Love is in the air, and that's not necessarily a good thing -- especially for your car.
It's love bug mating season, and unfortunately they tend to mate right in the path of oncoming traffic.
Without immediate cleaning, the acidic bugs’ remains can eat away at the paint on a car's bumper, fender or hood.
"Anymore than a day or two max, they're going to eat away at the paint," Eric Lewis, a manager at Mister Car Wash in Tampa.
Lewis has dealt with paint-chipped cars in the aftermath of a love-bug massacre for more than 20 years.
He says, other than a solution they spray onto a car covered in bugs, the secret is nothing more than a little elbow grease.
Car wash traffic backed up Monday afternoon at the Mister Car Wash on Dale Mabry as dozens of motorists took Lewis' advice.
"I was coming back from Miami today," Michael Kotch said. "And it looked like it was raining, but it was just a huge swarm of love bugs."
"I've lived here for 20 years and I don't remember having this many at one time on my car," Brenda Shire explained while waiting in line.
Love bug-ruined paint on dark-colored cars, like Brenda's, tend to look worse compared to light-colored cars.
"We suggest this time of year to come in as much as possible. Don't let them sit on for more than a day or so," Lewis said.
April, May, August and September, love bugs swarm throughout states along the Gulf coast.
They love the heat, and apparently the smell of exhaust fumes, which the bug confuse for decomposing plants.
The average life span of a love bug is only three to four days (unless they're killed early in life by a car.)
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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