Brood x Cicadas wreaked havoc for the president and journalists as soon as they left the US on their first overseas trip.
Journalists traveling to the United Kingdom for US President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip were delayed by seven hours after his chartered plane was crushed by cicadas.
Even Biden was not spared. The president brushes a cicada from the back of his neck while chatting with his Air Force greeter after arriving at Joint Base Andrews for Wednesday’s flight.
“Watch out for the sobs,” Biden told reporters then. “I just got one. It just got me.”
The Washington, D.C. area is one of several parts of the country that are home to swarms of Brood x cicadas, a large emergence of vigorous insects that dive-bomb moving vehicles and unknown passers-by. There are trillions of them in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area, said entomologist Paula Shrewsbury of the University of Maryland. Their current numbers have not been seen in 17 years.
When Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Guatemala on Sunday, Air Force Two also tried to get the bugs away. The cicada was caught hiding in the folds of the shirts of a Secret Service agent and a photographer, and ejected from the plane before takeoff.
Entomologists said that cicadas — which sing with science-fiction-sounding hums to attract mates — are attracted to other noises. The same can happen with aircraft.
Shrewsbury said, “The loud machine-made noise fools the cicada who interprets the noise as a cicada chorus they want to join in and they fly towards it.” “I’ve noticed that when airplanes fly over my house, cicadas increase their chorus sound level, potentially competing with aircraft noise.”
It was unclear how the cicadas disrupted the mechanics of the press aircraft. Weather and crew comfort issues also contributed to the flight delay late Tuesday. Ultimately, the aircraft was swapped for another, and the flight took off shortly after 04:00 EDT (08:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
“Well, why wouldn’t the cicada want to go to the UK with the President of the United States?” asked entomologist Mike Raup of the University of Maryland. From time to time cicadas occur mostly in the United States, with two small exceptions in Asia. They are not in Europe. at least not yet.
This isn’t the first time cicadas have created havoc or political fodder for a presidential program.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt, known for a loud voice, nearly drowned in an address at Arlington National Cemetery.
Twenty-five years later – five cicada cycles – President Ronald Reagan A. In radio address Talked about how Washington got over and compared harmless flying insects to big spenders.
“I think most everyone would agree, things will be more enjoyable when the cicada goes underground,” Reagan said.
In a 2004 attack ad, Republicans attacked Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, now Biden’s special climate adviser, comparing him to noisy cicadas that disappear.
Three previous White House residents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — had run out with strange house flies, said entomologist May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois. And then there’s the fly that sat on Vice President Mike Pence’s head last year during a live vice-presidential debate, she said.