Unwanted bugs invade Grand Strand Beaches

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - When you step outside, expect to run into the Grand Strand's most unwanted guests - the bugs at the beach. They're known as "love bugs" and they're most common this time of year.

They come from Central America, and work their way along the coast.  One stop on their trip each year, around April and May, is our beaches.

"The worst part is probably that they swarm you all at once because on the beach - we're used to bugs and stuff, but they'll come at you all at once," says Garden City resident Debbie Vera.

Experts at Lanes Professional Pest Elimination say the weather plays a role in when we see these bugs. They often pop up after a rainy period.  They spend most of their life span as larvae in soil, but when the temperature reaches 65 to 70 degrees at night, the bugs hatch by the hundreds.  Their purpose is all in the name- they mate in the air and multiply.

Although experts say there's no way to get rid of the bugs, the good news is they die after a few days; they say while we can't put a date on their demise, we will see the "love" leave the air in the next few weeks

These bugs can be harmful to your car, too, and if you don't clean them off your car, they can ruin its finish.

"The bugs love to eat wax, they'll eat right through your wax and right through your clear coat, and without clear coat your car is susceptible to wax damage, pollen damage, acid rain, tons of things that will just demolish your car," says Wes Reese with Surfside Shine Car wash.

If you see the black and orange bugs on your car, make sure you hose them off immediately.  Besides damaging your car's finish, these bugs don't really do any damage. While they swarm in hundreds and are a nuisance, they don't bite or sting.

Love bugs are annoying, but you want to hold off on using pesticides to fight them.  These bugs only live a few days, so spraying them with chemicals isn't the best choice.

They won't stick around long.  Experts say these bugs spread their love twice a year, now and in the fall, and only stick around for several weeks at a time.

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