By: Kaylani Levine

It's that time of year again; the season of lovebugs in Tampa is upon us.  A pesky little bug with an amiable name has Floridians up in arms once again. We are all too familiar with being "attacked" by swarms of Tampa lovebugs or scraping them off the hood and bumper of cars with little success. But there is a question that we all ask at some point or another, what the heck is a lovebug? Most of us believe there is no purpose for these wind-surfing creatures, but let's separate what we think to be true about lovebugs from the actual truth.

MYTH: Lovebugs are pointless!
TRUTH: Lovebugs actually help the environment. Lovebug larvae eat decomposing plant material, helping local plant life to thrive.

MYTH: Lovebugs were created in an experiment gone wrong at the University of Florida.
TRUTH: Lovebugs are native to Central America (they thrive in warm climates).

MYTH: Lovebugs are born attached.
TRUTH: Lovebugs are just that, two separate bugs we often see attached, during mating or immediately following.

MYTH: Lovebugs were "released" to kill other local Floridian pests.
TRUTH: Just like most non-native insects, lovebugs migrate and thrive in climates suitable to their home climate.

Now that you know a little more about what you are dealing with, here are some easy steps to take to make your lovebug season in Tampa less painstaking:

1. Driving at night reduces having your hood plastered with love bugs, they rarely fly at night.

2. Wash your car at least once a week to save your paint from being damaged.

3. Don't be scared, lovebugs don't sting or bite!

Albeit, lovebugs are a bit annoying, but we only have to deal with them for a few weeks out of the year. Now that you know they were not purposely put here to make you miserable, maybe we can all get along a little better for the few weeks they are around. Oh and if a lovebug lands on you this lovebug season in Tampa, it doesn't REALLY mean you’re in love… but I'm sure there is someone out there that really does love you!