During the four weeks love bugs swarm along Florida highways and other southern roads in their mating season twice a year, millions of smashed and splattered bug body parts and egg masses can cover cars. This grit not only makes driving frustrating and unsafe because it obscures headlights and windshields but also can overheat vehicles due to reduced airflow. In addition, if the splatters are not removed promptly, they can stain paint.
Fortunately, there are proactive steps drivers can take to help keep bugs off their cars and reduce the likelihood of acidic bug splatter causing damage. For example, a car protection film or front-end cover (like the Covercraft Lebra or Covercraft Colgan) helps to prevent bugs from sticking in the first place. And, a ceramic coating or other auto polish can help prevent the acidic bug guts from damaging paint.
A good bug splatter remover is critical for getting the last bits of dried bug residue off a car before washing it. A product like Citrol works to dissolve adhesives such as bug glue. Other options include automotive cleaning products formulated for bug and tar removal, specific sponges and brushes, and even moistened dryer sheets.
When using any of these tools, be sure to use a soft-bristled scrub brush or microfiber towel to avoid scratching the clearcoat paint. For best results, apply the cleaner while the car is in the garage and out of direct sunlight to avoid fading the finish. After the vehicle is cleaned, it’s a good idea to apply a layer of wax to provide an extra barrier between your car and acidic bug guts.