How to Get Rid of Love Bugs in Your House

Love bugs, also known as March flies or honeymoon flies, are small flying insects that can become a huge nuisance in homes during their mating seasons in spring and late summer. While harmless, their sheer numbers and messy splats on windows, cars, and outdoor surfaces often have homeowners seeking ways to get rid of them. With some knowledge of their biology and behavior, as well as using prevention and control methods, you can reduce love bug infestations in and around your house.

Understanding Love Bugs

To get rid of love bugs effectively, it helps to understand what they are, why they swarm, and what attracts them.

What Are Love Bugs?

  • Love bugs are actually two species of flying insects – the black love bug (Plecia nearctica) and the brown love bug (Plecias trepida).
  • They are dark-colored flies about 1⁄4 inch long with red eyes and yellow-orange heads. The larvae feed on rotting plant material.
  • During mating season, males and females remain connected, even in flight, for up to several days. This is why they are called “love bugs.”

When Do Love Bugs Swarm?

  • Primary mating seasons are April-May and August-September, with peak activity on warm, humid, windless days.
  • Swarms generally last 4-5 weeks, declining when temperatures drop or dry out.
  • Love bugs are most active during daylight hours when temperatures are between 84°F and 97°F.

Why Are Love Bugs Attracted to My House?

Love bugs are drawn to:

  • Carbon dioxide and heat – from people, pets, chimneys, and idling vehicles.
  • Moisture – from irrigated lawns and damp areas.
  • Sugary substances – such as nectar, aphid honeydew, and tree sap.
  • Light colored structures – especially if freshly painted or pressure washed.
  • Vehicle exhaust – engine fumes and heat attract them to roads and driveways.

Preventing Love Bug Infestations

While love bugs can never be completely excluded from your surroundings, you can make your house and yard less attractive to minimize swarms.

Landscaping Tips

  • Keep grass cut short and areas near the foundation free of mulch and leaf litter where larvae can develop.
  • Avoid over-watering lawns and soil around the home. Let the ground dry out between waterings.
  • Select landscape plants that do not attract aphids, whose honeydew love bugs feed on.
  • Minimize flowering plants that produce nectar, like lantana and milkweed.
  • Use traps or repellents to control aphids on trees and ornamentals.

Exterior Maintenance

  • Install door sweeps and weatherseal windows and attic vents to reduce entry.
  • Caulk cracks and crevices around the foundation, roof eaves, window frames, etc.
  • Paint or stain exterior surfaces in darker, non-glossy earth tone colors.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to remove decaying leaves where larvae live.
  • Avoid washing or pressure-cleaning the house exterior during peak mating seasons.

Outdoor Living Areas

  • Turn off exterior lights at night unless needed for safety/security. Use yellow bulbs.
  • Fix dripping outdoor faucets and minimize water sources, like birdbaths.
  • Close garage doors when not in use and park vehicles inside when possible.
  • Cover window AC units when not needed for cooling.
  • Avoid grilling outdoors near the house during peak mating times.

Pest Control Measures

  • Apply residual pesticide sprays to foundation walls in spring and summer. Reapply after heavy rains.
  • Use traps and baits to control cockroaches, whose feces love bugs feed on.
  • Install dryer vent covers, window screens, and attic vents with bug mesh.
  • Apply insecticidal granules around the perimeter of the home every 2-3 months.
  • Release natural predators like lady beetles, birds, bats, and reptiles.

Getting Rid of Love Bugs Indoors

Even with preventive measures, some love bugs will find their way inside. Here are tips for removing them from your house when they do.

Physical Removal Methods

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any flies located on walls, floors, window sills, curtains and countertops.
  • Swat isolated individuals with a fly swatter or rolled up newspaper.
  • Capture flies by covering with an inverted cup and slipping paper underneath to trap them.
  • Lure them through open windows using oscillating fans blowing outward.


  • Hang sticky fly paper strips near indoor entry points and where flies congregate.
  • Make a simple trap with a glass jar half-filled with old fruit juice or wine. Punch small holes in the lid.
  • Use commercial flying insect traps with ultraviolet lights and non-toxic adhesives.

Natural Sprays and Repellents

  • Apply essential oil sprays like eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint or clove diluted in water.
  • Make a vinegar-dish soap solution to spray on window screens and around door frames.
  • Place bowls of citrus peels, basil leaves, bay leaves or ground black pepper where flies enter.

Pesticide Application

  • Use aerosol flying insect killers labeled for indoor use. Spray along ceiling corners, window and door frames.
  • Apply boric acid powder in wall voids, under appliances, and around baseboards where larvae hide.
  • Foggers or total release sprays can kill flies in hard to reach indoor locations when used properly.
  • Use baits containing methomyl, dinotefuran or imidacloprid where flies gather.

Getting Rid of Love Bug Stains

Love bugs splattered on cars, windows, and outdoor surfaces are inevitable during swarming season. Removing the stains quickly makes cleanup easier.

  • On cars, go to a car wash or spray insects off immediately using a pressure washer or hose. Do not let dry.
  • Use ammonia-based window cleaners on glass surfaces. Soak dried stains before scrapping off gently with a razor blade.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste. Apply to stains on paint, siding or furniture. Let sit before power washing.
  • Use a cleaner with oxalic or phosphoric acid to dissolve love bug remains. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Scrub stains with rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, or acetone on painted walls, sidewalks, patios, etc.

