Insect Trivia: Origins of the Phrase “Bit by the Love Bug”

insect trivia

At Vulcan Termite & Pest Control, we love insects! That might sound odd coming from a business that gets rid of bugs, but we find them fascinating and love learning new things about them. That’s why our pest control methods include respect for the environment and a certified entomologist. 

One thing we love to do is share interesting bug facts! Today, we’re diving into the phrase “bit by the love bug.” Keep reading for more information on the origins of this popular phrase! 

Insect Trivia: Bitten by a Bug

You’ve probably heard a similar phrase regarding being bitten by bugs: “bitten by the same bug.” This is usually said about two people who share an interest or hobby! But what does it mean?

While it might sound cute, the origins of this phrase are actually a little more medical. A lot of insects spread diseases to humans, and spreading disease also means spreading the symptoms that come with those diseases. For example, during summer in the South, mosquitoes run rampant! That means a lot of people will have mosquito bites, a.k.a the same symptom of being bitten by the same bug. Makes sense, right? 

Now, of course, this phrase is used to express a more positive thing—sharing interests or passions! When it comes to this context, the bug that someone is bitten by is a particular interest. For example, let’s say that two friends are both bitten by the painting bug. Their “symptoms” will most likely be buying art supplies and doing lots of doodling!

What About the Love Bug?

In similar fashion, being bitten by the love bug refers to someone showing all the “symptoms” of being in love. This phrase, however, has a much more specific origin than the previous phrase we talked about because it’s about one bug in particular!

The “love bug” is actually the March fly! These insects are typically found in sub-tropical areas of the United States like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Their larvae feed on decaying vegetation and they don’t bite people—so why have they been attributed to this romantic phrase? 

March flies are actually quite the romantics! They have two breeding seasons, May and September, and exhibit all the symptoms of being madly in love. After mating, March flies remain connected for days. They can be seen joined together even in flight! This “clingy” behavior earned them the love bug nickname. Even if Floridians wish there weren’t so many of them in certain seasons, at least we got a cute phrase thanks to them!

Not Feeling the Love?

If you’re dealing with some pesky pests that you don’t want hanging around your home or yard, it’s time to call the professionals. Whether it’s mosquitoes, termites, rats, or ladybugs, we can handle it. Get in touch with Vulcan Termite & Pest Control today!