Mayflies (Aquatic Insects)
Don’t let the “flies” portion of this insect’s name fool you; they begin their life underwater! The majority of this insect’s life will be spent underwater until it reaches adulthood. Adults leave the water to mate and live anywhere from two days to a week. During mating, swarms of mayflies are known to pile up on surfaces and roads, coating them in a mat of living insects. This makes this insect more of a nuisance, with rare cases of car accidents caused by a lack of visibility from buildup of mayflies on windshields windshields.
Mayflies do not attack people and will not sting or bite. The sheer numbers of these insects during their mating season can cause problems for drivers and annoy homeowners whose houses are coated in bugs. The dead bodies and shed skins of mayflies can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.
These aquatic insects represent an interesting type of bug, one that lives both below and above ground. Despite this fact the only real habitat or home for mayflies is blow the surface of freshwater, as this is where they will spend the majority of their lives.
They can be found in freshwater streams or rivers, but are difficult to spot unless you know what to look for. In this ecosystem they are quite important, and often serve as food to fish, birds, spiders, and bullfrogs.
With a large part of their lives underwater as you can imagine mayflies have adapted to the types of meals available. They have quite a taste for underwater plant life, especially algae and various tiny particles of organic matter.
Types of Mayflies
When in the nymph stage mayflies are narrow, wingless, and a light brown color. Some variations of the species has yellow and black spots along its exoskeleton, and all have two or three tail like appendages. This combination makes them look vaguely like shrimp, but only until they develop completely. Once adults their transparent wings extend and they leave the water a slightly lighter color.
Commonly described as: shadflies, lakeflies
Mayflies In The Home & The Apartment
Mayflies are a particular nuisance pest for those who live near the lakes and streams where they live and breed. Mayflies may cluster on houses and buildings during mating, becoming an annoyance to homeowners. They may also cover roads, making it difficult and dangerous to drive. Some people also have allergic reactions to the shed skin and dead bodies of mayflies, which dry up and crumble, and become airborne.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aquatic Insects
How do you prevent a mayfly infestation?
Prevention is typically not possible (given the large number of insects during mating) but it is further not a good idea. They are an important part of the ecosystem; one that many other creatures have grown to depend on.
The nuisance of mayflies is typically only present for the one or two weeks a year in the springtime when adulthood is reached and mating begins. After that it’s back to their eggs and underwater development.
Always be careful when operating vehicles in areas heavily coated in mayflies, as they may decrease visibility, or traction on the roads. Aside from that, these are not an invasive, aggressive, or threatening species, and can be left alone in most scenarios.
Benefits of Professional Mayfly Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a mayfly problem. Finding and treating the mayflies can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the mayfly infestation.