Carolyn Kaster / AP
A plane carrying dozens of journalists preparing to take off from Washington, DC to cover President Biden’s first trip abroad was delayed for several hours Tuesday night.
A swarm of cicadas apparently sought to drive a trip to Europe with the press corps.
A horde of Brood X cicadas had filled the aircraft’s engines, causing mechanical problems that delayed takeoff. Eventually, White House aides had to find another plane for journalists to get out into the world, according to Associated Press.
White House press charter flying from Dulles to Europe ahead of President Biden has been delayed for hours – due to mechanical problems caused by cicadas
– Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 9, 2021
The spooky creatures that emerge from the earth every 17 years are at their highest mating season from the east coast to the Midwest. Within a few weeks above ground, they have caused quite a nuisance to both pets and humans.
Their cacophony noise aside, the big eye bugs have been accused of causing digestive problems in pets and were responsible for a single-car accident in Cincinnati this week. A bug flew through an open window, hitting the Cincinnati driver in the face, causing them to collide with the aid rod, according to local police. The driver sustained minor injuries but assembled the car.
In Washington DC, swarms of flying insects even appeared as “haze,” usually reserved for light rain or snow, on weather radars this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
You may have noticed a lot of turbidity (low reflection values) on our radar recently. The hydrometeor classification algorithm shows that much of it is biological. Our guess? It’s probably #cicadas. pic.twitter.com/i990mEBJnl
– NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) June 5, 2021
Until the adult cicadas die after mating in late July, it may be safer to avoid cars and planes.