Mayflies swarm in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, Lake Erie coast; settle in clumps on sidewalks, lights

CLEVELAND - They're back.

Those pesky skinny winged insects that love light — to the point that they swarm around it until, exhausted, they fall in heaps below street lamps in every Lake Erie shore city — are in Cleveland.

We're spotting them on buildings, sidewalks, windows and some viewers have sent some apocalyptic-looking photos, too.

Check out the video above to see what our building looks like, and send your photos and videos to

And be sure to come back to and watch Live on 5 and NewsChannel5 at 6 for Dave Arnold's full report on the critters.

Rocky River, Ohio:

Donna Hinson and her son Jon awoke to mayflies on their windows and doors Wednesday morning. Donna Hinson said she hasn't noticed them on her Rocky River home near the Rocky River Yacht Club in years. Jon Hinson said while the pests haven't been as swarmingly thick on their new home, their former residence up the hill from the Rocky River was always covered in the 24-hour-living insects.

"They just are a pest to everyone and they cling to you and get all over the place, and it's just a pain," said Jon Hinson.

Michael Small lives above businesses about half a mile from the Hinsons. He said last night he didn't see one of them.

"You didn't see them at 11 o'clock last night. I was out at 11 o'clock and never saw one and woke up this morning and the walls and all the way up Detroit Avenue and along old Depot Street here was just, just millions of them. Not thousands, millions of them. Yeah, they're everywhere," said Small.

Case Western Reserve University Assistant Professor of Biology says the overnight mayfly invasion is a good sign.

"They're a sign that Lake Erie is healthy. Up until about the 1950s the warms were even larger than they are now. Then from the '50s to the '90s is when the Lake was polluted were really small, in fact they almost not measurable. There were very few mayflies living in the Lake at that point. And then in the '90s once the Lake got cleaned up, once the pollution abatement efforts really kicked in we started to see the Mayflies coming back, so it's actually a really good thing that the mayflies are coming back. It's a sign that the Lake is healthy and the mayflies are an important source for fish. So, as the mayflies come back, the fish will come back and the Lake is slowly starting to recover," said Fox.






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