How To Get Rid of Lovebugs? | Effective Tips for a Bug-Free Home!

Written by Thomas Matthews

Have you noticed the conjoined lovebugs recently? They tend to fly into people’s windshields, making them a nuisance at certain times of the year. The insects also emerge in large swarms, making people wonder how to get rid of them.

How to get rid of lovebugs? To get rid of lovebugs, you can mix citrus-scented dish soap with water as these insects hate the smell of lemons. You can also use mosquito candles. Lovebugs don’t live long, so you don’t have to put up with them for extended periods. However, you should know how to manage them.

Overall, these insects aren’t harmful – just a nuisance. If you live in a warm, moist area, you’ll likely see them every year. That’s why I’ve put together this guide to let you know exactly how to deal with these creatures in the future.

About Lovebugs

About Lovebugs

Origin of Lovebugs

In the 1950s, a strange myth about the lovebug popped up. People believed they came from an experiment at the University of Florida. However, that’s not the case, despite the story circling for many years. The history of lovebugs has been riddled with superstitions like these for years.

In actuality, lovebugs are flies that migrated across the Gulf of Mexico into Florida and other parts of the United States. Two generations of these bugs appear each year during May and September. They tend to fly into people’s windshields, causing people concern.

What Do Lovebugs Look Like?

Black flies with a reddish-orange thorax are known as lovebugs (Plecia nearctica Hardy). As adults, they have only one pair of wings like all true flies in the family Bibionidae, also known as March flies.

These flies are known as “lovebugs” because they frequently fly while still attached to one another while mating. Males are 6 to 10 mg in weight, while females weigh 15 to 25 mg. Additionally, males are 6-7 mm long and females are 6 to 9 mm.

What Is the Purpose of Lovebugs?

What Is the Purpose of Lovebugs

Lovebugs are beneficial before they reach adulthood. During the early stages of their life cycle, lovebugs eat cut grass, allowing the nutrients to return to the ground and plants through their waste. They help the plants to grow and assist in building a stable, healthy environment.

In other words, they’re great for recycling organic matter. So, for those wondering, “Are lovebugs beneficial in any way?” they are when they are young.

When Is Lovebug Season?

Lovebugs thrive in warmer climates, making Florida and other Gulf Coast States perfect habitats. They usually appear en masse in the spring and late summer seasons.

How Long Is Lovebug Season?

Wondering how long the lovebug season last? Lovebug season lasts a few months, depending on the weather and location. They appear in the spring, from April to May. Then again in the later summer, from August until September. Overall, the season lasts a total of four weeks.

Why Do Lovebugs Stick Together?

Why Do Lovebugs Stick Together

The anatomy of a lovebug is what causes them to stick together. Lovebugs stick together when they want to mate. They take hours to complete the process, during which they fly around together.

When the bugs finish mating, the male insect dies. The female lovebug continues to carry the body around until it’s ready to lay the eggs. The male corpse acts as a source of nutrients so that the eggs remain healthy.

Are Lovebugs Dangerous?

Lovebugs are not dangerous. Although, they can be a nuisance, leading many to seek the best ways to repel lovebugs. 

Do Lovebugs Carry Diseases?

Lovebugs don’t carry any diseases. However, they are mainly a nuisance and can make it more difficult to see when driving.

So, you don’t have to worry about these insects biting or stinging you or your pets. They can’t transmit diseases and aren’t poisonous.

Are Lovebugs Dangerous to My Plants?

Are Lovebugs Dangerous to My Plants

Lovebugs aren’t dangerous to any plants you may be growing. The adults don’t eat much, and the larvae will only consume decaying materials. They’re natural recyclers, turning the dead plants back into nutrients for the earth.

Are Lovebugs Toxic to Dogs and Other Pets?

Luckily, these insects aren’t toxic to you or your pets. You don’t need to worry if you notice your dog or cat eating one.

What Attracts Lovebugs?

What Attracts Lovebugs

Adult lovebugs feed on plant nectar, so they may be attracted to your property if you have many flowers. They particularly enjoy sweet clover and goldenrod nectar.

They’re also attracted to highways for several reasons. First, they are attracted to the warmth of car engines, the emitted exhaust, and the vibrations that vehicles make. They also tend to like lighter-colored cars.

Why Are Lovebugs Attracted to White?

While the exact reason is unknown, we know that lovebugs are drawn to the sun and bright lights. So they may like the way sunlight reflects off white surfaces, especially the glossy paint of a white car. As a result, if your car is white, you’ll probably have to deal with these insects more often. 

Are Lovebugs Attracted to Dark Colors?

While not strictly attracted to dark colors, these bugs do tend to travel toward blacktop roads. They can sense the heat radiating off the blacktop, so it’s not the color that attracts them. Lovebugs are constantly searching for warmth and the road is a great source.

Are Lovebugs Attracted to Light?

Like many other flying insects, lovebugs are drawn to lights. Bugs use lights to navigate through the air. However, bright headlights can confuse them. If you’re often cleaning lovebugs off your car, this would be a likely reason.

