Mayfly Stories

These are mayfly stories submitted by visitors to our site that had a humorous or interesting encounter with our little winged wonders. We'll do our best to get all the stories put up.

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Mayflies and a Movie

When I was 10 years old (54 years ago), my mother and me went to a movie.  We came out to the lobby of the movie house, which had all glass windows.  Everyone was talking about the mayflies were here.  I saw the bugs on the window and my mom could not get me out side to go to the car.  Sh and another lady picked me up and carried me to the car.  We had to go home the next day.  We live in Dayton.  That was the worst day of my life! LOL LOL

~ Jerrie Turpin
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For a whole year we worked diligently to take our Girl Scout Troop to Cedar Point! We heard it was the best park on the east cost and we finally made it there on May 29th. We left Maryland excited and ready for a blast of a weekend! The trip up was great; the hotel was nice (right on the beach!) and the park was awesome! I don't thing there was one frown or look of disappointment in the whole bunch... except maybe when the rides closed due to the showers... but anyway, as the day went on we started noticing these weird mosquito-looking bugs; and once the sun went down we noticed that they were EVERYWHERE!!! and the swarms were growing! The were all over the ground, the walls, the rides, the people walking in front of us!!! it was terrifying. Then suddenly they began to just FALL out of the sky! We just knew it was the end of the world or some kind of chemical warfare!!! We could barely get out of the park for being "attacked"! We RAN back to our hotel and didn't come out until it was time to leave the next day! It was both a TERRIFYING and an AWESOME weekend!

~ Shirelle Green
    Troop 5851 and 5458
    Suitland MD

mayfly pic by AnnetteCanadian Soldiers in the 1960's

In the 1960s we vacationed in cottages at Camp Perry, while our father was in summer camp with the Ohio National Guard. Every few years the mayflies would appear, and we called them "Canadian Soldiers". The Guard had a very large insect sprayer, towed behind a truck, and they would drive around the camp in the evening to cover the whole area with insecticide. This was probably not that healthy for humans, but the result was piles of dead mayflies everywhere. I remember it being pretty gross, but still just part of a summer vacation on Lake Erie.

~ Thomas McColloch

I Hate to Bother You, But You're Wearing Mayflies

Mayflies on pants by VickiMy sister is from Columbus: I am from Canton. She bought a vacation home in Port Clinton last year and I visited her in June.  Sitting by the pool we looked over Lake Erie and joked that it was almost like being at a Gulf Coast beach except for the nuclear plant in the distance and the stench of rotting fish.   That night after dinner and a movie in Sandusky, we drove back and I was speechless to see hundreds of thousands of mayflies swarming around the streetlights and security lights in the parking lot.  Now I am not a squeamish person.  I've camped in the back of a pickup truck all over the Western US when I was younger.  But the sight of these apocalyptic bug clouds had me paralyzed in that car.  She gamely ran out and up the four outside flights of steps to her condo.  I truly debated whether to just drive back to Canton.  But, I didn't.  I got out and ran--bugs flying in my face and crunching under my feet.

The next morning, we walked into town for breakfast.  The shopkeepers used brooms and leaf blowers to clean up the mayfly carcasses that littered the town.

That's where we learned that the rotting fish odor was really mayflies. A few flew at us as we walked but nothing, NOTHING like the night before.

As we waited for a table in a diner, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I hate to bother you but you have mayflies all over your back and in your hair."

How my sister escaped being their target, I have no idea. I always knew God liked her best.

~ Kristine Evans from Canton, Ohio

Giant Mayfly on marblehead ohio lighthouseMayflies and Pine Trees

This was a few years ago but I can honestly say mayflies love pine trees. I was walking my dog by the baseball diamond in downtown Port Clinton a few years ago. I made the mistake of walking too close to the pine tree. Millions of them swarmed. I was trying to swat them out of my eyes, nose and mouth...which just made even more of them leave the tree. My dog & I were just covered from head to toe in them.

The other thing I've figured out by watching them is ... They can hang on to a glass windshield up to approximately 50 mph. Their little butts are flailing like there is no tomorrow, but they hang on anyway.

~ Mikki from Marblehead, Ohio

Swarms of Mayflies

In the evening sky, you can see them swarming... well, not swarming... just flying around like crazy. They're not the greatest flyers, but they do well enough to get around. I watched one behind the house one afternoon out of the breeze where he could fly without getting blown. He would fly up to the height of the house peak then spread his wings and glide back down to about ten feet above the ground. Then flutter back up... and glide back down. He did this for about ten minutes until he flew away out of sight.

Mayflies are more plentiful on odd number years. The Mayflies plan for this... no, just kidding. 1998 was a light year and 1999 turned out to be a bumper crop of June Bugs!! The city turned out all street lights within 1 block of the lake. This doesn't help much as every night you can watch them fill the air at dusk. I was again reminded of the locust plague mentioned in the Bible.  It's quite a site.

Mayfly swarm 1Mayfly swarm 2Mayfly Swarm Pics

On the evening of June 22nd last year, the sun had set and mayflies filled the skies around Port Clinton. I attempted to capture them on camera. These pics give you a fairly good idea what it looked like. Just click on the pics at left. The pics will open in a separate browser or tab. Simply close the browser when you're done looking to return here.

Every black speck you see against the blue sky is a mayfly in flight.

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