The annual wave of fish flies, also known as mayflies, has arrived in communities on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.
The insects could be seen lining the pier, picnic tables and sidewalks in Gimli and surrounding communities Tuesday.
“Yesterday I was just covered in them, I went home my car was covered in them. You couldn’t get them off yourself, all over the cottage all over the cars,” cottager Tracee Mellon told Global News.
Read more: Fish flies descend on Interlake
“There was quite a few of them the other day, I’ve seen worse, I’ve seen more fish flies but this year wasn’t too bad,” Gimli Mayor Lynn Greenberg said.
The bugs don’t last long, however, entomologists say they only live for about 24 hours. Mayor Greenberg says RM workers are already cleaning them up.
“I’m sure by Friday there won’t be any around,” he said. “They’re only here for four or five days.”
Several people that spoke to Global News said they don’t seem to mind the bugs, and understand that they’re just part of Lake Winnipeg in July.
Entomologist Taz Stuart says although they may be an inconvenience for some, the insects provide ample food for fish and are a sign of the overall health of the lake.
“When you have mass numbers emerging off the lake it does indicate a healthier ecosystem,” Stuart said. “That’s the only feeding stage for them. They sit in the water for a year or two, depending on species type, and they’re showing that there is a healthy ecosystem in place or in the areas they are emerging there is cleaner, better water.”