CINCINNATI — As the cicadas start to poke their beady red eyes out of the ground, people across the Midwest are getting creative to avoid the 17-year nuisances.
Cincinnati residents Jane Pyron and Billie Mays both remember when the Brood X cicadas emerged in 2004 and 1987, and they don't want to repeat those experiences.
"I was not prepared," Mays said.
"I was horrified," Pyron said. "I'd never seen anything like it."
In the last few weeks, they have been looking for ways to avoid coming into contact with the bugs.
Both went to Amazon and spotted an umbrella with a "sneeze guard full-body cover." The item, which ranged in price between $50 and $100, looks like an umbrella with a clear plastic shield that reaches all the way to the ground.
Pyron and Mays decided to craft their own gear for a fraction of the cost.
"I was like, I can make that," Pyron said.
"I had a whole bunch of umbrellas. I went and bought some cheap shower curtains, some tape and I think we're going to do some glue, maybe some Velcro," Mays said. "I think it's halfway good."
At first, some people stared or laughed at Mays and Pyron for their gear, but now people are asking for similar equipment.
"I've had people that have laughed at me, like my daughter, that now wants me to make her one," Mays said. "I have a whole bunch of people that now want to buy these. I don't know that I'll be making them, but maybe somebody will make them."
This story was originally published by Ally Kraemer on Scripps station WCPO in Cincinnati.