Love bugs bugging drivers, making mess

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - A pesky bug is making a bigger appearance in Texas this spring than usual. Love bugs have been out in full force in recent days and more people are being bugged behind the wheel.

Mating season for these black bugs means headaches for drivers like you and me. Love bugs seem to be a magnet for cars. Amy Thomas of Anderson can't get them off her white SUV fast enough.

"Everyday I have to come everyday because I can't by the time I get home it's covered and if I come back to town I can't see by the time I arrive," she said.

"The black flies or black gold as we like to call them in the car wash business when they come it's a real boon for all the car washes not just us," said Terry Murgia, Drew's Car Wash Head of Operations.

Murgia recommends soap and water as a remedy to remove them.

"Leaving them on your paint is not a good idea because they are acidic as they deteriorate. The faster you get them off the better," he said.

Our KBTX news car has also been a victim. We washed it on Tuesday and in just days it's been covered in bug guts. We wanted to know why they are so bad this year.

"They are actually semi attractive insects not when they're smashed on our windshields," said Robert Puckett, Ph.D., who is a Texas A&M Assistant Professor and Entomologist.

"A lot of folks are surprised to learn that these are actually true flies," he said as he showed us the insects under a microscope. These love bugs only live a couple of days. The bad news is the females lay hundreds of eggs.

"We don't know exactly why their numbers are so high right now. We do think we've had a really warm spring and an early spring and so many of us saw wildflowers blooming in late February. I think the insects have gotten going a little bit earlier this year and little bit higher number. So we've got a lot of love bugs in Bryan / College Station at the present," he said.

Professor Puckett has some good news; the love bug activity should die down in the next week or two and they don't bite or sting.

The bugs also bring benefits by decomposing organic material in the environment.