Love bugs have a darling name, but these pests have long been considered a great nuisance. During mating season, these insects can swarm in the millions, and their acidic bodies can damage the paint on cars and homes.
The good news is, love bugs are not dangerous to people, pets, or the environment. They do not bite or sting and they are relatively controlled by environmental factors.
But if you’re not too keen on waiting for love bugs out, you may be asking yourself “what kills love bugs”?
If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place. Love bugs are here and we can help. But before we dive into what kills love bugs, let’s first take a moment to learn more about these interesting insects.
What Are Love Bugs?
In spite of their adorable name, love bugs are loathed by many people.
Love bugs, known scientifically as Plecia Nearctica, are a species of march fly common throughout Central America, Africa, and the Southeastern United States.
They have been found to be especially widespread in the gulf coast and areas like Florida, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mexico.
Also known as the honeymoon fly or double-headed bug, love bugs are unique in that males and females stay attached together both during and after mating for several days.
There have been several myths regarding these interesting critters. In fact, some have even speculated that love bugs were artificially created by man in an effort to control the mosquito population.
Though this myth has long been debunked, the love bug still remains somewhat of a mystery. Its larvae are rarely seen, and its life cycle is rather short.
Female love bugs die shortly after laying eggs, with males soon to follow. On average, their lifespan ranges from between 72 to 92 hours or three to four days.
In this short period, a female love bug is capable of laying between 100 and 350 eggs, which she deposits on the ground below decaying vegetation like weeds and grass. The eggs typically hatch within two to four days, with larvae feeding ravenously on this decaying vegetation.
After only a few days, male love bugs emerge as adults and hover above the ground, waiting for females to emerge. Once females emerge, mating can commence, and it continues on for several days. Adult love bugs remain attached to one another throughout the mating process and several days after, as we discussed, and upon separation, the female lays her eggs and soon after dies.
Love bug season can vary depending on where you live, but there are typically two love bug seasons that occur. The first love bug season happens between the months of April and May, while the second begins in late summer and continues on through September.
Because they feed on decaying vegetation, love bug larvae are actually considered beneficial insects to the environment.
Combined with the fact that they don’t bite or sting, and the fact they are harmless to people and pets, you may be wondering why anyone would ask “what kills love bugs”?
The answer to the question is likely due to the large numbers of these pests. As we mentioned above, love bugs fly in swarms, often paired together as they mate. Though their life cycle is short, they can be problematic to people and especially to automobiles.
When they collide with cars, their acidic bodies can become incredibly difficult to get rid of if not removed right away. Furthermore, if your vehicle’s paint is not up to par, the acid in the love bug’s body can easily erode paint.
But the acidic body of a love bug isn’t the only problem. Because these insects swarm in such large numbers they have been known to clog radiators and other vehicle parts, causing serious damage to cars.
For this reason, finding out what kills love bugs in your area could be an important question. But to answer that question, it helps to first find out why you might have love bugs on your property, to begin with.
Why Do I Have Love Bugs On My Property?
Adult love bugs feed on nectar from flowers.
Love bugs are not only hazardous to automobiles, they are also attracted to them. In fact, people commonly see love bugs around motorways because these pests are highly attracted to the gasses emitted by our cars.
Similarly, these pests are attracted to fumes that are emitted from lawnmowers or other machines that run on gasoline.
But what if you have love bugs on your property? An abundance of love bugs on your property could mean that you have an ideal mating ground for these insects, and the environment may be ideal for female love bugs to lay their eggs.
It has also been discovered that love bugs are attracted to lighter, brighter colors. This is likely due to the fact that adult love bugs feed primarily on nectar from flowers and other brightly colored vegetation.
Heat is another attractant to love bugs, which is one of the reasons they are so commonly found in warmer regions throughout the United States and the world.
If you’re looking into what kills love bugs, finding the answer could be a two-fold question. Not only will you need to work on what kills love bugs, but you’ll also need to work on making your environment less hospitable to them.
