What are Florida Lovebugs And Why Are They a Hazard?

As a resident of Florida, we all know lovebugs are not the most loveable of bugs despite their name. Many lovebugs swarm near roadways and, as a result, cars that drive through clouds of these insects end up with decreased visibility — which can result in potential car accidents. If you’re dealing with a swarm…



As a resident of Florida, we all know lovebugs are not the most loveable of bugs despite their name. Many lovebugs swarm near roadways and, as a result, cars that drive through clouds of these insects end up with decreased visibility — which can result in potential car accidents. If you’re dealing with a swarm of lovebugs in your home or on your car, you are not alone! Let’s talk about what lovebugs are, where they thrive, and how to get rid of them.

What is a Lovebug?

The name says it all–lovebugs are bugs that are usually paired together with a “mate.” They will attach their bodies to their mate and fly in tandem together. They have black bodies and red heads, and they are typically 6-9 millimeters in length. Although referred to as bugs, these insects are actually flies. They’re more closely related to biting midges and mosquitoes rather than other common bugs like grasshoppers or termites.

Since their time as flies is only a short period of their life cycle, they spend more of their lives as larvae. Females lay their eggs on the ground and can have around 200-300 eggs alone. Yikes! The good news is although these bugs are a nuisance to drivers, they cannot cause any physical harm to you or your pets.

Where Are They Most Common?

Lovebugs have made Florida their home because they thrive in warm, humid climates — commonly on the Gulf Coast. Many times these flies are seen in swarms, most commonly during their two specific mating seasons–once in the spring (April to May), and then again in the late summer (August to September). Lovebugs are most commonly found swarming cars because they are attracted to the gases emitted from vehicles. You’ll most commonly find them swarming fast moving vehicles during the day.

Why Are Lovebugs Such a Hazard?

Although lovebugs don’t bite or sting humans, they can cause harm in several others ways — most notably to your car. Here are the most common ways lovebugs can be a hazard:

  • They can affect your visibility while driving. Because they swarm cars so thickly, they can create clouds that can seriously impair your driving visibility. Make sure you drive carefully during their popular mating months, and if you notice swarms of lovebugs on your car while you’re driving, slow down or pull over.

  • They cause damage to your car’s engine. While you’re driving, lovebugs can enter the radiator of your car, clogging your vehicle parts. In extreme cases, they can coat the car’s grill to disrupt the engine’s airflow, and cause the car to overheat. Yikes!

  • They can damage your car’s paint. What’s more, they can cause even more damage even if they’re already dead. The remains of lovebugs can damage the paint on your car because hours in the sun can cause their bodies to turn acidic. To avoid this, be sure to rinse and remove the lovebugs on the surface of your car within a day.

  • They can invade areas with excessive moisture. While these pesky pests are most commonly found on cars, that doesn’t mean they can’t enter your home. Since these humid areas have the potential to grow plants, it creates a food and environment for lovebugs to breed. If you live in an area where lovebugs are common, they can easily make their way into dark, humid areas such as basements, attics, and storage rooms.

  • They can disturb your plants. The plants surrounding your home can be breeding and feeding grounds for lovebugs. The female flies search for moist environments, complete with food sources, to lay their larvae — so keep an eye out for them on flower beds.

Ways To Get Rid of Lovebugs

So now that we know exactly what lovebugs are and why they’re such a hazard, let’s talk about how to get rid of them. You know what they say — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to lovebugs, that statement is true. Here are the best ways to prevent and get rid of lovebugs in Florida:

  • Clean your vehicle frequently with warm, soapy water if it is covered in lovebugs. In order to prevent lovebugs, wax your car prior to their mating season–this will make it harder for them to stick to the exterior.

  • Ensure your house has no standing water, in both your yard and storage spaces. Be aware of your home’s humidity to protect your home before it catches an infestation.

  • Try natural sprays with essential oils, like peppermint, to repel the flies from your space. A safe, simple (and sometimes effective) approach to say goodbye to lovebugs.

  • Clear debris from your yard. These items can also attract a breeding female to lay their larvae.

  • Vacuum them up: If lovebugs have found their way into your home, you can try to suck them up via a vacuum.

What to Do If You Have Lovebugs

If you do have a lovebug infestation – whether it’s on your car or in your home – know that female lovebugs can only live for three to six days, so your infestation will likely die out naturally on its own. Many pest control companies will not treat for lovebugs, including Anti-Pesto. So if you are dealing with an infestation, we recommend just waiting it out, or sucking them up in a vacuum if you want immediate relief.

If you need other types of pest control in Spring Hill or surrounding areas, give us a call at [phone-number] and see how we can help!

