More than noise: Cicadas cause car trouble, AAA warns

Cicadas were interesting when they were starting to emerge, but now that they have been around for a few weeks, they could be becoming a nuisance or even a danger.

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But it is not the noise they emit. Rather it is the insects themselves that are causing the problems.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said the bugs are attracted to heat, which can make them fly towards a vehicle. Too many can block airflow and actually lead to a car overheating, WTTG reported.

“While cicadas are harmless, they can cause quite a bit of damage externally and internally to vehicles,” Melvin Escobar told WTTG. “Drivers are urged to take proactive steps to protect their vehicles while cicadas are in the area.”

>>Related: Cicada strikes driver’s face, causes single-car crash in Ohio, police say

Escobar said drivers should make sure windshield wipers are working and the wiper fluid is full. He said to clean the car’s grill and to make sure the cabin and air filters are clean, WTTG reported.

Cicadas even delayed a flight to the UK for the White House press corps last week, an Associated Press reporter wrote on Twitter.

The insects also leave a mess behind when they hit the windshield.

The Washington Post reported that the cicada splatter can actually damage a car’s clear coat if it is not washed off and instead bakes on the vehicle.

Car detailers said you can use carwash soap but you may need a bug and tar remover, followed by carnauba wax if the splatter is on a vehicle’s body. For headlights, you may want to try Mothers Chrome Polish. For windshields, glass cleaner.

>>Related: People with seafood allergies should avoid eating cicadas, FDA warns

For more tips on how to get the guts cleaned off, click here.

Luckily, the cicada swarm of 2021 is almost over. But before the bugs burrow into the ground, there are two more phases in their life cycle.

After they lay the eggs in trees, the adults will die, Smithsonian Magazine reported.

Then after the nymphs hatch, they will rain down and crawl into the ground for their 17-year development cycle.