SEBRING, Fla. - Lovebugs love Sebring, apparently. The little black bugs are everywhere this time of year, but two FOX 13 viewers shared video of amazingly large swarms in Highlands County over the last day.
Landscaper Martin Armstrong caught video of the swarm buzzing around his truck. He said he was picking up plants in Sebring when the swarm formed.
“Ridiculous,” he offered. “It’s a lovebug storm!”
Not far away, Shelby Maness had an even larger swarm that seemed to be in love with her house. Her video showed a swarm so thick that they were turning her blue house black.
Even her dogs, Trigger and Duke, seemed puzzled by the buzzing bugs.
“This love bug season here in Sebring is no joke,” she said. “They are bad this year.”
Thankfully, lovebugs are not harmful to humans. The bugs – which usually fly around in mating pairs, hence the name – originated in Central America. They migrated through Texas and Louisiana before making their way to Florida. Now, they are expanding, and can be found as far north as South Carolina.
But for some reason, it seems they love Florida the most. They are attracted to heat and decomposing plant debris. Scientists with the University of Florida say lovebugs could confuse those odors with chemicals in exhaust fumes, which is probably why we see so many of them around highways.
That’s where most people encounter the bugs – as splatters on windshields and hoods. They can damage your car’s paint if not cleaned off.
And no, the bugs were not created by University of Florida researchers. The school says that’s an urban legend.