More Traffic Stopping Insects


Colorado is having a record season for caddisflies. Caddisflies live underwater as larvae and fly as adults. This year the large numbers of caddisflies are causing problems for some motorists. The swarms of caddisflies collide with cars. They are small enough to move through grills and stick to radiators. The radiator transfers heat from the engine coolant to the surrounding air. A layer of caddisflies can insulate the radiator and prevent the heat from dissipating. This can cause cars to overheat and damage the engine.

KJCT TV in Grand Junction Colorado is reporting numerous incidences of overheating and engine damage from caddisflies this year. Motorists in the area who notice that their air conditioning is not working properly or that their engine is running hot should check the outside of the radiator. Cleaning the dead insects off the radiator keeps the cars from overheating. Fortunately for motorists, the peak flight season for these caddisfly swarms only lasts a few weeks.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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