With that noted, it’s time to talk about what kills love bugs specifically and other ways you can go about getting rid of these nuisance pests.
How To Get Rid Of Love Bugs According To Experts
Love bugs are sensitive and can be controlled using a number of products.
Love bugs swarm in the millions, but they are still relatively easy to control and get rid of. When looking into what kills love bugs, you do have a few options.
Wait Them out
Although love bugs can be a massive nuisance during their swarming season, this season typically doesn’t last long. Remember, love bugs already have a very short lifespan, and they typically die out on their own in a matter of days.
When looking into what kills love bugs, one of your options is to simply wait them out. You can prepare for the love bug season to arrive by protecting your car and home, however, with some common forms of pest control.
Use A Year-Round Form Of Pest Control
Speaking of pest control, you have a few options when it comes to what kills love bugs. Love bugs can be remedied by most common ingredients in pesticides and insecticides, and they are also easily controlled with natural products that utilize plant-based ingredients as well.
If you do plan on using an insecticide or pesticide for what kills love bugs during love bug season, we recommend looking for products that provide long term protection, meaning the product not only kills love bugs on contact but that it also prevents future love bugs from becoming a problem down the road.
Use Home Remedies
Since love bugs are so sensitive to so many ingredients, you can use home remedies and household ingredients as a method for what kills love bugs to not only get rid of these pests but also to keep them from returning.
If you are interested in using home remedies as a form of pest control, scroll down towards the bottom of this article to see a few products and recipes you can use for what kills love bugs.
Last but not least, the best form of pest control is always prevention. If you know you live in a region where love bugs are prevalent, you can anticipate love bug season by being prepared.
Protect your vehicles by having them waxed or washed, and use a form of pest control in your yard and around your home that not only works for what kills love bugs, but also for what keeps their eggs from hatching.
The video below talks more about how to protect your car from love bugs.
What Kills Love Bugs Outdoors?
Lovebugs can swarm in the millions, making them an incredible nuisance pest.
Love bugs are notorious swarmers, but because they hover around in pairs most of their adult life, you can usually get rid of them in twos. Unfortunately, killing love bugs in twos one at a time will still not help solve your love bug problem.
Remember, these pests swarm in the millions, making getting rid of them without some form of help or product seems impossible.
The good news is that love bugs are sensitive to most forms of outdoor pest control, and you can find what kills love bugs easily at your local gardening store or even online.
If you’re not sure where to begin when looking for the best products for what kills love bugs, we have listed some of our favorites that have also been recommended by experts below.
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is an all-natural pest control spray made of essential oils and other plant-based ingredients. It works not only for what kills love bugs but it is also an effective form of pest control for many other pests like fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and more.
It is perfectly safe to use in areas where pets and people play and there is no spray and wait time. What we like most about this product for what kills love bugs is that it works on contact while also providing long-term prevention from future love bug issues.
You can spray it directly on your lawn, garden, and trees, and you can also spray it along the border of your house including on outdoor windows and doorways to keep love bugs from getting inside.
Debug Organic Pest Control
Another all-natural form of pest control that makes a good product for what kills love bugs is the Debug Organic Pest Control with Neem Oil listed above. This product uses plant-based ingredients and neem oil to help kill and repel lovebugs and a number of other pests.
Because it uses Neem Oil as its active ingredient, the product is perfectly safe to spray directly on yards, gardens, trees, and ornamental foliage that could attract love bugs.
You can also spray this product around your home as a perimeter spray for protection. It not only works to repel love bugs but is also an effective fungicide and miticide.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control
Cutter Backyard Bug Control is an effective pest control product that works well for how to kill love bugs, mosquitoes, ants, fleas, roaches, earwigs, lady beetles, and more. It treats up to 5,000 square feet and helps control pests for up to 12 weeks when applied correctly.
The product also kills quickly on contact and comes in a concentrated bottle that is designed to connect to your hose for easy spraying around your yard.
