Swarms of love bugs could cost money and new paint job

Swarms of love bugs could cost money and new paint job

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Love bugs are in the air, with swarms everywhere.

As they smack against your car, your bank account could also take a hit.

"All I do is see them all the time. Seem like they're mating or something," said Anetria Evans.

Evans guessed right. Love bugs are two connected insects sometimes called kissing bugs or honeymoon flies. They're everywhere this time of year.

"Just like the caterpillars, they come out at certain times so it don't bother me," said Evans.

Love is usually in the air around May and September for about four weeks at a time.

Jackie Regan said, "They're an interesting bug. Out at Kiawah Island at the golf resort, they're all over during certain parts of the year."

Be glad in knowing that you don't have to worry about love bugs attacking you, because thankfully, they don't bite or sting.

They can do some damage though when they splatter onto your car.

Jason Ripley, Franchise Director of Cactus Car Wash said, "It's the bug guts, the dirty fact is is that's the acidity of the interior components of a bug that have gotten onto the finish of your car and beginning to eat away with the sun cooking."

The squashed bugs can cost you a lot of money if you don't act quickly.

Ripley said, "They would have to do some paint work on the finish."

The acid actually leaves an imprint on the paint of the car.

"It'll appear as if there's still a bug there even if you've removed it," said Ripley.

Some people learn the hard way.

Rick Wetherington said, "After a week, we really had a challenge getting these love bugs off of the car."

Wetherington remembers all to well his drive down through Florida.

"Like it was raining bugs and it was terrible," said Wetherington.

Unfortunately, Wetherington had to get a new paint job.

"Depending on how hot it is, you want to get it off as quick as possible. As soon as you get back in town from a road trip or you notice an accumulation of a lot of bugs on your car, come in quick and get it taken care of," said Wetherington.

The love bugs will be gone in a couple of weeks. The females live for about two to three days and the males usually die a little sooner.

Sometimes the female stays attached to his dead body until she lays her eggs.

Love bugs do some good for the environment by breaking down decayed plants soon after they hatch.

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