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What is a Lovebug?

What is a Lovebug?

Did you know lovebugs are real insects and not just a pet name? 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you’ve likely seen cards or gifts addressed to your “lovebug” – but did you know that lovebugs are insects we can find in NC? 

What is a lovebug?

Plecia nearctica, or the lovebug, is a specific species of bibionid fly. These insects got their name because they are often found in the mating position with their posterior ends joined. Lovebugs will even fly while joined together in mating. Lovebugs have velvety black wings, head, and abdomen with a red thorax (the body segment behind the head). 

Are they pests?

Lovebugs are a nuisance pest in the southeastern United States, particularly in those states along the Gulf. Uniquely, these insects are not house pests. Rather, they are pests of motorists. Yes, you read that correctly! Lovebugs are particularly attracted to diesel exhaust, so these insects swarm the roadways. During peak lovebug seasons, these insects plaster the windshields of cars and pose an enhanced threat to motorcyclists. Numbers of lovebugs are sometimes so high that they clog the radiators of vehicles. 

Are they anything we should worry about in Raleigh? 

Sorry—the answer to this question is a confident “maybe.” These insects used to be a problem in Central America and the extreme southern United States, but their distribution is slowly creeping north. They can now be found in South Carolina and have even been captured in Wilmington. Are they common in Raleigh? No. Could we eventually start seeing them? Possibly. They are definitely something you should consider if you’re driving along the coast and/or headed south. 

Don’t forget to contact the experts at Innovative Pest Solutions with any pest questions or concerns!