Results Realty Buzz: Fall must be getting close, Lovebugs are in the air in Houston!

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Fall must be getting close, Lovebugs are in the air in Houston!

Lovebugs in Northwest Houston TXFall must be getting close I am seeing our first lovebugs of the fall season.  We don't have much of a fall here in the Houston area so the emergence of lovebugs is always an indicator that fall is in the air. 

My first introduction to Texas lovebugs was 10 years ago when we moved to Texas.  We saw them on a house hunting trip the fall prior to moving here and someone told me they were lovebugs that came in the spring and the fall and would just be here for a short time.  Sure enough our first spring in the Houston area they emerged again and this time someone told me that they were from an experiment that went awry in Florida.  Back then I was not as web savvy as I am now, nor was there as much information readily available so I took that explanation as the truth for years.  Last spring someone in Active Rain, who lives in Florida, wrote a post on them and I realized that I did not have factual information about these critters. 

This year as I see them emerging I decided to do some investigation.  I found a report from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and got the real scoop.  These insects are actually from the fly family.  They appear soon after rainy periods in the spring and especially in the fall.  It says they appear in the wooded Upper Coast counties of Texas.  I guess I have never thought of Harris and Montgomery Counties in that regard but believe me we have our fair share of lovebugs.  There scientific name is Plecia nearctica Hardy.  The common name they have been given is "lovebug" because they are often seen flying in mating pairs.  I would even go so far as to say they are usually seen flying in mating pairs.

They actually help nature by decomposing dead plant tissues. There mass adult emergence is dictated by environmental conditions during specific times of the year (prolonged period soil saturation from rains).  This would of course be in the spring and again in the fall.  They can be a nuisance.  Cars can become splattered with these loving bugs and it can cause radiator fins to become clogged and cause cars to overheat.  If the dead insects are not cleaned off the car they can also ruin the car's finish.

They are relatively harmless, they don't bite and you can just swat them away.  Because of their harmless biology, chemical control is not recommended.  They did give some helpful tips to be followed during the swarming season.

  • They don't fly at night so you can do your driving at night.  (I don't think that tip is going to help much in showing houses).
  • If you reduce your speed you will get fewer flies smeared over your car.
  • Netting can be stretched over front grills to prevent crushed flies from clogging radiators.
  • There are commercial products you can buy to help facilitate the removal of the crushed bugs from car finishes.

I have noticed that they are attracted to light colors.  They seem to congregate on anything that is light colored.  The last few years we have not had many lovebugs but I can remember in years past the light colored post on my patio almost being covered with them when the sun was shining. 

Luckily they only appear for a few weeks in the spring and again at late summer or early fall.  One thing about them appearing is that I know the seasons are getting ready to change.  We don't have much indication otherwise. We have had a very wet year now that I know more about them it will be interesting to see how many we have this year.

I know Texas and Florida are visited by the lovebugs.  Are there any other states out there who share our lovebug experience? 

For all your real estate  needs, contact me today!
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty
Cell: 832-721-8332

 

Comment balloon 15 commentsMarchel Peterson • September 02 2007 05:12PM

Comments

Interesting Marchel!  I'm ready for fall, and a little bit of a cool down.  It's still well over 100 here.
Posted by Mary Warren almost 11 years ago
Mary- I hear you, we don't have that cool down yet either; although we rarely go over 100, but we almost always have fairly high humidity.  We have had a rainier year than normal though.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel - I just do not like bugs, even love bugs:)
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 11 years ago
I have never seen these - but I had never seen lightening bugs till I visited Texas - I still try and see them every-time I go.... my family always laughs at me and my fascination with them
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago
Paula, I'm not a fan of bugs either but these things don't seem to bother me.  Maybe it is because I know that they won't be here long and it is always a sign that the seasons are about to change.  Our leaves don't fall until December so the lovebugs are about the only early indication in nature.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Thesa, I love lightening bugs also.  Where I grew up in Kansas they would like up the summer bushes at night.  We don't get many here.  Ever once in a while sitting on the back patio we can see a long lightening bug flying through the bushes.  I haven't figured out why we only have a few, one of those God mysteries I guess.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

I learned a lesson about love bugs.

When you drive thru them, stop and wash them off the car's paint as soon as you can. They will take the paint off of your hood.

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) almost 11 years ago
Ouch Tom, that sounds like an expensive lesson!!! We are getting a good dose of them this year.  I was sitting in my back yard this morning while the sun was shining and they were everywhere.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
My grandparents spray "Pam" on the front of their RV to keep the bugs from sticking, I haven't tried it but heard it works.
Posted by Lacey D. Horton, Certified Signing Agent Texas (LDH Services) almost 11 years ago

So I guess pam must not hurt the paint, just probably make it greasy.  We have our son's cute little car here while he is training in the Mojave desert, he will be back on Friday and will be driving his car back to Ft. Hood.  After getting Tom's message I was thinking I had better remind him to wash his car as soon as he gets back to Fort Hood but maybe the Pam would do the trick.na

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Hey Y'all! Hi Marchel!!! Howdy neighbor! I am a Texan, Floridian (ssshhh...and Hoosier) and boy do I know love bugs! Thanks for the Pam idea!!! They will eventually stick though and they are so filled with acid that eats the paint. Take a bounce like a dryer sheet and wet it lightly. Wipe it in a circular motion on your icky bugs and they come right off! So Awesome! Give it a try. Deb
Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) almost 11 years ago
Debra, great suggestion.  I will pass both the PAM and the bounce ideas to my son when he takes that cute little car back to Fort Hood.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago
Marchel, my step son was stationed at Fort Hood until recently. They are sending him to Iraq unfortunately. Talk to you again soon.
Deb
Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) almost 11 years ago
Debra, my son is getting ready to take his second tour to Iraq, leaving in December.  I was bummed as he just got out of there in January, but he seems okay with it.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 11 years ago

You will have Lovebugs soon.... or "Plecia nearctica Hardy" looking forward to a photo... hmm have you taken to video as some bloggers have ? How about an action video of a swarm of Lovebugs?

Thanks for tipping me off to this image. This certainly is appropriate use of an image.

Isn't if funny to think back to before you could Google something like a Lovebug?

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 10 years ago

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