If you have been outside lately you have probably seen little black bugs crawling all over your car. They look just like ticks but they are actually called something else. The good news is, they are harmless.

Summertime is almost officially here, and with it, comes the bugs. This year, a small black insect is taking over the area.

“These are actually poplar weevils,” explained Vicki Kondo, a research assistant at West Virginia University. “A weevil is a type of beetle, which is a real insect. It’s a beetle that has a long snout and on the end of that snout it has chewing-type mouth parts.”

It is not a tick takeover like many West Virginia residents think. These weevils are here to feed on trees, typically Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar and Magnolia Trees.

“They’ll be around until probably sometime in July and then they will kind of go into a dormant period or a hibernation, we call that estivation, in the summer,” said Kondo. “They’ll go into the leaf litter and they’ll stay there for the rest of the summer through the fall and the winter and then come out again next spring.

What about the ticks? Prickett’s Fort State Park Executive Director, Greg Bray said in wooded areas, they are common too and it is important to protect yourself.

“The best thing to do with ticks is wear long sleeves, long pants. that helps a lot,” Bray said. “Make sure when you get home, check kids for ticks.”

The difference between ticks and weevils is simple. Weevils have six legs and can fly. Ticks have eight legs but cannot fly. Ticks are also usually flat while weevils are more round.

For now, you will have to tough it out against these pesky bugs but they will not be harming you or your pets.