So if you’ve been in Florida for any time at all, you’ve probably encountered Love Bugs. Every year from the end of March through May, the Plecia nearctica come out, fly around and mate. And because the exhaust fumes from cars is somewhat of an aphrodisiac for these critters, a LOT of them have very short, sweet endings – in the grills of our cars.
And this year, the love is starting a little bit earlier…
Wait, what? Oh! So not… okay, then.
Bugging About Love
Somewhere between 800 and 1800 years ago, depending on which legend you choose to believe, people started marking February, especially the 14th and 15th of the month, as a time of love. And somewhere in the middle of that, we started celebrating Valentine’s Day with written cards and various gifts. Flowers and chocolate still top the list.
For most of us, our first Valentine’s Day experience was likely at school. It was always a fun day. The teacher or a parent would bring in cookies or cupcakes with pink adornments. Our parents would buy us boxes of somewhat generic valentines from the store, with popular cartoon or TV characters on them. On the actual day, we’d have a pile of cards, one for each student in class, and everyone would go around the room, dropping them in our homemade Valentine’s “mailboxes.”
But this year, why not think… outside the box?
Buggy Valentine Alternative
Our first idea comes from Martha Stewart. She found these delightful, wind up lady bugs you can get from Amazon – a dozen for under $15. Then you can download and print out these clever Valentine’s themed leaf coverings for the bugs.
Print out the pdf on green paper, carefully cut out the leaf shapes and use double-sided tape to attach them to the wind-up toy bugs. With just a little work, you have sugar-free – literally – alternative Valentine’s Day fun!
Love Bug Room
But why stop there? Why not do a whole insect themed Valentine’s Day party for your home and classroom?
Start out with several tissue paper honeycomb lantern balls of different colors and a few different sizes. Instead of opening them out all the way, you tape them half open to create a bug body. Grab some black construction paper or poster board and scissors. Cut large circles for heads, and smaller ones for spots on their backs. You can also use a circle cutter, if you have it handy.
Cut two inch long rectangular strips of construction paper for antennae and get creative with your scissors to cut out squiggly spider legs. Use a hot glue gun or some tape to attach the antennae to the lady bugs, put legs on a couple of spiders, and with 3-5 smaller lantern balls, you can even build a caterpillar!
All of the supplies can be found at a craft store, such as Joann’s, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby near you.
We Didn’t Forget About the Grown Ups!
Of course, there’s a very high protein snack that you might enjoy this Valentine’s Day. Continuing the theme of insects – why not try chocolate covered grasshoppers, black and white scorpions, or smothered mint chocolate ants? Great for you or your special someone this holiday!
Or you can just stick with sour gummy worms and fun gummy bugs. We won’t tell!
If non-candy coated insects are invading your home this Valentine’s Day, we can help with that too. Our most popular service – Go Green Pest Control handles all the typical creepy crawlies we find on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with the safest solutions for your family and our planet. For more details, please give us a call!