This blog was written by Howard Bright, Owner of Anti-Pesto Bug Killers.

FAQs

What time of year do love bugs come out in Florida?

There are two times out of the year that lovebugs appear. Those two months are May and September. These pesky insects are most prevalent in warm and humid climates. They don’t just exist in Florida, either

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How long does love bug season last in Florida?

Lovebug mating season starts in May and lasts for four weeks, then occurs again in September. TAMPA, Fla. ? They’re on your car, on your house and landing on your windshield every time you stop ? lovebug season is here

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How long does love bug season last in Central Florida?

four weeks

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What season do love bugs come out?

Many times these flies are seen in swarms, most commonly during their two specific mating seasons–once in the spring (April to May), and then again in the late summer (August to September). Lovebugs are most commonly found swarming cars because they are attracted to the gases emitted from vehicles.

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How do you keep love bugs away?

Simply mix 3 tablespoons each of mouthwash and citrus-scented dish liquid with a cup of water. Spray this on surfaces where the lovebugs like to gather, such the porch, patio, and along walls.

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What happens if a love bug bites you?

No, love bugs do not bite or sting and do not pose any health threats to humans.

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Part of a video titled Using A Dryer Sheet To Remove Love Bugs From Your RV! – YouTube

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How do dryer sheets get rid of love bugs?

What attracts them ? Love bugs are attracted to heat, freshly painted surfaces and surfaces that are light-colored. This means you’ll find them near your garage door a lot and around the outside of your house if it’s painted a light color. How to combat them – Here’s where it gets tricky.

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What are love bugs attracted to?

Lovebugs are attracted to irradiated exhaust fumes from cars, lawnmowers and other engines (they’re similar to decomposing plant debris) and to heat. Males swarm over places where they know females will soon emerge.

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What will keep love bugs away?

Lovebugs are attracted to light colors, so you can avoid wearing light-colored clothing and being near light-colored walls to not draw them in. They are also bad flyers, so you can use a fan to blow them away.

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What’s the lifespan of a love bug?

Under laboratory conditions, male lovebugs live for about 92 hours, whereas females live up to 72 hours. In nature, the adults live just long enough to mate, feed, disperse and deposit a batch of eggs ? about three to four days.

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Where do love bugs go at night?

Lovebug swarms typically only happen during daylight hours and temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, they rest on plants.

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What is the best love bug remover?

Fill a bucket with very hot water and soap. Using a sponge or cleaning rag, soak the affected area. Let sit for a few minutes, and go back. The hot water will loosen the bugs, and they can now be easily removed.

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Are love bugs good for anything?

Lovebug’s larvae are beneficial as they help to decompose dead plant material. The larvae can be found on and in the soil under decaying plants, from which they feed on. The larvae convert the dead vegetation into humus (a dark, organic and nutritious matter that improves the health of soil).

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What kills love bugs in Florida?

Lather a little baby oil or spray some cooking spray on your car’s hood and bumper. Wash frequently. This will help make the cleaning the bug residue easier. Wet dryer sheets also work well to wipe off any bugs that stick on your car.

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Here's why you didn't see many lovebugs this year

Here’s why you didn’t see many lovebugs this yearWeatherAnswer has everything to do with weatherORLANDO, Fla. – Lovebugs are the ultimate nuisance found in Central Florida. They don’t bite, sting or spread disease, but they can cause big-time issues for drivers as they are often found near highways. Spattered lovebugs can cause damage to the paint of your vehicle if not removed quickly.These pests typically come out in droves and cover everything twice a year in Florida. The first lovebug season is in the spring, during the months of April and May. A second season normally happens in late summer, in the months of August and September.This year, however, for most of Central Florida, lovebug season was extremely light.Lovebug larvae very much need a “Goldilocks” environment to thrive; not too wet, not too dry, but just right. Lovebug larvae, the immature stage of an insect, live in decaying vegetation at the soil surface.Larvae of the lovebug, Plecia nearctica Hardy. (Photo: James Castner, University of Florida)According to Dr. Norman Leppla, a professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida, the frequency and amount of rainfall is likely a factor in determining the amount of lovebugs each season.If the habitat is too wet, they drown. If the environment is too dry, the larvae dries up.For the year, most of Central Florida is well below normal in the rainfall department.Tear-to-date rainfall across Central FloridaIn the Orlando area this past winter, a rainfall deficit of more than 3 inches was observed. Below normal rain continued through the summer. Not only was it dry, but there were also several extended dry stretches within those time periods.In 2019 and 2020 in the Orlando area, rainfall was much closer to average through the winter and spring period. In those years, lovebugs emerged in large numbers across Central Florida.So while there were a few lovebugs earlier this spring and summer, the explosion of the insects was likely capped due to the extremely dry conditions across the region.Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.RELATED STORIESAbout the Author:Jonathan KeggesJonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

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When Does Lovebug Season End in Florida?

