Radar shows mayflies swarming over Lake Erie

CLEVELAND — Canadian soldiers have invaded the western shores of Lake Erie.

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No, Canada has not declared war. However, mayflies, known as “Canadian soldiers,” have been swarming in Ohio, according to the National Weather Service in Cleveland. The number of insects bugging residents has been so intense, they are showing up on radar screens.

Mayflies typically begin to emerge from the mud of Lake Erie annually in June and can live for up to 72 hours, WOIO-TV reported.

The insects pay an annual visit to the shores of Lake Erie can be so numerous that they can “bug” drivers, WFMJ-TV reported.

“Many people don’t realize these flies create a safety issue because their carcasses contain an oily substance that makes the surfaces they coat very slick, especially when it rains,” Nick Katsaros, an external affairs consultant in FirstEnergy’s Lake Erie service area, told the television station.

The life cycle of a mayfly starts out as a larva that resides on river or lake bottoms, WFMJ reported.  After 3 months to 2 years, depending on the species, they emerge as winged adults and fly in swarms to mate.

The bugs have also been spotted recently being pests in northeast Ohio, WOIO reported.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, adult mayflies do not bite, sting, or carry disease-causing organisms.

They are just annoying.

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