It is the quintessential sound of the Mediterranean in summer, but for some French tourists the cicades of Provence are just too noisy.
Several have complained to the mayor of the picturesque village of Beausset in the southeastern Var region that the insects are ruining their holiday lie-ins.
Some had questioned village shopkeepers about how to get their hands on chemical weapons to quieten the racket made by the male cicadas as they “sing” out in search of a mate.
“Five groups have come to see me because they were being annoyed from morning to night by the sound of the cicadas,” mayor Georges Ferrero told French radio.
“They complained that the cicadas were making noise till 10 at night, and I tried to explain to them that it was the soundtrack of Provence, part of our folklore, but they wouldn’t have it.
“For them the song is an infernal noise — crac-crac-crac — and they cannot understand that it is like music to the ears of us southerners,” he added.
Ferrero said the tourists had gone looking in local shops for chemicals to use against the cicadas.
“It’s completely crazy, imagine spraying the trees under which they would to be later taking their aperitifs…”