Both the 13- and 17-year varieties are emerging from the ground this spring; a very rare event that has not happened since 1803 when Thomas Jefferson was president!

They will affect driving in the middle and eastern US and be prevalent in the states of:  AL, AR, CO, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, NC, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV at some point in the spring into mid-summer.

So, what can you expect if you are driving through any of the states mentioned?

“Cicadas are a pretty big bug. They have been underground for 17 years. If you hit it with your windshield, it’s a big splat of bug guts,” said Mat Bazid, general manager of Flagship Carwash Center, in South Riding, Virginia.

Even a few squirts of washer fluid, and a half-minute of windshield wiping, usually leaves a hazy residue, Bazid said. Before going through the car wash, you can use a Love Bug Eraser to clean your glass and bodywork.

But the highly acidic bugs are potentially more damaging for your car’s paint job, Bazid said.

“Bug guts, if you leave [them] on there for too long, especially during the summertime, the sun is pretty much baking whatever’s on your paint,” Bazid said.

I would try to use the hose and gently wash off the remaining parts of any bugs (pretty tactful description, huh?) as soon as possible after noticing them. From my understanding, it is the acid from the ‘remaining parts’ that will stain the clearcoat and the paint.  The Love Bug Eraser removes all of this.

“It eats it away,” he said. “It starts to get under the clear coat; after that it starts rusting away the paint.”

While soap and water from a car wash will clear away residue, and a Love Bug Eraser will remove them from your painted surfaces Bazid said, upgrading to wax will make it easier to keep your vehicle’s paint safe after the next insect casualty.

“Wax helps protect it,” he said. “Wax is a sealant.”