Twice each year, a seemingly endless swarm of lovebugs inundate the United States Gulf Coast. The bugs apparently have a predilection for automobile exhaust, and Florida, with its sprawling, heavily traveled interstate system, is a perennial target for the amorous insects. As noted in the article http://www.infobarrel.com/Where_Did_Lovebug_Come_From, the annoying bugs are not the result of an experiment gone awry, but have established themselves as permanent residents after migrating northward over time from Central America.
While the bugs are harmless, the sticky residue left from inevitable high-impact collisions can wreak havoc on any auto paint finish. Lovebug innards are highly acidic and can quickly corrode your prized paint job if the critters are not removed in a timely manner. There are a host of tricks, tips and recommendations for removing the lovebug splatterings; as a native Floridian I have listed the ten “home remedies” that have worked to one degree or another for me over the years. No commercial tar or bug remover products are listed and they are in no particular order.
Tips For Removing Lovebugs
1. Dryer sheets: hose down the area of your car containing lovebug remnants. Let them soak for a few minutes. Remove by lightly wiping with dryer sheet. The lovebugs will wipe off easily with the damp dryer sheets.
2. Palmolive dishwashing soap: a combination of the viscosity and the hand softener fairly straightforward and easy lovebug removal.
3. Laundry stain removers such as Shout or Spray and Wash: Spray on and allow to soak for a few minutes, then hose off and wipe clean.
4. Battery terminal cleaner available at automotive stores. These work by neutralizing acid corrosion. Be sure to clean area immediately after use to insure no battery cleaner remains on the chrome or paint finish. Although I have had success with this, I would recommend spot-checking an out-of-sight area first.
5. WD-40: I have had limited success with this. It seems to work fairly well on chrome, not so much on paint or plastic.
6. Baking soda: I tried this method once, which involves dipping a wet rag in baking soda and then scrubbing off the bugs. It worked but involved much more time and effort than many of the other solutions.
7. Soda: Pouring soda on lovebug entrails is only recommended for the windshield. If you use it on other parts of the car, be sure to clean it off immediately after use.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide: spray or pour on squashed lovebugs and let sit for several minutes. When they foam up, remove bugs by rinsing area and wiping clean.
9. Goop: This degreaser works well. Apply to splatter area and let soak. Then wash with soap and water. This lovebug remover is highly effective but can be costly if your vehicle is covered with a massive amount of lovebug carcasses.
10. Glass cleaner and dishwashing soap: Put an equal mixture of a Windex like solution and dishwashing soap in a spray bottle and apply liberally to lovebug splatter zone. Spray off with hose and wipe clean.
Do What Works
The ultimate solution to lovebug removal is the one that works best for you. Also, using preventative measures to keep lovebug carnage to a minimum will pay off when you are driving through a love bug swarm. Some of these include using air deflectors, bras, coatings and altering driving habits to avoid the peak swarm times between 10 am and 4 pm.