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Lovebug season is upon us

Clusters of lovebugs are to blame for a small power outage in the Pace and Quintette areas yesterday, according to the Escambia River Electric Cooperative.
Lovebug season is upon us, and you may have noticed the insects smashed into your car's hood, windshield or bumper.

Channel Three's Joe Douglass has more on what you can do keep the pests from damaging your vehicle.

This time of year love is all around, with lovebugs mating in midair and sometimes even after landing on people.

Jenna Smith, Not In Love with Lovebugs: "I wanna say, 'Get a room, get off me! Don't do that on me! That's nasty!'"
    
Jenna Smith and her friends were returning to Louisiana from a bachelorette party in Destin when we caught up with them.
They may have gotten away from home for a little while, but they couldn't escape the lovebugs.

Keri Parker, Bugged by Lovebugs: "They like to swarm around you. Being in the South, you just have to put up with them like mosquitoes."
    
Also known as march flies, the infatuated insects invade during the spring and late summer.
Scientists say they serve little purpose in the eco-system and have few predators.
So, they have few worries as they mate in mid-air, mainly in grassy areas.

Reporter Joe Douglass: "What's all over the front of your car?"
Tanya Nowowsiwski, Hates Lovebugs: "Buuuuuuuuuuugs."
    
Beyond how they look, the bugs can be a big nuisance for drivers because they actually contain a chemical that can eat through paint.

Louise Myslak, Oasis Car Wash, 2006: "As soon as they appear, our business goes up 20 to 30%".
    
Car wash owners have told customers who have vehicles spotted with lovebugs to use Bug Off and similar products.
They say they're the best way to protect your car's coat of paint.

Louise Myslak, Oasis Car Wash, 2006: "It actually dissolves the dead bugs and it's easier to wash off."

There's no repellent for living lovebugs, but lovebug season should be over in just a few weeks.
Joe Douglass, Channel Three News.