NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Masses of midge bugs have been swarming the Causeway Bridge for the past few days, impairing drivers’ visibility as they travel across Lake Pontchartrain and leaving their vehicles splattered with foul-smelling debris.
Causeway officials said Monday (June 17), that they received close to 50 calls for assistance over the weekend due to the swarms, which experts said are non-biting midges. According to Carlton Dufrechou, the Causeway’s general manager, most drivers calling for help said they couldn’t see out of their windshields. He said officers gave them water to wash their windshields if they were out of wiper fluid, but there was nothing much else they could do.
One driver shot video while headed to the Northshore Saturday night, with the bugs sounding like rain and coating the vehicle’s windshield.
Causeway manager Carlton Dufrechou said this is the worst they’ve ever seen the swarms and suggest drivers use caution until they diminish.
John Stocker frequently drives across the Causeway and said the swarms are not only a hazard, but also a mess.
“If you go through them, I mean the front of my other truck it’s completely covered. You can’t even see the paint job. It’s so thick,” Stocker said. “If you even try to use your wiper on it, it’s just bug smear. It’s bad. You have to get some sort of bug remover stuff really strong solvent to get them off.”
Durfrechou said it’s important for drivers to try not to pull over on the bridge, but if it’s absolutely necessary, to wait until you make it to a crossover spot.