The Bug Splat On Your Windshield? There’s An App for That

A new app can help you identify bug splatter on your windshield. ( University of Florida )

We’ve all been there. You’re driving down the blacktop at night when “splat,” a green and white streak suddenly stretches across your windshield. “What the heck was that?” you think to yourself. Now, like everything else in 2018, there’s an app for that.

“That Gunk on Your Car” is the brainchild of University of Florida professor Mark Hostetler and his son Jámm.

“I was at a gas station, and a guy pulled up next to me, looking exasperated about all the lovebug splats on his car. He turned to me and said, ‘What is all this anyway,’” Hostetler remembers. “Well, he asked the right person. I spent several minutes talking about insects, insect ecology and conservation.”

An idea was born. At first it was a book: “That Gunk on Your Car: A Unique Guide to the Insects of North America.” His son, an engineering student at the University of Florida helped develop the printed guide into an iPhone app.

“Once they have identified the splat, they can learn more about the insect itself,” Hostetler says in a press release from the university. “The app has lots of natural history information, conservation and science related to each insect.”

“With the app, these bugs don’t have to die in vain. We can learn something about them,” Hostetler says.

The app also includes a game where players are challenged to match the splat with the insect.

That Gunk on Your Car that app is available in the iTunes store.

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