How To Get Rid of a Lovebug Infestation?

How To Get Rid of a Lovebug Infestation

If lovebugs find your home attractive, they may become a problem, which you need to take care of quickly!

How To Get Rid of Lovebugs in My House?

To get rid of these insects in the house, mix warm water with a citrus-scented dish soap – orange and lemon scents work the best. Add a small amount of mouthwash, then stir or shake the mixture very well.

Pour your new solution into a spray bottle, then squirt it around your house. Make sure to get the walls and your plants. The powerful smell will repel the lovebugs. 

How To Get Rid of Lovebugs in Yard?

Mowing your yard frequently will prevent insects from taking root in your property. Make sure to remove all decomposing leaves, sticks, and grass to take away their food source. Then, spray the above mixture around your yard.

Pay attention to the areas with flowers since their nectar can attract adult lovebugs, who then lay their eggs nearby.

How To Get Rid of Lovebugs on Patio?

Lovebugs hate citrus scents. So, you can use the dish soap mixture or even diluted lemon juice. Citrus-scented candles also work wonders at repelling these bugs. You can use the popular mosquito candles to keep these bugs away from your patio.

How To Get Rid of Lovebugs on Your Car?

Lovebugs are drawn to the heat and car exhaust fumes, which they mistake for the smell of rotting plant matter. Because of this, lovebugs often fly alongside roads and splatter on the windshields of moving vehicles. To get rid of lovebugs in your car, you can do the following:

1. In order to get rid of squished lovebugs, soak them first and then use a gentle scraping motion. Being forced to clean for up to 20 minutes makes this procedure rather manual labor-intensive.

2. To quickly get rid of lovebugs, use a hose or a high-pressure washer. The M MINGLE Replacement Pressure Washer Gun, which includes an extension wand and 5 different nozzle tips, is an appropriate choice. It is a universal, simple-to-install component that works with the majority of popular brands of pressure washers.

M MINGLE Replacement Pressure Washer Gun with Extension Wand, M22 15mm or M22 14mm Fitting, 5 Nozzle Tips, 40 Inch, 4000 PSI
  • Universal pressure washer spray gun has M22 14mm or M22 15mm...
  • Attention: Not fit gardenhoses, waterhose or your faucet...
  • Change the length of pressure washer gun based on your...
  • 5 Spray Nozzle Tips: They have different spray angle (0, 15, 25,...
  • Universal 1/4’’ quick connect for any accessory with...

3. Use cleansers designed to get rid of pests from a car’s exterior. The PROSOL WORKS Bugs N’ All Bug & Tar Remover for all Vehicles is something we strongly advise purchasing. The product works by emitting the acids it contains to remove organic contaminants from cars. This product, which is made without hazardous or abrasive components, eliminates insect traces in a minute and quickly dislodges oil and debris.

Bugs N’ All Multipurpose Concentrated Cleaner & Degreaser 4 oz - Bug and Tar Remover Safe on Automotive Paint, Chrome on Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RVs & More w/Free 32 oz Spray Bottle
  • All Around Spot Cleaner - The multi-surface cleaner uses...
  • Ease Of Use - This car interior cleaner and exterior grime...
  • No Harsh Chemicals - A non-toxic, non-flammable, and...
  • Save More Get More - Our concentrated car bug splatter remover...
  • Risk-Free Guarantee! - We firmly believe this is the absolute...

What Kills Lovebugs? Best Products To Use

Sometimes, when a lovebug infestation gets out of hand, you need to remove some of the population. These bugs don’t live long, so you won’t need to kill them in most cases. However, these products work wonders if you’re desperate:

Best Lovebug Sprays

Lovebugs hate the same sprays that keep away mosquitos and flies. We recommend Ben’s 100 Insect Repellent from Amazon for the best results.

Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent - Travel Size Bug Spray with 100% DEET for Mosquitoes, Ticks & More - Up to 10 Hours of Protection - Max Strength - 3.4 oz (2 Pack)
  • Max DEET Power: Ben's DEET bug spray offers a potent 100% DEET...
  • Travel-Sized Companion: Our travel size bug repellent in a 3.4 oz...
  • Rugged Outdoor Defense: This tick spray for humans is designed...
  • Ultimate Protection from Biting Insects: Enjoy the world's...
  • Tested Tough in New Hampshire: Ben's Tick & Insect Repellent is...

It provides protection from several insect species and comes in a large bottle. Plus, we appreciated that the spray is odorless.

Insecticide for Lovebugs

If you want to kill lovebugs in your garden, the Garden Safe Insecticidal works very well.

No products found.

It kills all sorts of garden bugs without harming your plants. It’s effective at managing lovebug larvae and kills them before they turn into adult insects.

How To Repel Lovebugs?

Best Lovebugs Repellent

Although there are a few commercial repellents on the market, the best lovebug repellent is homemade. We recommend mixing lemon dish soap, mouthwash, and water in a spray bottle. You can use it yourself and around your property without worry.