Keep in mind that this product does use chemical-based ingredients and could be harmful to people, pets, and the environment if not used as directed. Keep it out of reach of children and pets, and use it only as the label suggests.
What Kills Love Bugs Inside?
Lovebugs are attracted to light and heat, which means they can easily be attracted to your home.
Because love bugs can be such a nuisance outdoors and swarm in large numbers, it’s quite common for them to get into the house. They are attracted to heat, light, and lighter colors, which could be one of the main reasons they are attracted to human homes.
If you’re looking for what kills love bugs indoors that will also be safe for your family and pets, we have you covered.
Take a look below at some of our favorite products for what kills love bugs that get inside your home.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide not only makes an all-natural outdoor pest control spray for what kills love bugs, but it also makes an indoor spray that is safe enough to use in kitchens, bedrooms, and anywhere else people and pets may roam.
This spray again uses plant-based ingredients and essential oils like rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and cedarwood oil to kill pests on contact and then keep them from coming back.
You can order the spray in several different scent forms if you are particularly sensitive to certain smells, and you can use it to not only keep love bugs at bay but also other home-invading pests like silverfish, moths, carpet beetles, spiders, earwigs, waterbugs, roaches, spiders and more.
Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Pest Control Spray
We recommend Ortho Home Defense Max if you are dealing with a severe love bug infestation both inside and outside of your home. This product works not only for what kills love bugs, but also many other pests like ants, spiders, and roaches.
It works on contact and continues protecting your home for up to 12 months. It can also be used in garages, basements, and along with entrance points where bugs commonly gain access to your home.
Home Remedies For What Kills Love Bugs
Some form of essential oils and certain plants can help repel love bugs.
Discovering what kills love bugs isn’t difficult. These pests are relatively sensitive and can be taken care of with a variety of ingredients from store-bought products to household items you likely already have in your pantry or kitchen.
If you’re looking into do-it-yourself pest control remedies for what kills love bugs, we have a list of some of the most effective forms of DIY pest control for these insects below.
Take a look.
Essential oils are some of our favorite home remedies for pest control when it comes to not only what kills love bugs but what repels them.
Like many pests, love bugs are repelled by a number of essential oils due to their strong aroma, which irritates them and keeps them at bay.
Some of the best essential oils for what kills love bugs and repels them include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- And Rosemary Oil
You can use essential oils in a few ways to repel love bugs and you can even make your own essential oil spray if you are looking into what kills love bugs on contact.
To make your own essential oil spray, you will need 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil of your choice above, several drops of liquid dish soap, and two cups of water. Combine the ingredients into a spray bottle and mix the solution until it is sudsy.
You can spray this solution directly on love bugs to kill them on contact. The essential oil will help repel any future love bugs that may be coming around.
If you prefer to use essential oils as a repellent alone, you can leave the dish soap out of the mixture and spray the solution on plants, trees, and foliage around your yard. You can even use this spray inside your home and along entrance and exit points to keep love bugs outside.
Finally, you have the option of using saturated cotton balls soaked in the essential oil of your choice to keep love bugs at bay. While these saturated cotton balls will not work as a solution for what kills love bugs, can help to keep love bugs from laying their eggs in your garden or entering your home.
In order for this method to be most effective, you will need to replace the cotton balls once every three days with freshly soaked ones.
Lovebugs can’t stand the smell of citrus, and you can use this to your advantage when looking into what kills love bugs and what repels them. There are different types of citrus you can use, from lemon juice to oranges, to citrus candles or citrus oil.
You can make your own love bug repellent spray using citrus in the same way you would make an essential oil spray to keep love bugs under control.
If you want to make a spray that works for what kills love bugs, simply add a few drops of dish soap to your recipe. The dish soap will coat the love bugs and suffocate them on contact.
Baby Oil and Water
Baby oil and water is another effective method you can use for what kills love bugs. Simply add a small bucket of water with several drops of baby oil. The love bugs will be attracted to the water and will drown due to the baby oil.
