Thousands of mayflies are swarming around a gas station in Hendersonville, covering almost every inch of the property.
“There’s definitely millions,” Hendersonville resident Austin Byrd said about the BP on West Main Street. “It was just swarming really bad. It was like a big blur.”
The Mayflies are an unusual sight to some but not uncommon for the area.
“It happens every year, even though they’re called 'May' flies, you usually see them later in the year, like June or July,” Hendersonville resident Cliff Graves explained.
Usually, these insects are found around water where they lay their eggs, explained David Cook, an agricultural extension agent for the University of Tennessee in Davidson County.
Cook said these mayflies likely mistook the gas station’s bright lights for the moon.
“It looks like a very large, mating swarm,” Cook said.
According to Cook, mayflies don’t bite or sting. He also said the swarm won’t last long. Mayflies usually only live for about 24 hours.
“Depending on the species, they may last one day, a couple days, maybe a week,” Cook explained.
After that, all that will be left are piles of dead mayflies.
“When a single insect dies, you don’t notice an odor, but when potentially millions die, he’s going to have an odor issue these for a while,” Cook said.
Cook said the eggs from the dead Mayflies will not hatch, but it won’t harm the Mayfly population.
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