Bugs in Montana: Tricks to Get Them Off Your Car
On a recent summer road trip composed of about 400 miles, I drove across some of the more scenic portions of Big Sky Country. Hitting the road solo, with my choice of snacks and music, I rolled through the miles uneventfully. Other than road construction, everything was smooth sailing. Good weather, no deer on the road, nor did I worry about snow and ice, like I will be in just a matter of months.
When I stepped out of my car after arriving home that Sunday evening, a quick glance over my vehicle showed that approximately 90% of my front bumper was covered with dead bugs. Thousands of splattered-guts-everywhere bugs. Montana is not really overly buggy, compared to somewhere like Mississippi, but we do have our fair share of summertime bugs that apparently love to loiter a foot or so off the highway. If I had to guess, I would say mostly grasshoppers and a variety of little black bugs that look like they should be on the end of a fly rod, not obliterated on my bumper.
Experts say there are various tricks to getting the bugs off your bumper without a ton of work and scrubbing. Most of the advice I read recommended giving your car a preliminary wash before you start dealing with the difficult bugs. You know, the ones that won't leave your bumper no matter how long you stick the spray nozzle on them? Pre-washing allows you to handle the stubborn bugs a little easier.
Dodging a multitude of "miracle products" I found online, the knowledgable folks at NAPA have some great tips, including washing the bugs off with water and a dryer sheet (the oils in the dryer sheet help dissolve the bug guts), using a light spray of WD-40 on the bugs to soften them up, or using a bug mitt or microfiber cloth with a commercially available solution. The downside to using most of these tips is that they could strip the wax finish from your car. NAPA says you should reapply a quality auto wax afterward.
The folks at Carparts.com offer similar advice, adding that bug guts can be acidic and if you leave them embedded on your bumper or grill for too long, they can harm your vehicle's finish. Of course, you should never "scrape" the bug guts off with a tool or device. That's a sure-fire way to ruin your paint. Bug season is almost over, next comes deer season. I'm pretty sure I'd rather hit bugs.