When Does Lovebug Season End in Florida? Common Questions Among Floridians: When Does Lovebug Season End in Florida? LOVEBUG MATING SEASON According to the University of Florida, Mating peaks last about four weeks in May and September. Typically, two main generations occur during this time, but the insects can be seen throughout the summer. Lovebugs are usually active between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., in temperatures above 84°F.  Decades ago, an urban legend started regarding the University of Florida as the creator of Lovebugs, but the University debunked the myth. During the 20th century, lovebugs migrated from Central America, traveling through Texas and Louisiana before arriving in Florida. Lovebugs  do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases and are not poisonous. They can damage automobile paint if they are “baked” in the sun. To remove lovebugs, wash your car with water and scrub it to remove the lovebugs. A hood air deflector or screen will reduce the number of spattered lovebugs on your car. Using car wax will protect an automobile’s paint.

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Love Bugs at Disney World

Love Bugs at Disney World It’s May once more, which means lovebug season has ‘officially’ returned to Walt Disney World. This post rants a bit about these insects, shares info & tips for avoiding love and other bugs during their peak months in Florida, and why 2022 will be worse than last year for lovebugs. (Updated May 1, 2022.) Known as the month of merriment and renewal, May is when poets write of lovers, subject to the same force which reawakens the plants, feel their hearts open again. Named after Maia, the goddess of springtime and growth, May is a gentle and warm month that causes flowers to blossom, crops to sprout, and people to dance. That is, unless you’re in Florida. Sure, love is in the air, but it’s in bug form. The state also has 20 million genetically modified mosquitoes that were released last year in the Florida Keys, as part of a landmark project during which researchers learned absolutely nothing from this highly-scientific Simpsons clip. This is to say nothing of invasive species, which are exploding in the state per a very amusing/scary “dispatch from Florida” in National Geographic. Cutting to the chase, are you wondering why little pests are all around Walt Disney World? (No, we’re not talking about small children–sorry for the confusion.) These are swarms of flying insects known as lovebugs, and they appear twice per year in Central Florida. Lovebug season usually occurs in May and September, although the actual “intensity” of the season varies dramatically based on weather conditions. Some years, lovebug season is awful; other years, it’s nonexistent. Last year was one of those nonexistent years for lovebugs in most areas of Florida. Dr. Norman Leppla, a professor of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida explains that lovebugs require a “Goldilocks” environment to thrive. Not too wet, not too dry–just right. Essentially, average rainfall occurring relatively consistently during the winter. Lovebug larvae live in decaying vegetation at the soil surface. If the habitat is too wet, they drown. If the environment is too dry, the larvae dries up. Last year, the Orlando area had over 7 inches less rainfall than average by the start of lovebug season. This included several stretches of uninterrupted dry weather, which effectively dried up the lovebug larvae. It’s a totally different story in 2022. Central Florida has received approximately 12 inches of rain since the start of the year. That’s 3 inches above normal (and there were some veritable deluges), which means it likely won’t be a “peak season” for lovebugs, but there should also be no shortage of them. So get excited if you’re visiting Walt Disney World in May or September 2022, as you’ll likely encounter lovebugs! If the weather forecast is indicative of the lovebug season to come, this will be the worst year for them in the last 3, as they’ve flown relatively under the radar the last two years. Three years ago was the worst lovebug season we’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World. The first day driving during lovebug season that year, we thought a light rain had started. Turns out it was just a ‘bug drizzle’ hitting the windshield. Fortunately, 2022 shouldn’t be that bad, either. Like Pop Warner and Jersey Week, love bug seasons are seemingly unexplainable natural phenomenons that’s spoken of in hushed whispers among Walt Disney World fans. No one likes the annual infestations, but we don’t want to anger our new insect overlords that the ‘it’s tough to be a bug’ documentary at Animal Kingdom warned us about. The awful 2019 lovebug season is actually what originally inspired this post. In Epcot, love bugs were swarming everywhere, but a harmless irritant. That is, until a pair flew at my mouth while I was eating poutine fries. No person or pest gets between me and my poutine. Enough is enough. No more whispering–it’s time for a proverbial yell. Kidding aside, there…

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What are Florida Lovebugs And Why Are They a Hazard?

