I was sitting out back the other evening when I noticed several flying insects near the pond. Upon further inspection, I realized they were mayflies.
These water insects aren’t actually flies. They’re classified as aquatic insects and are a great food source to reptiles and fish. I also often see them on the lake near the shore. Whenever I see this, I know the water is good. You see, mayflies are sensitive to pollutants and prefer fresh clean water and the nymphs (immature mayflies) feed on the organic matter and algae in the water.
Mayflies spend most of their life in the water. After mating, the male dies while the female skims across the water to lay her eggs. She will die a short time after leaving the eggs to hatch near the bottom of the water. Then around May (hence the name), mature mayflies emerge from the water to begin the mating cycle again.
Mature mayflies only live for a few days after surfacing from the water.
Now, I just don’t see these winged insects just near water, I’ve walked out my backdoor and have seen them flying around the porch light at night. I’m thankful they don’t bite or sting but they are a nuisance and by replacing my white bulb with a yellow bulb, it greatly reduced the number of flying insects around my porch lights at night. I also take preventative measures before they start.