Avoiding Love Bug Stains

To minimize staining and cleanup hassles:

  • Park vehicles in the garage and use car covers when stored outside.
  • Apply a fresh coat of wax to car paint before love bug season.
  • Install screens on exterior vents and cover AC units when not in use.
  • Keep windows and glass doors closed and use ceiling fans to avoid buildup inside.
  • Hire a power washing service to clean the house exterior after mating seasons end.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about minimizing and controlling love bugs around your home:

What chemicals kill love bugs?

Insecticides with active ingredients like beta-cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, or permethrin are effective at controlling adult love bugs outdoors. Indoors, foggers with tetramethrin, sumithrin or pyrethrins can kill them.

Do love bugs bite or sting?

No, love bugs do not bite people or pets. They lack the mouthparts to bite and only feed on nectar and plant secretions. They are harmless, just a nuisance.

How do you keep love bugs off your car?

Park vehicles in the garage, use car covers, and apply a fresh coat of wax before love bug season starts. Wash insects off immediately using a commercial foaming spray or pressure washer to avoid stains.

What attracts love bugs the most?

Carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, sweet substances like nectar or tree sap, engine exhaust fumes, and light-colored structures attract love bugs seeking mates and food sources.

Will love bugs infest my house?

They rarely breed indoors but can enter through cracks and gaps when swarming outside. Use screens, caulk entry points, keep windows closed, and vacuum up any flies that do make it inside.

What natural repellents keep love bugs away?

Certain strong scents from essential oils, herbs, and extracts help repel them. Citrus peels, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, bay leaves and coffee grounds are some examples.

How do you keep love bugs from swarming your house?

Limit flowering plants, avoid overwatering, use yellow lights at night, install good caulking and screens, don’t wash exterior surfaces during mating season, and apply perimeter pesticide granules.

When is love bug season in Florida?

Love bugs swarm from late April through May and again August through September in Florida. Peak activity is on hot, humid, calm days with temperatures above 84°F.

How long do love bug swarms last?

Mating swarms typically persist for 4 to 5 weeks, diminishing as temperatures cool or dry out. By late May and October, their numbers dwindle in most regions.

How do I get rid of love bug residue?

Use ammonia-based cleaners on glass. Make a baking soda paste for walls and furniture. Use rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid or acetone on outdoor surfaces. Wash vehicles immediately before staining.


While love bugs cannot be eliminated entirely during mating season, following prevention tips and using integrated control methods can significantly reduce infestations in and around your home. By understanding what attracts them and addressing problem areas, you can avoid the nuisance and mess of mass swarms. Remain diligent in keeping them away from structures and vehicles during spring and late summer to have fewer issues. With some persistence using exclusions, traps, repellents and cleaning techniques, you can minimize love bugs invading your personal spaces.

How to Get Rid of Love Bugs in Your House

Love bugs are a common nuisance during spring and summer months in warm climates. While harmless, these small flies can swarm in large numbers, creating a mess when they plaster onto homes, cars, and outdoor surfaces. If you live in an area affected by seasonal love bug infestations, here are some tips on how to get rid of them in and around your house.

Keep Them Away from Your House

Prevention is the best way to avoid issues with love bugs in your living spaces.

  • Seal cracks and gaps where they can enter, like around windows, doors, and foundation.
  • Use tight fitting screens on all vents, chimneys, and openings.
  • Caulk utility openings for pipes, wires, etc. around the exterior.
  • Weatherstrip doors and door sweeps to reduce entry.
  • Keep shrubbery and vegetation trimmed back from the house.
  • Hire a pest control company to spray outside foundation walls.

Make Your Yard Less Inviting

There are several ways to discourage love bugs from swarming right around your home’s perimeter.

  • Avoid excessive watering or irrigation of lawns and beds.
  • Keep grass mowed short and remove plant litter and debris regularly.
  • Limit nectar and pollen plants like lantana and crape myrtle.
  • Apply insecticides around the perimeter and lower parts of trees.
  • Use traps around entry points and where pets frequent.
  • Release natural predators like birds, bats, beetles and reptiles.

Manage Indoor Infestations

When love bugs do make it inside, act swiftly to get rid of them.

  • Vacuum up any flies present on walls, floors and furniture.
  • Use sticky fly paper or hanging traps near problem areas.
  • Make homemade traps from old jars and fruit juice to catch them.
  • Spray houseplants and indoor trees with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
  • Apply boric acid powder into wall voids and hidden crevices they use.
  • Use foggers or total-release sprays in utility rooms, attics and basements.

Protect Vehicles

Love bugs are notoriously attracted to cars. Here are tips for keeping them off.

  • Park vehicles in garages whenever possible.
  • Use car covers if storing outdoors.
  • Apply a fresh coat of wax before love bug season starts.
  • Wash bugs off windshields, grills, bumpers immediately using a hose or pressure washer.
  • Do not let smashed love bugs dry on paint as they can damage finishes.
  • Install screens over radiator areas that attract love bugs.
  • Spray insect repellent on bumpers, mirrors and window surfaces where they land.

Remove Stains Promptly

Taking quick action can help minimize staining.

  • Use ammonia-based glass cleaner to remove love bug spots from windows.
  • Apply baking soda paste to painted walls and surfaces. Let sit before power washing.
  • Try rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or lighter fluid on paint finishes.
  • Use a stiff bristle brush and soap-water mix to scrub stains.
  • Purchase a specialty love bug removing cleaner online or from auto parts stores.
  • For tough stains, seek professional cleaning services for power washing, steam cleaning, etc.

By following these tips and being vigilant during mating seasons, you can avoid the headache and mess of major love bug infestations!