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PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/24/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ugly, thorny insects sweep out of the Mississippi River to fly and mate

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in this article.

When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/24/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Mayflies, Wisconsin, Mississippi River, infestation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This past weekend in La Crosse, Wisconsin, saw almost every available space being covered with disgusting black mayflies.

The massive swarm of mayflies, an "emergence" of them, was partially expected by meteorologists. Mayfly nymphs spend a year or two in the Mississippi River, munching on organic decay. When summer arrives, they take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

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Just how many mayflies are there? Enough that they show up on weather radar:

"The Mississippi River produced a massive radar echo as mayflies emerged from the water and became airborne. The mayflies were detectable on radar around 8:45 p.m. -- The radar loop below shows the reflected radar energy (reflectivity) from 8:35 pm to just after midnight. The higher the values indicate greater concentrations of flies."

The recent emergence was so large people were comparing it to the last Biblical-style, the one in 2012. The recent horde of flies was so dense it may have triggered a multivehicle car wreck.

In that incident, police in the town of Trenton say a large hatch of mayflies may have triggered a three-vehicle crash on a Wisconsin road.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the road had become slick from the mayflies, at least one of the drivers involved in the crash lost control of her vehicle. They also said visibility was limited at the time of the crash due to the massive cloud of mayflies in the air.

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