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Lovebugs are in the air in Northeast Louisiana

Ouachita Parish, La.-- - Lovebugs are insects that residents in Northeast Louisiana said they love to hate.

"Nothing good about them," resident Jack Hutchinson said. "There's nothing that likes them except vehicles because they carry them around."

"They're very annoying and I hate them," resident Carlos Smith added.

While you might have swatted them away or have seen them glued to your bumper, you might be wondering 'What are these bugs?' and 'Why are they stuck together'.

"I didn't know what they were and then they started coming everywhere, even as I started here talking, they're attacking me," Smith said.

LSU Extension Agent Kerry Heafner gave us the answer to these questions.

"What you're seeing is a male and female lovebug paired up," Heafner said. "They're mating and they typically live only 3 or 4 days and then they both die away."

Heafner said right now Northeast Louisiana is in the middle of fall breeding season, which lasts until the weather becomes more dry.

"We typically have two hatches- one in Spring and one in Fall. We're seeing the fall one now because we have an atypically wet growing season," he added.

Heafner said there has been more rain recently than usual and when it rains, people tend to cut their grass more. He said that larvae of lovebugs inhabit freshly cut grass and the surrounding organic material, therefore leading to a significant amount of lovebugs this season.

Heafner also said that the bugs are attracted to warm, light surfaces- like the hood of your car.

Experts recommend to wash bugs off as soon as you see them on your car. When the lovebugs die, their bodies become very acidic and can eat away the paint of your car.

On the other hand, Heafner said you don't have to worry about them biting or stinging you. 

Yet, being a nuisance? Well, that's another story.

"It's like a pay back. You know they mess your car up, we kill them when we hit them and try to end the cycle," Hutchinson said. 

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