‘What flamethrowers are for’: Horror as insects plague petrol station

A petrol station has left viewers on TikTok recoiling in disgust after it was overtaken by hordes of insects.

Ty Leo stopped by a petrol station in the US state of Alabama on July 4, as the US celebrated Independence Day, and uploaded video of thousands of mayflies covering the store.

“Never in my life have I ever saw this many bugs,” he captioned the video.

“Couldn’t even pump gas.”

Mayflies are pictured covering a petrol station in Alabama.
Mayflies cover a petrol station in Alabama. Source: TikTok/ Tye Leo

The bugs are seen clinging to the front door of the shop.

A boy shakes them off as he stands next to a petrol bowser.

'This made me so itchy': Viewers' horror at bug-riddled store

Viewers were less than enthused by the bugs’ appearance.

“This is what flamethrowers are for,” one man wrote.

Another man suggested sending the footage to horror author Stephen King as inspiration for his next novel.

Others asked where exactly it was filmed so they could avoid the insects.

“Ugh. This made me so itchy,” one woman wrote.

Why bugs' appearance could be 'good news'

It’s believed the bugs filmed are mayflies, also known as fishflies or shadflies.

The species lays eggs in freshwater and they attract attention because they normally appear “through mass emergences”, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

They fall prey to beetles, birds, small mammals and fish. Mayflies are generally harmless.

Their appearance can also be a good sign.

Professor Dave McShaffrey, from Ohio’s Marietta College, told WTAP the mayflies’ appearing in droves is “good news” as it shows waterways are clean.

“So, seeing them there, that's a sign that the river is in relatively good shape,” he told WTAP.

“Probably has plenty of oxygen in it.”

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