Plecia nearctic, more commonly known as love bugs, are small, black flying insects that have a distinctive red spot on the top of their heads. The bugs belong to the March fly family and are related to fungas gnats, mosquitoes, sand flies and biting midges. Love bugs are most common in the Southeastern United States and parts of Central America.
Love bugs mate twice a year, generally in late April to early May and in late August to early September. Swarms of male love bugs take flight, attracting female love bugs that attach to the males of their choice. The two love bugs remained intertwined, mating and feeding off of flowering plant nectar.
Female love bugs lay between 100 to 350 eggs per mating season. The bugs lay their eggs, which hatch two to four days later on grassy areas, usually on top of dead, decaying vegetation. The young love bugs usually remain in the areas of their births for 120 to 240 days. They then reach the pupa, or transformational, stage of their lives that prepares them for the adult mating season. The pupa stage typically lasts between 7 and 9 days, after which the bugs take flight and swarm until each one finds a mate.