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Ohio Edison turns off some streetlights to avoid mayfly swarms

Unlike our other lakefront bug neighbors, midges, mayflies tend to cause large swarms.
Unlike our other lakefront bug neighbors, midges, mayflies tend to cause large swarms.(WEAU)
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 8:28 AM EDT
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Ohio (WOIO) - It might be a little darker at night in some lakefront communities.

Ohio Edison said they’ve turned off streetlights in some towns along Lake Erie to avoid swarms of mayflies.

Mayflies, which typically hatch in mid to late June every year, swarm under lights and can cause hazardous driving conditions when they coat roads and bridges, FirstEnergy said.

Ohio Edison, which is owned by FirstEnergy, said they’re already started to turn off streetlights along the lakeshore in Port Clinton and will do the same in nearby towns.

“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 for FirstEnergy, said. “By turning off the streetlights near the lake over the next few months, we can help dissuade thousands, even millions, of mayflies from congregating near them.”

The streetlights will remain off until mayfly hatching season ends. Since mayflies only live for a few days, their hatching season is short.

Aside from causing slick roads, mayflies are harmless and provide fish for food and birds. They hatch when Lake Erie’s water temperature reaches around 70 degrees.

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