Illustration of a lovebug on a leaf
(Texas A&M AgriLife Illustration of a lovebug by Emma Simoni)

Many East Texas residents are no strangers to these small black insects. For those new to the insect, lovebugs are not really considered bugs, said Molly Keck, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist for Bexar County.

“Lovebugs are actually flies,” Keck said. 

Though lovebugs have proven to be a pest when in their swarms, they are physically harmless to humans. They also have a purpose in our environment, which contributes to all the fun facts about lovebugs this season.

A lovebug’s purpose

While the impact of lovebugs may seem lesser compared to other types of insects, it is still worth recognizing. They have a small part to play in the food chain as well as redistributing nutrients from decaying vegetation back into the environment around them.

They have a purpose both in their adult and larval forms.

“Once the adult lovebugs lay their eggs, their larvae develop in the decomposing matter, making them recyclers in the environment,” Keck said. 

Decomposing matter such as flowers and various types of vegetation is key to their role in an ecosystem.

“The adult flies also serve as a food source for other organisms as they fly around,” she said. 

Who would have known how beneficial they could be?

Where is the lovebug from?

Many may also wonder where lovebugs live and where they get their names. Lovebugs are native to the U.S. and, more specifically, to East Texas.

“They are found throughout Eastern Texas. You never see them in San Antonio like you would in East Texas. They are found in the more wet or moist parts of the state,” Keck said.  

Lovebugs are often seen flying around parts of East Texas in swarms or as a pair that is attached together. Since they fly around as mating pairs to populate, lovebugs became the most fitting way to identify this type of fly.

Lovebug season

Texas residents can usually expect to see swarms or pairs of lovebugs in both May and September.

“The big emergence occurs in the spring, but Texas will also have a fall emergence. The wetter the winter and even a summer season for that matter, the bigger the emergence is. This is because those eggs all survive, and the babies have plenty of decomposing food,” Keck said.

“In drier years, we are probably not going to see as many,” she said. 

Since Texas has been in a continued drought leading up to their spring emergence, there will likely be a lower number this season. 

Texan’s windshields and front bumpers might be spared a few car washes this spring in return. 

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