As for a commercial repellent, you can try these:

Mighty Mint Gallon (128 oz) Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil - Natural Spray for Spiders, Ants, and More
  • Safe when used as directed
  • Extra Concentrated for Long-Lasting Protection
  • Natural Ingredients Proven Effective in the Real World
  • Large 1 Gallon Container
  • Powerful Essential Oil
Mighty Mint 16 oz Peppermint Oil Insect & Pest Spray - for Spiders, Ants, and More
  • Easy Application and Clean Up
  • Safe When Used as Directed
  • Extra Concentrated for Long-Lasting Protection
  • Natural Ingredients Proven Effective in the Real World
  • Powerful US Peppermint Oil
Two Bros. Repellent Pest Repellent Spray, Rodent Repellent, Indoor Pest Control Mint Spray for Home and Kitchen - Rodent, Fly, Ant, Spider, Roach, Flea,Safely and Effectively-120Z
  • EFFECTIVE REPELLING: This is a spray made of highly concentrated...
  • PROTECT YOUR HOME: It can be safely used in homes and kitchens....
  • SAFE HUMAN & PETS:Mainly made of plant-based ingredients and safe...
  • WIDELY USED: It can be easily sprayed in the home, kitchen,...
  • EASY TO USE: Shake well before use.Spray in areas where the...

Best Homemade Recipe To Remove Lovebugs

Cleaning these insects off your car or home is no fun. However, this recipe will help speed up the process a bit. 

First, mix glass cleaner and warm water in a bucket. You can also add some dish soap. Then, use a sponge or rag to soak the splattered areas. Let it rest for a few minutes, then start scrubbing. The hot water should make cleaning easier. 

Best Way To Clean Lovebugs off Windshield?

Best Way To Clean Lovebugs off Windshield

To remove lovebugs, start with very hot water, soap, and glass cleaner. Douse the bugs in the water, and allow them to sit. Then, remove them using a sponge.

Sale 1
STAR BRITE Bug Off - Premium Automotive Dead Insect Residue Cleaner - Quick & Easy Bug Bit and Tar Remover for Cars - 22 OZ Spray (092722)
  • EFFORTLESS CLEANING - Quickly removes bug bits and road film from...
  • DESIGNED FOR YOUR VEHICLE - Does not remove waxes or polishes,...
  • CONVENIENT APPLICATION - Easy spray-on, wipe-off application for...
  • VERSATILE USE - Ideal bug bit and tar remover for cars, trucks,...
  • TRUSTED BRAND - Brought to you by STAR BRITE, a leading name in...
Sale 2
3D Bug Remover - All Purpose Exterior Cleaner & Degreaser to Wipe Away Bugs on Plastic, Rubber, Metal, Chrome, Aluminum, Windows & Mirrors, Suitable for use on Car Paint, Wax & Clear Coat 16oz.
  • Bug Remover for Cleaning the Bug and Insects off your Cars.
  • Remover is designed to wipe away bug and insects from the...
  • All-purpose interior & exterior cleaner quickly loosens and wipes...
  • No need to scrub. Easy spray and rinse application
  • Suitable for use on car paint, wax & clear coats
Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 Concentrated Bug and Tar Remover Car Wash Soap (Works with Foam Cannons, Foam Guns or Bucket Washes) Safe for Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, RVs & More, 16 fl. Oz
  • A must own for commuters, truckers, couriers, and fleet vehicle...
  • Safely removes bugs, tar, grime, tree sap and bird droppings
  • Concentrated - 1 capful works with 1 gallon of water
  • Pre-wash saves time and energy by loosening stuck-on bugs and...
  • Pre-wash prevents long term paint damage

How To Protect Car From Lovebugs?

If you know you will be traveling during the peak of lovebug season, you can take some precautions. A fresh coat of wax or covering your car in baby oil prevents the bugs from sticking to the front of your vehicle.

You may also find deflector shields that mount on the front of your car. Instead of the bugs hitting your vehicle, they hit the shield instead.

Can Pest Control Take Care of Lovebugs?

Can Pest Control Take Care of Lovebugs

If you have a serious insect problem, contact a professional. However, lovebugs are usually something that people prefer to handle on their own. These insects have a lifespan of only a few days, so you don’t need to worry about them for long. Lovebugs will die very quickly on their own without any help.

These bugs are also not harmful as they can’t bite or sting you. They won’t eat furniture or make you sick either. Finally, in most cases, they won’t infest your home.

Plus, they’re easy to repel with homemade solutions. There are very few cases where you would want to have pest control involved. If the insect situation gets out of hand, you can reach out to a local company.

List of Sources

Auer, H., Beneficial Insects in the Garden: Lovebugs. Texas A&M University.

Diamond, S., Chilson, S. (2002). Plecia Nearctica. Animal Diversity Web.

Harrison, S., The Coming Season: Lovebugs. Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

McGovney, R.L., (2004). Fact or Fiction? The Truth About Those Pesky Lovebugs. UF/IFAS News Release.

Leppla, N. C., (2018). Living with lovebugs. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida.

Thomas Matthews
Follow me