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No That’s Not Smoke, It’s a ‘Bug Tornado’ in Northern Michigan

michigan bug tornado 1
Dana Burson Lafrenz via Facebook

There is probably a more scientific term for a sky blackened by a giant swarm of insects. But I’m going to call this a ‘bug tornado.’

This incredible photo was captured recently on M-35 between Menominee and Escanaba along the shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.

A user on the You’re Not Up North Until You Cross the Mackinac Bridge Facebook group shared this story along with the photo,

My son took this picture on Friday afternoon east of Menominee on the way towards Escanaba along M-35 right along Lake Michigan. Saw several batches of these (yes, they are bugs), and I’d like to know what kind of bugs. Too cold for Mayflies I think, and not the right color? Mostly I drove under them, but some did hit the window that were lower. I originally thought someone was burning something and we were going to drive through smoke, that’s how thick these were.

The responses to the photo say they are midge bugs:

They travel in swarms. Look like a giant mosquito. Life cycle is 6 weeks…

they don’t hurt you. Just Just a nuisance…very soft…they smear if you try to brush them to use a leaf blower to clear them…

Yup, midges! They swarm along the shoreline. Harmless, but very greasy and annoying!

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Midges are a constant and on-going fact of life in Northern Michigan.

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