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Old 09-26-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
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Removing Florida Love Bugs

Anybody traveling in Florida and now surrounding states knows about the love bug. They fly “united” in groups of millions and the only natural enemy is the vehicle windshield. I have spent hours trying to remove them after a week trip. Sometimes they can get so thick on the front of the coach, they look like astroturf. With long exposure, their bodily fluids will damage the paint. They smear with the windshield washer and can hamper vision at times. They are non-native and were brought into this country by the U of F Experiment Station at Lake Alfred (Between Lakeland and Winter Haven) to remove the unsightly scale from orange rinds for cosmetic purposes. In the early 80’s they would swarm several times a year and that was it. Now you can see them frequently. When they swarm, there is little you can do. Until now that is. I have discovered a product, Road Tar and Sap cleaner which makes the job a whiz. It can be bought at places like Advance Discount Auto for $6.95 for a 12 oz spray bottle. We just back from a 6 weak trip and it took off all the bugs in a jiffy.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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Liquid fabric softener and water also do a great job on the little critters.

Ken
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Last time I tangled with them, I used a few sheets of USED Bounce, hot soapy water and elbow grease. For me, it was a cheap way to clean the coach.

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Old 09-26-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Got a brand name or manufacture to go along with your "Road Tar and Sap cleaner". Checking online on all of the national auto parts chains found numerous products but nothing to match your exact description.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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I walked out to the coach to check the name. It is Turtle Wax, Bug and Tar Remover. I bought a similar product at RV Salvage up in Elkhart, IN not long ago, but have not tried it. I bought the Turtle Was product at an Advance Discount Auto Supply, but I suspect being a name brand like it is, it could be bought at the box stores also. Going out to the coach gave me another chance to admire how great the front cap looks. It had been bothering me for weeks. I did manage to pick up some horse apple waste in the Ohio Amish country that has attached itself like concrete to my wheel wells. I have hit it with my sweeper hose with little affect. I guess it is time to break out the high pressure washer. Well, horse apples happens.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
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Lindsay,
Thats a new spin on the Love Bugs in Florida. Growing up and living in Fla since the 40s, we had no lovebugs here in Fla until sometimes in the 70s. The tale that UF brought them to Fla, from what I have read over the years, is without merit. While we FSU fans would love to blamd that trade school in Gainsville for the bugs, it ain't necessarily so. The current theory is that they along with the roadside possum immigrated here from Texas. So lets blame them coyboys out west for this amourous bug. BTW they only show up in April/May and August/Sept

I have also read on this board that BOUNCE can discolor the plastic coating on the newer motor homes. So I only use water soap and a scrub brush to get them off my MH. FWIW dept. Now back to how to remove them. s/Toby
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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I am a second generation Floridian also (unusual for an old duffer like me) and concur wit the timing of the love bug. I worked most of my career in citrus and have been to the experiment station at Lake Alfred dozens of times. Although they don’t like to advertise it, they do admit the origins of the love bugs. The roadside raccoon story is a new one on me, but I think the armadillo did arrive from the traveling carnivals. Of course the worst of the non-native species continues to be the scourge of the snowbird.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsay Richards View Post
It is Turtle Wax, Bug and Tar Remover.
I bought the same product and it works well on South Carolina and other bugs! Today I hit a bug musta been the size of a Fee Bibty 2 What a mess.... The TWB&TR did a good job.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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Gentleman, do your best to give those road posums a wide berth. Save a POSUM
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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They taste like chicken.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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Bounce! Bounce! Bounce drier sheets that is. I carry a box of them and I use them at truck stops. Even got some truckers interested in them. I have never had a paint problem using the Bounce drier sheets (fabric softener)

Wet the area to be cleaned. Take a Bounce drier sheet and wipe down the area, and yes a little elbow grease may be necessary. Rinse immediately. Do not do large areas at a time. If you do you will leave a film residue that will have to be removed with either Bounce or soap and water.

When at the stick house I always follow up with a soap and rince anyhow.

I have done an F350 DWR, LB, Crew Cab with 3 sheets of Bounce.

p.s., I also call them "telephone bugs" since they are always hung up.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:52 AM   #12
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What Wayne says...including the "telephone bugs".
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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I hope you didn't leave them on the paint for a week, before taking them off.
Best to do that at every nights stop.

Then just Dawn soap & water with a nylon net covered sponge takes care of them for me.

I never have seen them a week away from FL.
Usually just from southern GA. down to just south of the big Lake in FL.
Is where I have encountered them
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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The thing about the Bug and Tar remover is that very little elbow grease is needed. Wet it down, spray on, let the chemical work, rub it off and rinse. Buff with a towel to get a shine.
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