CINCINNATI (WJW) – The Cincinnati Police Department is warning drivers to keep their windows closed after cicadas were blamed for a recent car accident.
A man was driving Monday evening when he went through a swarm of cicadas. Police said one of the insects flew into the car, hit the driver in the face and temporarily stunned him. He crashed into a utility pole.
He was wearing a seatbelt and did not suffer serious injuries, but police said his car is likely totaled.
“Remember to keep your windows rolled up until our little red-eyed friends are gone,” the police department said.
The Brood X cicadas awaken every 17 years, and they are emerging by the billions, if not trillions, in 15 states in the East and Midwest. They are centered around Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana and eastern Tennessee.
When they emerge from the soil, they shed their exoskeletons on trees and walls, leaving husks in their wake. They don’t sting or bite and are not toxic to pets in small numbers.
And they can go everywhere: trees, doorsteps, sidewalks, cars and even on people who don’t shoo them away.
In addition, their cacophonous mating song can drown out the noise of passing jets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.