Attack of the Love Bugs

September 5, 2013 | By | Comments (7)
Love bugs

As you can tell, these love bugs are first-timers. Photo: bob in swamp

It was the most horrible sight I could ever imagine. I went out to put some veggie scraps in our compost bin under our elevated deck, when suddenly I found myself swarmed by thousands of little, black bugs…..having sex.

Oh, the disgust! These randy, conjugal insects joined at — well, not at the hip — flaunting their most primal passions in full view of other bugs, some of whom may be Republican. To paraphrase Hamlet, ’twas a consummation devoutly to be missed.

As the initial shock wore off and I uncrossed my two index fingers, I realized the nature of the carnal, wanton orgy I had stumbled into. These were love bugs. No, not that kind…

Love bug

Herbie goes to the University of Virginia? Photo: Photo: gamma man

Love bugs are small, black flies about a half-inch long with a red dot near the head. Here in the South, you usually see them in spring and fall. Overnight, they emerge by the millions with one thing on their buggy minds — gonna get me some. When a male and female decide that they’re perfect for each other by virtue of their extreme horniness, they quickly hook up. And I mean hook up. They turn their backs to each other and join abdomens to accomplish the dirty deed. (I kinda like that — no useless talking.) Then, still joined, they take to the air, no doubt humming, “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings.” Or more likely, “Baby Got Back.”

Love Has Its Price
All good things must come to a drastic end. Having accomplished fertilization on a truly cosmic scale, the love bugs swarming my windows, doors, walls, and Anthony Weiner statue will soon die. They don’t bite, they don’t eat anything I can see, and they don’t do any harm. They just have sex and die.

I think there is a very valuable lesson to learn in all of this. I’ll find two love bugs to explain it to you.

Grumpy’s at Monticello This Weekend!
The all-seeing, all-knowing, all-benevolent Grumpy will speaking this Friday and Saturday on seed-saving and passalong plants at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virgina. If you’re in the area of Planet Earth, please drop by and say hello.


  1. LOVE IS IN THE AIR | itinerantneerdowell

    […] Attack of the Love Bugs ( […]

    September 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm
  2. Steve Bender

    I was only testing to see if anyone reading those captions. University ID corrected!

    September 9, 2013 at 9:04 am
  3. Tammy

    They are so bad down here in Central Florida in May and you see a few this time of the year. If you get any on your car, better wash it off soon, because their dead juices will eat the paint off the car.

    September 8, 2013 at 10:17 am
  4. Kate

    A herd, a flock, or a swarm of them attacked our Tennis Club the other night! Disgusting mess with no where to hide!

    September 7, 2013 at 9:22 am
  5. Kay

    That VW is from UVA, not Virginia Tech!

    September 6, 2013 at 8:03 am
  6. Kylee Baumle

    They were swarming the beach one time on Anna Maria Island in Florida when we were there and we just packed it up and left. You couldn’t breathe without sucking them in. ICK.

    September 5, 2013 at 11:21 am
  7. amandabwatkins

    I discovered them all over my yard when letting dogs out yesterday. Glad to know what they are and that they are harmless!

    September 5, 2013 at 10:27 am

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