs -- are out in their second annual visit to Screven County in full force much to the chagrin of the locals. Screven Countians are traditionally nice individuals, but they don’t take kindly to the lovebugs.
They hate the lovebugs. For evidence of their displeasure, turn to social media.
While the locals have hatred, these bugs have love – for at least each other. The bugs have such a strong affection for their significant other that even a hurricane could not diminish their feeling and high number count.
When Hurricane Irma swept through the county depositing approximately 8 inches of rainfall and cranking up winds that gusted upwards of 40 mph, most people thought the area had seen virtually the last of the lovebugs.
But nope. The black-bodied, orange-and-reddish headed couples are more in unison than ever. During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to days.
Note the word “days.” The life cycle of lovebugs typically are 72 to 92 hours, said Ray Hicks, the Screven County extension director who too admitted he figured Irma would cause a split between the pairs.
The lovebugs’ time in the county during April and May was nothing in comparison to the volume residents have seen over the last few weeks.
Putting out buckets of water does attract the couples and they do not swim well, but Hicks said that and possibly insecticides do little good for the volume of lovebugs in the area.
“They stain clothes, vehicles and buildings when they hit and get squished,” said Hicks, noting that unless the temperature drops down to 68 degrees or below over the upcoming days the lovebugs will still be with us until the beginning of October.
Even though the number of gnats and mosquitos seems to have dropped during the weeks the lovebugs have taken over, Hicks said lovebugs don’t eat gnats and the fewer mosquitos may be because the area had not had substantial rainfall until Irma.
There’s even an urban legend that lovebugs are synthetic as a result of a University of Florida genetics experiment that went wrong.
If you want to try to avoid the lovebugs, the winged ones tend to come out mid-morning and fly around until dusk unless they have an unfortunate meeting with a windshield. Hicks said during the early morning and later evening, the lovebugs stay in foliage. That may be how they handled Irma.
Hicks said baby oil does help with the removal of dead bugs from vehicles, but he suggests not putting the baby oil onto their windshield because it will leave a film.