A plane carrying dozens of journalists preparing to take off from Washington, D.C., to cover President Biden’s first trip abroad was delayed for several hours Tuesday evening.
A swarm of cicadas was evidently looking to hitch a ride to Europe with the press corps.
A horde of Brood X cicadas had filled the plane's engines, causing mechanical issues that delayed takeoff. Eventually, White House aides had to find another plane for reporters to make it overseas, according to The Associated Press.
The White House press charter, flying from Dulles to Europe ahead of President Biden, has been delayed for hours - due to mechanical issues caused by cicadas— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 9, 2021
The creepy critters that arise from the ground every 17 years are at their peak of mating season from the East Coast to the Midwest. In their few weeks above ground, they've caused quite the nuisance for pets and humans alike.
Their cacophonous noise aside, the big-eyed bugs have been blamed for causing digestive issues in pets and were blamed for a single-car crash in Cincinnati this week. A bug flew through an open window, hitting the Cincinnati driver in the face and causing them to crash into a utility pole, according to local police. The driver sustained minor injures but totaled the car.
In Washington, D.C., swarms of the flying insects even appeared as "fuzziness," usually reserved for light rain or snow, on weather radar over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
You may have noticed a lot of fuzziness (low reflectivity values) on our radar recently. The Hydrometeor Classification algorithm shows much of it to be Biological in nature. Our guess? It's probably the #cicadas. pic.twitter.com/i990mEBJnl— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 5, 2021
Until the adult cicadas die after mating at the end of July, it might be safer to avoid cars and airplanes.
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