Mayflies. Ugh.

I visited Cedar Point Wednesday, got there bright and early after leaving Columbus around 6a, and was looking forward to a full day of beautiful weather and lots of rides. However-...

I parked in the back and since I had a few minutes decided to walk along the boardwalk to the gate by Windseeker. I wanted to change my shirt and had to pee so I went to the restroom between Lighthouse Point and Soak City and stopped dead in my tracks outside the door. The entire side of the building was covered with mayflies, they were all over the screen door and I could barely see the handle. Turns out that wasn't the half of it.

On my way behind Breakers I was astonished to see the young men hosing and scooping up bugs from the sidewalks. Buckets full. The lovely pale yellow of The Breakers was black in some areas with swarms of bugs. All along the pool areas they crunched under my feet. Lakeside Pavilion had gone from creamy white and yellow to sepia brown. Windseeker's arms were covered with bugs and they were all over the seats. Ride ops were trying to clean. All the while they landed on my clothes, legs, hair, and ears. I did the dance a couple of times trying to swat them away.

I don't want to say my day was ruined, but kind of. I avoided all rides along the beach side. The middle of the park was better, and rides like MF and Rougarou didn't result in me with a mouthful, but still...
I wondered how Maverick was that day, but I'll never know as the ride went down when I was next to board. Skyhawk was ok, but when I stopped into the Town Hall I noticed the entire front and side of the building was covered. The gentleman in the museum (I forget his name, he's been there a long time) confirmed my thought- the mayfly invasion along central and western Lake Erie is one of the worst ever. In 50+ years of visiting the park and four years of living there I've never seen it so bad.

I had planned to stay until park close and watch Luminosity for the first time ever then stay the night, but when early evening started to set in the swarms were terrible. I couldn't bear the thought of watching those kids suck bugs in while they were trying to sing so I got in my truck and headed for home. I'd had enough.

The next day I looked it up and reports were that, indeed, it's one of the worst mayfly seasons in a long time. Swarms over the water are even visible on doplar radar they're so thick. In Port Clinton its so bad they're using snow shovels to remove them. I guess it's a sign of a healthy lake, but no thanks. I felt like I was crawling the whole way home.

So I could've gone to the Trip Report section to write about wait times, rides being down, Rougarou's head banging, souvenir cups, meal deals, the coaster wall, or Maverick's new restraints, but I decided to do this instead. It's the one and only thing that will stand out in my mind about this trip.


Last edited by RCMAC,
Kevinj's avatar

Don't they know it's June?

But seriously, gross. And yes, Mark Johnson (Channel 5) up here gets a lot of delight at showing the Mayflies on the radar every night. I have always been curious if Cedar Point has ever had any type of "defense" set up for this, or if such a thing is even deemed ecologically ethical or legal.

That just sounds...terrible.

Promoter of fog.

Jeff's avatar

The mayflies are more gross than the midges (muffleheads) in my opinion, because they smell terrible and just die everywhere.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Top_Thrill_Tyler's avatar

It definitely does seem worse this year with the infestations of mayflies. Not so much the muffleheads but the sheer amount of mayflies around this time of year is incredible. Hard to believe that for a long time in the not too distant past the lake was not healthy enough to support them and they didn't exist in the region at all. I'm a little too young to remember a mayfly-less Cedar Point in June but I imagine it was much more enjoyable walking around at night and not hearing bugs crunching under you with each step.

-Tyler A-

They make a fun sound when you walk over them or just listening to cars pull out of the parking lot... They snap, crackle and pop! :)


TTD6262's avatar

Ugh I picked the wrong weekend to make a trip down to the Point if it's as bad as you say :(

Thabto's avatar

I'll be there on Sunday. I'll just try not to scream on coasters, don't want to eat bugs.

Valravn Rides: 24| Steel Vengeance Rides: 27| Dragster Rollbacks: 1

Coco's avatar

My family lived in Catawba Island in 1996-1997, moved from MI, and I remember the first year we lived there being exactly as you just described it this year. Mayflies covered every single inch of every building and being young and never having seen them before, I was so disgusted. It seems like they have been bad years after, but nowhere near as terrible as that first year we lived there. Sounds like something similar again this year. Ew. I'm headed to OH at the end of the week...hoping most of them will have come on land and died by then.

Pete's avatar

I've seen pictures of people in Port Clinton removing mayflies from sidewalks and driveways with snow shovels, the were so deep on the ground.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

They also said that the mayflies will be around a few weeks longer due to the past two extreme cold winters.

Yayyy. Fantastic.

I got there last night around 6 until close and they really weren't that bad. They were there, but they weren't attacking any people or interfering with any rides that I was on.

I grew up around the lake. We always called them Junebugs. When did they become Mayflies? Aren't they a little late to be Mayflies?

Kevinj's avatar

Your parents are liars.





Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

Need you go on? Yes, just to see how far you will go.

If my parents were liars so were the neighbors, my friends, the pastor, and anyone else who lived back "in the day." They were always called Junebugs or Canadian Soldiers. When they returned a few years ago they started calling them Mayflies.

We always knew June Bugs as those huge beetles that greet you on your stoop, blocking your door in the summer. Just sayin'.

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, same here. Mayflies were always, uh, mayflies.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Kevinj's avatar

But the pastor...say it isn't so...

Promoter of fog.

And hey, I'm from back "in the day"....

I think Cedar Point and the new Sweet Shop should capitalize on this with some yummy "Mayfly Crunch", "June Bug Crackle" and some "Mufflehead Marshmallows". You know the lemons/lemonade idea?

Last edited by 45Wheelgun,

Cedar Point guest since 1974

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