TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) - The first love bug infestation of the summer has started, and you don't have to look far to see them splattered on your car. 

Aside from just being annoying, do the bugs really damage your car? 

University of Florida bug expert and Entomologist Dr. Norm Leppla explains the answer.

“Actually the love bugs don’t damage the cars. What damages them is leaving love bugs on the cars and having them bake in the sun and eventually affects the paint. The car wash places don’t mind having the business,” Leppla said.

Contrary to their nickname, the bugs aren't mating. They've already done that. Now, they're flying around looking for a place to lay their eggs. When they lay their eggs in decaying vegetation, it enriches the soil.

Leppla says they arrived in Florida from the Yucatan in the 50's, and they're here to stay.

The bugs will be around for a few more weeks. Then they will re-emerge at summer's end late August, early September.

Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman