mayflies in the street at the corner of Jackson Street and Washington Row in the summer of 1940. At the very corner of the photograph the sign for Merchants Finance Co. can be seen. In 1940, Merchants Finance was located at 257 Jackson Street, between the Mahala Laundry and the First Presbyterian Church.
From the genus Hexagenia, some of the names that these insects are called include: mayflies, June bugs, or Canadian soldiers. An online article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that in Ohio, mayflies emerge from Lake Erie, fly inland and molt, and then mate and die. This process all takes place within a time span of 24 to 72 hours.
To read more about these annual invaders, see Fact Sheet 069 from the Ohio State University’s Sea Grant publications, which reassures us that the insects are harmless and can be used in composting.