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Monroe Welcomes the Mayfly
by R. White

The arrival of the Mayfly, more commonly known as the Fishfly, is an annual occurrence in Monroe, Michigan, and each summer residents welcome the bug-eyed little critters with closed mouths and stomping feet. A friendlier welcome would result in a mouthful of the not-so-tasty insects, a delicacy most would rather not sample.

Out come the cleaning supplies, the swimming pool covers, and the flyswatters. The prudent store away their outdoor furniture and mend ripped window screens. Busy festival organizers busily organize festivals in honor of the harmless winged creatures and children catch and play with them. We'd rather the insects pick another vacation spot, but we try to make the best of it since it appears as if they really like it here.

They could just as aptly be called StickyFlies, as they stick to absolutely anything that they come in contact with. Cars, people, buildings...even our statue of General George Custer is not immune, for the fishfly is no respecter of persons.

Newcomers may be fooled into thinking that perhaps the stories about them have been exaggerated, but the natives know that the few fishflies that present themselves in mid-June are just scouting out the area for all their friends and families. These pioneers will soon send the all clear message back to the rest of the tribe and before you know it, the whole town will be literally blanketed in them.

While they seem to like the beaches of Lake Erie the best, no place near water is safe. Creeks, puddles, swamps, the river, ponds, and quarries are also popular hatching spots. During the worse part of the invasion, it can be hard to determine the color of a home near one of these hatcheries because the flies cover every inch of the outside. Parking lots and streets appear to be alive, covered in wriggling bodies that crunch when walked or driven on.

Fortunately, they don't hang around for long, and are harmless if you can ignore their rotting fish-like stench. The crunchy sound made underfeet isn't really so bad, and the bugs do not bite or eat any crops. However, I would advise the more squeamish out of town visitors to come experience our nice little town before the Fishflies arrive!