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Lovebug outbreak in northwestern Seoul Updated: 2022-07-06 06:14:09 KST

AND EQUALLY as unwelcome as the blistering heat and suffocating humidity is the overwhelming presence of one species of bugs in some parts of the capital region.
KIM JUNG-SIL has more.

Swarms of bugs are causing concern in the northern parts of South Korea's capital, Seoul.
These are called lovebugs because they stick to each other for several days even after mating.
It's not the first time they've appeared like this, but now they're a headache.
Their carcasses end up like this all over the floor.
People are complaining about them, especially in Seoul s northwestern district of Eunpyeong-gu and the city of Goyang, Gyeonggi-do Province.


"They get stuck all over my windshield. I use the wipers to try and get them off, but then they die there. That makes it even harder to clean. They get all bunched up together, so they're gross to look at."


Officials in Eunpyeong-gu District trying to stop the nuisance have declared a "war on lovebugs."


"We have two quarantine squads. Each ward has a quarantine team, so we provide the residents with machines and insecticide and they do this as volunteers."

So why the swarms of lovebugs?
We don't know exactly why there are so many all of a sudden, but many experts think the hot and humid weather let them multiply faster.
The authorities have also not been able to spray insecticide because of the monsoon.
But despite their rather unattractive appearance, experts say they can actually be good for the environment.
Byun Hye-woo, a researcher at the National Institute Of Biological Resources, told Arirang News that lovebug larvae help break down dead plant material, while adult lovebugs help pollinize plants by feeding on the nectar of flowers.
But unlike what some have been saying, lovebugs do not feed on mosquitoes or mites.
It's been uncomfortable for people who are afraid of bugs and it's been a problem for people with cars.
Restaurants are having trouble, too, because the bugs can end up in food, just like flies.
Experts say the swarms could be mostly gone after the monsoon, though, because they only live for 10 days and don't like dry weather.
Kim Jung-sil, Arirang News.
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