Waddington, Massena and the Great Bug Attack

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We weren’t particularly inspired on Victoria Day, so we decided to simply take a drive to the U.S. And instead of heading to Alexandria Bay as usual, we went east towards Massena.

The weather was gorgeous, and so was the light. We crossed the international bridge easily, stopped at the usual supermarket in Ogdensburg to stock up on whatever is cheaper in the U.S. (some cosmetics, food, etc.) and took the NY-37E.

We immediately commented on how smooth the road was—our roads in Canada can be bumpy, especially after a cold winter.

And that’s when we witnessed the Great Bug Attack.

We felt a bug hitting the car, then two, three, four, five… within minutes, dead bugs were dotting the windshield. They were bigger than mosquitoes but smaller and thinner than flies—no idea what they were, and I had never seen that many.

Twenty miles later, we stopped in Waddington, or rather a small campground right before the town.

The bugs followed us. We could see the swarms clearly now that we were driving slowly. They were just about everywhere: hovering above the grass, the water, resting on cars… It felt like being in a bad horror movie—and you guessed it, Feng and I were probably cast as the two dummies on a short road trip who stumble upon a new deadly species of mutant bugs engineered by the NASA and the CIA.

“I want to take a picture!” I begged.

Yeah, well, like I said I was trying to act like the dumb actress who dies first in horror flicks.

We carefully stepped out of the car and stood on the shore, facing the St Lawrence and Canada.

“Look, it’s not so bad,” I said. “The bugs don’t actually bug us—okay, yes they do, shit they do!”

We ran back to the car and paused for a minute to make sure the bugs didn’t follow us.

We drove away.

Once in Waddington, we figured it was safe to park and we decided to inspect the car. The front, including the license plate, was covered with dead bugs. They were even inside the hood, close to the engine!

Unbelievable. I don’t know where all these bugs came from, but we had never seen that, including in the Tropics!

Waddington was lovely though—a small sleepy town with many churches and friendly people. We drove all the way to Massena, a much bigger place than Waddington but with a small town feel as well.

And you’ll be happy to know that we didn’t bring any mutant bugs back to Canada, except for the dead ones on the license plate.

You can see the complete set of pictures taken in the U.S.A on Flickr.

See the swarm of bugs?

Dirty Windshield

The Front of the Car

Bugs Everywhere...

American Flag

Town Clock in Massena










Going to Massena







About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. There are some small somewhat dark butterflies flying low to the ground (and on roads) smashing into cars in Ontario this year but I have no idea what kind of bugs you ran into (so to speak). Not so nice having to remove the dead bodies from the car.

    • Windshield liquid came in handy to clean the car afterwards! It was a bit crazy but at least the bugs didn’t bite or anything.

  2. Wow, that’s the first time I have heard of a bug attack. I always find it amusing when bugs cannot navigate their way out of their death, but the immense number of those that bumped on to your car was just something else!

  3. Here in Oklahoma we have Mayflies that swarm like that. The immature insect lives in lakes and ponds in great quantities then emerges as an adult to mate and die. They form huge clouds and make a terrible mess on auto windshields and around lights in the evening. They don’t usually travel far from the body of water that is home to the. Sometimes they swarm in such numbers that they cause auto accidents by covering windshields with mashed bug, and coat the road to the extent that is gets slick. They only live one day. They don’t eat anything, in fact they do not have a working mouth. They only live for sex. Sound like anyone you know? Google Mayflies if you want pictures and more info. I bet those are your bugs.

    • Thank you for your explanation, and you know what, you are probably right. I’m not that great at telling bugs apart (but I bet they can’t tell us apart either!) but it looks like our suckers. Good guess, Bill!

  4. Hi Zhu,
    A bug attack! Wow, you guys were bombed! It must be getting really hot to have them infest like that.
    Yes, a horror film scenario!

    I remember once on a country road in France. D drove through a swarm of bees. They just flew into our windshield! It was pretty freaky and luckily, we werent stung by one(or more) coming through the window.

    • Yuck, bees! Beautiful insects (and I love honey!) but I keep my distance! Must have been scary, you were lucky you didn’t get sting.

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