Because the water will attract the love bugs, it’s best to place the bucket away from your home or garden. While this method will not completely get rid of love bugs, it can help control them if you have them in large numbers on your property.
A Strong Fan
If it’s love bug season and you’re sick of finding love bugs in your home or on your patio, you might consider investing in a strong outdoor fan. Lovebugs are small and will not be able to fly against the wind of a fan. Point the fan away from the area you are congregating in to keep love bugs from coming near.
Water and Baking Soda (For Cleaning Your Car)
Unfortunately, one of the most effective things you can find for what kills love bugs is going to be your car. Lovebugs are most commonly killed by crashing into car windshields or grills on the move.
As we’ve mentioned, love bugs can be extremely damaging to cars and their crushed remains can be especially difficult to remove once they have hardened. If you’re struggling with getting rid of love bug remnants on your car, we recommend using baking soda, water, and a soft towel. The baking soda can help remove the love bug remains without harming your car’s exterior paint.
Vacuum Them Up
Last but not least, if you do find love bugs in your house during love bug season, don’t panic. These insects are not dangerous, they do not bite and they do not sting. It is simple to get rid of them by using a vacuum to suck them up. Once you have collected the love bugs in your home, simply dispose of the bag in a sealed garbage bin.
Tips On Keeping Love Bugs From Becoming A Problem In The Future
Because love bugs lay their eggs on the ground, keeping your lawn mowed short can help reduce potential nursery sights.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, figuring out what kills love bugs will not always solve your love bug problem. However, these pests are relatively self-controlled by environmental factors, so even if you do have large swarms, these swarms seldom last long.
With that being said, the most common reason someone would be asking what kills love bugs is that they are likely dealing with them in abundance every season.
If this is the case for you, chances are your property is conducive to love bugs, and the best way to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back next season is to take steps to prevent them.
Here are a few tips and tricks from experts on how you can prevent love bugs from becoming an overwhelming problem for you again in the future.
Keep Your Lawn Mowed Short
Routine landscaping and lawn mowing can help reduce the number of love bugs you see each season simply by reducing the foliage love bug larvae have to feed on.
If you have noticed an uptick in love bugs in your yard and garden, it’s likely because female love bugs have deemed your property an ideal mating ground and nursery for their eggs.
You can help prevent love bugs from laying their eggs in your yard by keeping your lawn mowed short and removing leaf litter, dead grass, and other debris from around your yard.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Spray In Your Yard and Garden
Love bugs are quite sensitive to a variety of pest control sprays. Whether you choose organic sprays or chemical pest controls, both are said to work well for repelling love bugs. These sprays are also ideal if you’re looking into what kills love bugs specifically.
If you wish to use pest control sprays to keep love bugs out of your house, we suggest not only spraying your yard but also creating a barrier around your home, as well as spraying pest control spray on your doors and windows.
Consider Waxing Your Car
Although most modern-day paints and finishes on cars can hold up well to love bug remains, it may still be a good idea to have your car waxed. Waxing your car can help protect the paint from the elements, as well as the acidic bodies of love bugs who may become crushed on your windshield or grill when you are driving.
Try Companion Planting With Pest-Repellent Plants
Adult love bugs feed on flower nectar, which means your beautiful garden could be highly attractive to these annoying pests.
When looking into what kills love bugs, you may come across several plants that love bugs are said to hate. While these plants may not kill the pests, they can help to keep them at bay.
Some of the best love bug repellent plants include:
- Alliums (Like Onions, Garlic, and Chives)
- And Marigolds
Wash Your Car Often And Remove Dead Love Bugs As Soon As Possible
Remember, love bugs are not harmful to people, pets, or the environment. In fact, they even play a pivotal role in a healthy ecosystem by serving as natural decomposers when it comes to decaying plant life.
However, they can cause serious damage to your vehicle if you’re not careful. The best way to reduce damage to your car due to love bugs is to wash your car often and remove love bug remains as quickly as possible before they dry.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on what kills love bugs. Let us know if you have any tips or tricks on how to manage these pests in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.