What are Florida Lovebugs And Why Are They a Hazard?As a resident of Florida, we all know lovebugs are not the most loveable of bugs despite their name. Many lovebugs swarm near roadways and, as a result, cars that drive through clouds of these insects end up with decreased visibility — which can result in potential car accidents. If you’re dealing with a swarm of lovebugs in your home or on your car, you are not alone! Let’s talk about what lovebugs are, where they thrive, and how to get rid of them. What is a Lovebug? The name says it all–lovebugs are bugs that are usually paired together with a “mate.” They will attach their bodies to their mate and fly in tandem together. They have black bodies and red heads, and they are typically 6-9 millimeters in length. Although referred to as bugs, these insects are actually flies. They’re more closely related to biting midges and mosquitoes rather than other common bugs like grasshoppers or termites. Since their time as flies is only a short period of their life cycle, they spend more of their lives as larvae. Females lay their eggs on the ground and can have around 200-300 eggs alone. Yikes! The good news is although these bugs are a nuisance to drivers, they cannot cause any physical harm to you or your pets. Where Are They Most Common? Lovebugs have made Florida their home because they thrive in warm, humid climates — commonly on the Gulf Coast. Many times these flies are seen in swarms, most commonly during their two specific mating seasons–once in the spring (April to May), and then again in the late summer (August to September). Lovebugs are most commonly found swarming cars because they are attracted to the gases emitted from vehicles. You’ll most commonly find them swarming fast moving vehicles during the day. Why Are Lovebugs Such a Hazard? Although lovebugs don’t bite or sting humans, they can cause harm in several others ways — most notably to your car. Here are the most common ways lovebugs can be a hazard: They can affect your visibility while driving. Because they swarm cars so thickly, they can create clouds that can seriously impair your driving visibility. Make sure you drive carefully during their popular mating months, and if you notice swarms of lovebugs on your car while you’re driving, slow down or pull over. They cause damage to your car’s engine. While you’re driving, lovebugs can enter the radiator of your car, clogging your vehicle parts. In extreme cases, they can coat the car’s grill to disrupt the engine’s airflow, and cause the car to overheat. Yikes! They can damage your car’s paint. What’s more, they can cause even more damage even if they’re already dead. The remains of lovebugs can damage the paint on your car because hours in the sun can cause their bodies to turn acidic. To avoid this, be sure to rinse and remove the lovebugs on the surface of your car within a day. They can invade areas with excessive moisture. While these pesky pests are most commonly found on cars, that doesn’t mean they can’t enter your home. Since these humid areas have the potential to grow plants, it creates a food and environment for lovebugs to breed. If you live in an area where lovebugs are…

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How lovebugs came to Florida, and it wasn't to eat mosquitoes

How lovebugs came to Florida — and no, they weren’t created to eat mosquitoes Canva Lovebug mating season starts in May and lasts for four weeks, then occurs again in September. TAMPA, Fla. — They’re on your car, on your house and landing on your windshield every time you stop — lovebug season is here. They’re harmless, usually found in pairs and so annoying most think a more fitting name would be “hate bugs.” WFTS RELATED: Lovebugs are invading Florida, this cleaning hack will keep their guts off your vehicleSo, how did they get here? According to the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, lovebugs migrated to the U.S. from Central America in the 1920s and to Florida in the 1940s. “Their reproduction has been successful for two reasons, first- not many predators are interested in eating them. Additionally, their larvae break down fallen and dead vegetation,” the center wrote on Facebook. Are they the product of an experiment? A rumor that the bugs were created by the University of Florida as an experiment to control mosquitoes has persisted for years. That’s not true. “If science had advanced to a level of being able to completely create an organism that successfully feeds and reproduces, do you really think it would be a lovebug?” the center wrote. Lovebugs don’t even eat mosquitoes! They feed on nectar from flowers like other pollinators, actually benefiting the environment, according to the post. Where do they go? After mating for two to three days, female lovebugs lay their eggs and die, according to the University of Florida. They lay their eggs on decaying material found on the ground. They hatch after two to four days and feed on the material around them. Why are they called lovebugs?Lovebugs are often seen in pairs or “stuck” together because they’re mating. An adult love bug only lives for three to fours days, and those days are mostly filled with mating. Unfortunately, lovebugs are here to stay. May marks the mating season for the nuisance bugs, and it lasts four weeks. Then, they do it again in September. Lovebugs are always around, they are just a lot more prevalent during their mating season. They’re active between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and they love (no pun intended) temperatures above 84 degrees. Copyright 2022 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sign up for the Morning Headlines Newsletter and receive up to date information.

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Grease Up for Love Bug Season – WGCU

Grease Up for Love Bug Season Published May 12, 2021 at 6:46 AM EDT For most of the year, love bugs live as larvae on the surface of soil or on decaying leaves or grass—most people don’t even know they’re there. But when the weather gets warm, you can’t help but notice swarms of them, flying in pairs.”Well, they’re attached, because the male doesn’t want to let the female go and find another male,” says Norman Leppla, professor of entomology at the University of Florida. The female, he explains, just wants to find a place to lay her eggs. But the male? “He’s just along for the ride so that no other male comes along and displaces his paternity… The females come out from the surface of the ground. And the males are waiting. And the successful male is able to grab the female and fly off with her. And if he doesn’t hang on, another male will come along and mate with her. That’s how their system works.”Love bugs don’t spread disease, and they don’t bite, says Leppla. Basically, they’re just a nuisance. Especially to your car or truck. Andrew Fillmore knows all about the pesky flies. He works at a neighborhood car wash.”You will have to grease your car down with either cooking oil or Vaseline, before getting on the highway,” he explains.Fillmore says any cooking oil will work, and that if you don’t grease your car down…”They’re staying in the paint and then don’t come off. But if you grease it down before you get on the highway, you can just ride and then whenever you want your car washed everything will come right on off.”Leppla also recommends using a dryer sheet — first dry, and then wet–to gently remove the bugs from your vehicle. Other folks say frequent washing and a good wax can help, too.But besides forays into unconventional vehicle maintenance, Leppla says love bugs do hold a lesson for us.”They’re a part of nature. That mating behavior that I told you about, people can watch that. They do it basically twice a day, in the morning and in the evening… I think just observe nature and appreciate nature.”Learn more about love bugs.

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It's Lovebug Season | Sarasota Magazine

It’s Lovebug Season You can tell it’s lovebug season by the gory splatters on your car’s grill and windshield. Mostly harmless, lovebugs show up as couples and thrive during two main seasons that last for about two weeks in May and two weeks in September. Norman Leppla, a University of Florida professor who specializes in entomology, tells us what we need to know about this lusty insect. Print the Legend A popular myth states that lovebugs (scientific name: Plecia nearctica) are the result of a genetic experiment gone wrong at the University of Florida, where they were trying to create a new insect to combat mosquitoes. The truth is more mundane. Lovebugs originated in Yucatán, Mexico, and arrived in Florida in the mid-20th century. Leppla says it is unknown if the migration was natural or caused by man. Live Fast, Die Young Lovebugs spend most of the year as larvae in leaves and on soil. What you see during lovebug season is the reproductive activity of the adults. They “do it” twice a day and die off in two days. The Birds and the Bees Mating lasts about 12 hours, but lovebugs’ abdomens stay attached for up to two days. While they mate, the male gives nutrients to the female so she’ll produce healthy eggs. After the male dies, the female drags around his corpse. The Good News While annoying to humans, lovebugs do have a positive impact. They develop in moist areas like ditches, bayous and swamps, and help decompose dead leaves and grass. Gone with the Wind Lovebugs are attracted to automobile exhaust or any equipment burning fuel, particularly if it’s warm. The bugs aren’t strong flyers, so a breeze caused by a fan will keep them from bothering you. Outdoor black lights also attract and kill them, says Leppla. On the Road Swarming lovebugs on highways can clog radiators, reduce visibility by splattering on windshields and headlights and even ruin your paint job. As the dead bugs decay, acid from their bodies eats into paint. Car Care Tips “I carry a spray bottle of soapy water and a bug scrubber to wipe down my car,” says Leppla. “If you drive a long way and they get baked on by the sun, use a lightly moistened dryer sheet to easily rub them off. Nearing lovebug season, waxing your car to make the surface stick-free helps, too.”

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They're Back! Love Bugs Invade Florida Once Again

They’re Back! Love Bugs Invade Florida Once Again Local News September 16, 2021 / 1:16 PM / CBS Miami MIAMI (CBSMiami) — They’re back. Lovebugs. The name sounds cute, but the bizarre insects are anything but when they bombard your car on the highway or when they get in your hair or crawl all over your body. The prolific pests are always around, but are at the worst during two specific mating seasons. Once in the Spring, from April to May and then again in late summer, August to September. Lovebugs love Florida because of its warm, humid climate. They’re most active between 10am and 6pm. They mate in flight for hours, with one bug flying forward, the other backward. They don’t bite and are harmless, except to your vehicle’s paint job if not washed off quickly. Did you know if you have love bug guts dripping down your car, you can use a dryer sheet to wipe the bug residue off. Thanks for reading CBS NEWS. Create your free account or log in for more features. Please enter email address to continue Please enter valid email address to continue

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