The Cicadas Want To Fly White House Press Planes Now

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock (12047582c) President Joe Biden, with a brood X cicada on his back, walks to board Air Force One upon departure, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism Biden, Andrews Air Force Base, United States – 09 Jun 2021
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock (12047582c) President Joe Biden, with a brood X cicada on his back, walks to board Air Force One upon departure, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is embarking on the first overseas trip of his term, and is eager to reassert the United States on the world stage, steadying European allies deeply shaken by his predecessor and pushing democracy as the only bulwark to the rising forces of authoritarianism Biden, Andrews Air Force Base, United States – 09 Jun 2021

So you thought you could re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic this summer and live your best, hot vax summer? Well, the cicadas have other plans and no one is safe from their buzzing about — not even the president. A White House press plane that was scheduled to carry dozens of journalists from D.C. to Europe to cover President Joe Biden’s first trip abroad was delayed several hours Tuesday evening after a swarm of cicadas took over.

That’s right, the mob of giant Brood X cicadas, which makes an appearance every 17 years after rising from the ground, delayed the press plane after the insects filled its engines, causing mechanical issues. The plane was scheduled to take off at 9 p.m., with the departure first delayed until 11, and then again until 2:15 a.m. Eventually, White House aides had to find another plane for the reporters.

With billions of cicadas screaming their way across the eastern U.S. and the Midwest, it seemed perhaps inevitable that they would find their way into a plane’s engine. Earlier this week, a cicada was responsible for a car accident in Cincinnati when it flew through an open window and hit the driver in the face. The driver crashed into a utility pole, but luckily sustained only minor injuries. The cicada was not so lucky.

The creatures even came after the president Wednesday morning as he prepared to board Air Force One. Biden had to physically swat a cicada off his neck, joking to reporters, “Watch out for the cicadas.” Good one, Mr. President. And after a night of delays, reporters are probably well aware of the need to be on the lookout for the horny little monsters.

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Over the past month, the cicadas have made their presence known across the D.C. area, with swarms popping up all over town. While they are mostly harmless — unless they find a way into your car or plane — the Brood X cicadas are known for the loud screams they make while they mate and lay new eggs before dying. They’re also known for their bright-red eyes and for appearing in the hot summer months.

People living in D.C. and its surrounding areas, like Maryland and Virginia, might be pretty used to the cicadas at this point, after seeing a surge in recent weeks. But not only are the cicadas swarming, screaming, and mating, they’re also peeing on everyone. That’s right, that light rain you felt during your walk under some trees was actually not rain at all. Nature is healing, remember?

Rest assured, the cicadas should be gone by the end of July — until they return in their next horny cycle. We can’t wait.

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