Lovebugs. Doesn’t the very sound of that give you a warm feeling deep inside your heart? Wow, a bug that loves. What could be better than that? If you think that way, I’m sure you’ve never heard of Lovebugs. Well brothers and sisters, I’m here to educate.
First of all they are called Lovebugs because they spend their whole lives flying around stuck together (if you know what I mean). From time to time I’ve seen a single one and I always figured, Dude, you gotta be one ugly lovebug loser that you can’t get laid with all this going on!
So I lied in the title. I don’t love Lovebugs; no not at all. Actually I hate them. Here’s a little warning for you if you are ever planning a trip around the Gulf Coast or Florida during early spring or late summer, especially if you’re on a motorcycle. This is the dreaded Lovebug season.
Lovebugs are a considerable pain in the ass to all motorists, especially bikers, for obvious reasons. They seem to be fond of highways and congregate in gigantic numbers just fluttering around screwing and spattering on the windshields and grills of moving cars, trucks and any poor unsuspecting biker that happens along.
Here’s what they do to your car: They cover your windshield until you can hardly see through it. This is when newbies turn on their good old wipers and let the washer fluid do its thing…. Tsk, tsk, tsk!! Well, now you’ve done it. Your windshield has now become as easy to see through as a piece of sheetrock painted white. Sticking your head out the window to see where you’re going results in a “Lovebug Toupee.” You just know that if you stop and get out, you’ll be killed by another motorist with a white windshield and bugs stuck to his forehead. So you soon realize that you have no choice and are forced to stop. You’ve got to find a way to remove this new coat of impervious paint from your windshield. Actually it’s more like fully set stucco made out of white, red, and yellow pus with little black legs and wings sticking to it. In walking from one side of the windshield to the other, you notice that the entire front of your car has grown thick black fur, including your radiator, and oh, by the way, you’re car is overheating. Now as if that wasn’t enough, we have what we call “The Lovebug’s final revenge.” It seems that within their horny little bodies is an acid that will begin to eat a hole in your paint within 24 hours of smash-up. They must be cleaned off immediately. If you wait a week you’re too late. Yes, that’s right—permanent Lovebug splatter in your beautiful paint job.
Local drivers in Lovebug Lands like Florida install a fine mesh screen over the nose of their cars to protect the paint and radiator. Service stations have industrial strength scrubber/squeegees soaking in some kind of kryptonite-type fluid for you to attempt to work the Lovebug “fat” off the windshield.
I lived in Pompano Beach, Florida for two years back in the 70’s and I know the Lovebug intimately. I learned very quickly to leave my 73 XLCH home when they were around. My memory of the “little lovers” was renewed this spring when I was in Daytona Beach for several weeks, visiting a friend. On my last ride I got treated to a good dose of Lovebug paintball. It was the very end of April and the riding had been fantastic up until then. That morning while I was cruising on down through The Ponce Inlet, south of Daytona, I noticed now and then, a couple of little black flies fluttering around. I thought, “Geez those look almost like Lovebugs” but I wasn’t too concerned. It was a beautiful day so I decided I’d ride up along the ocean on A1A and do “The Loop” through Tomoka. Then ride up to Flagler Beach to visit my buddy, Hammer, at his tattoo shop. As I got farther up Daytona and into Ormond Beach I stopped at a light. Sure enough a Lovebug team landed on my handle bars. As I proceeded on my trip, the farther north I went the more Lovebugs there were. By the time I could make a U-turn I was pretty well all gooped up. I had already been Lovebugged. They move so slowly that you can see them coming, and you begin to feel like a boxer, bobbing and weaving, trying to duck and miss them. Then there are too many, and it’s unavoidable; the relentless blows rain down on you. You try not to breathe, you try to look away, but you can’t. Suddenly I’m seeing through goggles covered by a forest of hundreds of little wings flapping back and forth in the wind, all stuck to the precious bodily fluids of the unfortunate hosts. I didn’t dare try to brush them away with my hand. Yes, many Lovebugs died that day.
When I got back home and took off my goggles it looked like I had wooly caterpillars under my eyes. All the Lovebugs were jammed up under the eye pieces and stuck to my face. My face looked like a pizza pie with extra cheese and bug wings. My leather jacket, boots and jeans were covered and looked like they were growing millions of little wings and tiny legs. I felt like I was hatching. My tanks and front end looked like they were growing black moss. My brand new White Brothers Porker Pipes were coated with smoking, smoldering, bubbling, stinking, splattered, Lovebug bodies. Even my half gloves were filled with Lovebug guts and wings and legs and yuck.
That was all I needed, Brother. It was time to head back to good old upstate New York because I knew this was just a minor preview of the main Lovebug orgy that would soon be kicking into full swing.
Yeah, I love Lovebugs!
By Manfive Irish