Return of the Mayflies: Midges Back in NE Ohio

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PORT CLINTON, Ohio –  Mother Nature is bringing a pesky resident or two to Northeast Ohio.

And in Port Clinton, it’s not hard to miss the latest arrival – mayflies.

“They’re flying all over the place. I feel like I have them all over me,” said Maryanne Kreutzfeld of Port Clinton. “As you can see, there’s tons and tons of mayflies. I can remember years back when they would take shovels and literally scoop them up.”

The mayflies have arrived a couple months later than usual, and resident Brian Thompson said it stinks. Literally.

“They have a slight fishy odor to them, especially if they’re squished,” he said. “It can get back on the streets as cars drive over them.”

Some residents said the mayflies will become such a problem on the road that it can be slippery at times; but more often than not, the insects are just a nuisance.

“The biggest problem is that if you’re wearing white clothes, especially at night, they like to attach to you; and then not only that if you do, for example, sit in your car, you’ll squish them and create stains,” Thompson said.

Other portions of Ohio are spotting swarms of midges, but Fisherman’s Wharf owner Tim McCann says the insects are sign of a healthy Great Lake.

”Everything eats them; so they’re important,” he said. “The little fish, big fish, the birds, everything eats them. It’s really a good sign of how healthy the lake is.

McCann said the insects are short-lived, and should be around for a week or two.

“All it is is a part of nature. One of the cycles that goes through,” he said.