MILLIONS of lovebugs have descended on Florida in what locals there are calling the worst ever swarms of the insects.
The insects get their name because they usually fly around in mating pairs and are particularly attracted to the Sunshine State’s warm, moist weather.
Around this time of the year and again in August and September, the insects go on a mating frenzy.
Lovebugs are from the same family as flies and hurl themselves toward traffic in suicidal swarms, covering vehicle windshields and bonnets.
The insects are oddly attracted to vehicle fumes and hot asphalt, research has shown.
The swarms often force outdoor restaurants to close and car washes are busy with drivers anxious to get rid of lovebug remains to stop them corroding paint.
While they also congregate in Mississippi they are particularly attracted by Florida’s heat and decomposing plant debris, where they lay their eggs.
Across social media, Florida residents are proclaiming this the "worst lovebug year ever", it was reported.
A video taken by Shelby Maness showed a swarm so thick that they were turning her blue house black.
“This love bug season here in Sebring is no joke. They are bad this year,” she told Fox13.
Lovebugs emigrated into Texas and Louisiana from Central America in the 1920s
But they didn’t show up in Florida until the 1940s, University of Florida expert Norman Leppla told USA Today.
He explained that while this year is particularly bad, there have been larger numbers in the past.
“It seems that there are more lovebugs than last year but not nearly the number we have seen in decades past,” he said.
Lovebugs live just three or four intense days and their larvae lie dormant for months until the weather is warmer and drier than normal.
Males swarm to places where they know females will soon emerging from and up to eight males compete for each female.
The females fly into swarms of the hovering males usually from 8 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 5 p.m, when many are driving to and from work.
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