Michigan’s Annual Invasion of the Mayflies
They might be called ‘mayflies’ but I usually notice them in in the month of June. You can’t miss ‘em…upon hatching, they cover just about everything. I recall being down at Wampler’s Lake one summer when the mayflies hatched…lawns were COMPLETELY covered in mayflies. So much so, you couldn’t even see the grass, and that is NO exaggeration. And the birds were having a field day. They were gobbling up those mayflies left and right and would not stop. They ate so many, that their bellies bulged out and some could not even fly afterward. They just waddled around the yard.
The good thing is, whatever the birds don’t eat, the other mayflies will just die off. The adults only live for about a day. The larva live in fresh water for about a year, hatch, and die hours later. Who knows what nature’s plan is for these things. The larva eats plant materials but once hatched, the adults do not eat at all. Good to know…maybe that’s why they don’t bite us.
With only a day to live, the females lay between four hundred to three thousand eggs by sticking their ends into the water. Then they die off and the cycle begins again. Throughout the summer you’ll find their exoskeletons clinging to screen doors or the side of the house – just peel and toss!
Mayflies (also called ‘fishflies’) are not attractive – their color can be either brown, gray, or yellow and their bodies are long and thin. Average size is about an inch and there are 600 species alone in the United States. And for the limited time they are around, lake fish have tasty morsels to gulp down.
Yeah they can be a nuisance to humans – but at least they ain’t mosquitoes.
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