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Cicadas ground White House press plane tailing President Biden to Europe

Brood X is inescapable. This week the insects slowed down a group of reporters.

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Worse than snakes on a plane?

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Brood X cicadas are so abundant in the eastern United States they're showing up on weather radar and dictating the travel schedule of the White House press corps.

Scientists estimate trillions of the insects are filling the skies and just about every other available space after emerging from underground this spring for a mating ritual that happens just once every 17 years.

If you haven't encountered the insects in person, perhaps you've seen them interfering with TV reporters' live shots or heard about the car crash in Cincinnati reportedly caused by a cicada buzzing a driver's face.

The latest is that the winged saboteurs temporarily grounded a plane full of journalists traveling Tuesday to cover President Biden's trip to Europe. A mass of cicadas reportedly got into the engines of the White House press charter, delaying takeoff for hours, according to AP White House reporter Jonathan Lemire, who was on the flight.

After seven hours of cicada removal operations, the press corps was finally on its way to cover Biden's first overseas trip as president and, more importantly, to get a little respite from the cicada-pocalypse.