Mayfly invasion: Bugs causing a mess along Lake Erie

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VERMILION, Ohio -– Mayflies may be harmless, but they’re causing quite the mess for cities along Lake Erie.

“I’ve never seen them until this year, but we have this bush that seems to attract them, and they’re all over the front door of our cottage,” said Lydia Trentman.

She’s visiting Vermilion with her family. They’re originally from Cincinnati.

“They kind of creep me out,” she said when asked about the mayflies.

The bugs usually pop up around the shores of Northeast Ohio during June. Mayor Eileen Bulan, of Vermilion, said residents are used to it.

“I think most people realize they’re back and we have to go out and clean them up again,” she said.

She’s not kidding about having to clean them up. She said in some cases, they’ll use a leaf blower.

“We just had our third Thursday event and we had to clean the sidewalks off and the windows on the building to make sure it looked at least clean, because most people aren’t aware of mayflies so they don’t know what it is,” she said.

While gross, the Mayflies won’t be around for long. In fact, their life span is only about 24 hours.

“I’m not sure what the use of the bug is except to feed some birds and fish. But it’s a little crazy,” said Mark McDowell.

He’s the owner of Huggy’s Social House in Vermilion. He said the windows were covered in mayflies on Thursday; now many of them have died.

“We’ll take a broom and sweep them up and put them in a bag and throw them away,” he said.

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