The detriment of lovebugs to our society

Arianna Hooker, Reporter

   It is April to May or Aug. to Sep. in Florida, and the constant swatting at a pesky insect near your face begins again.

   Welcome back, Lovebugs! You were not missed.

   While they are not just pesky and a plethora of them, they once caused a public safety crisis in Florida in the late ’60s to early ’70s.

   This species of flies come around every spring and late summer in Florida and were once a detriment to the safety of our society.

   While some smashed bug guts that get on your windshield from going down the highway may not seem too bad, in fact, it sounds entirely normal. The abundance of lovebugs in the late ’60s to early ’70s caused drivers to pull over every ten minutes and clean off their windshields.

   Visibility with the mass amount of smashed mating insects on one’s windshield was practically impossible. In fact, children would even provide lovebug cleaning services on the side of the highway to make some extra cash during this time.

    Forget fundraisers, lemonade stands or watching a neighbor’s dog; cleaning lovebugs off someone’s windshield on the side of the road became the new way of earning those big bucks.

    The phenomenon of these insects caused a 75,000 dollar project to be funded for more research. During this time, however, the lovebug population mysteriously started dwindling.

   Perhaps, the superfluity of these insects decreased because of the sheer number that were murdered along roads and highways. Or maybe, it had to do with the fact that we made the environment less inviting for them to thrive in.

   Lovebugs strive among two things: fresh cut grass and cow feces. Floridians had made the perfect formula for lovebug mating to happen by regularly cutting the grass on the side of the roads and moving cattle closer together.

   Perhaps, we cut back on this formula which caused the lovebug population to dwindle and the public safety crisis to end.

   Although these pesky creatures’ numbers have decreased, they are nowhere near being endangered.

   While your spring and summer fun may be briefly interrupted by the swatting of a mating insect near your face, lovebugs are far from as bad as the public safety crisis they caused in the ’70s.