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Residents of town buried in mayflies turn to leafblowers to remove bodies

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Residents of an Ohio town had an unusual spring cleaning task to do: remove swarms of dead mayflies.

Using leaf blowers and other means, residents were faced with clearing sidewalks, buildings, windows, walls and entrances, among other areas around town that were covered with the insects.

In some cases, the coating of insect remains was thick enough to appear solid.

Resident Blake Wellman posted video of efforts to clear off piles of the dead bugs in front of his store in Port Clinton, Ohio.

“They’ve been blown off and everything, but they’re still… these ones are stuck there because someone ran them over," Wellman said in a video from June 10, as he showed the door frame and stoop of his business covered with mayflies. “I already came through here and got them off the windows, so it doesn’t look terrible… but yeah tomorrow it’ll be just as thick.

"They're just, like, everywhere. ... It's crazy."

Mayflies are known to be attracted to light sources. The town's street lights weren't turned off in time during mating season this year, according to local reports.  

The grey, yellow or brown insects have long abdomens and are active during the warmer spring and summer months, according to the National Wildlife Federation, a U.S. conservation organization.

Mayflies can be as large as 1.1 inches (2.8 centimetres) long, and spend most of their lives in water, where they lay their eggs and live as nymphs for about a year. They only live for about a day as adults, according to the organization.

Other insect invasions have made headlines south of the border recently, including periodical cicadas so loud in some areas that people called 911. And large, colourful "parachute" spiders have been appearing in the southeastern United States and could be heading for Canada next, though it's uncertain when they may arrive.

With files from Storyful's Zoe Antoun

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