Streetlights in Lake Erie communities to go dark for ‘weeks’ to deter mayfly swarms

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Edison is taking proactive measures to keep roads near the Lake Erie shoreline safe during the mayfly hatching season.

The utility company said that select streetlights along Port Clinton’s lakeshore are being intentionally shut off at night to deter swarms of mayflies from accumulating.

Streetlight service in other nearby Lake Erie communities in northern Ohio will also be suspended “over the next few weeks” throughout the hatching season, which could last until September.

Officials said mayflies can create hazardous driving conditions when they gather in large numbers along roadways and bridges.

“Many people don’t realize these flies create a safety issue because their carcasses contain an oily substance that makes the surfaces they coat very slick, especially when it rains,” Nick Katsaros, an external affairs consultant for FirstEnergy, said. “By turning off the streetlights near the lake over the next few months, we can help dissuade thousands, even millions, of mayflies from congregating near them.”

Mayflies typically begin to emerge from the Lake Erie mud beginning in June and can live for up to 72 hours.

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