Holidaymakers ask French mayor to kill off ‘loud’ cicadas in name of peace and quiet

Holidaymakers in southeastern France have sparked the ire of a local mayor with their complaints over the loud noise made by the area's cicada population.

Holidaymakers ask French mayor to kill off 'loud' cicadas in name of peace and quiet
Cicada. Photo: Stephen Michael Barnett/Flickr
For many it's a noise that evokes pleasant memories of summer holidays and something which adds to, rather than diminishes, the pleasure of weeks spent in the south of France. 
But it seems this isn't the case for everyone. 
In fact, two tourists holidaying in the town of Beausset in the Var department of Provence saw fit to take their grievance to the top and complain about the loud noise made by the cicadas to the mayor. 
“Tourists have challenged me about them because it [the noise] makes their blood boil,” mayor of Beausset, Georges Ferrero, told France Bleu Provence. 
The mayor added that when the noise just got too much for the tourists, they tried putting water on the trees to stop the cicadas singing their famous song.
Beausset. Photo: Binabik155/Wikicommons
And he isn't happy about it, to say the least — especially after they went as far as to ask if insecticide could be used to kill them off. 
“They asked me if I have any insecticides to put on the trees? And how to get rid of cicadas,” the mayor said.  
“It's dreadful. I was very shocked. When we come to the south, we know that there are cicadas. We are proud to have them!”
Despite the insistence of the tourists, whose nationality has not been reported, no follow-up was given to their request, which provoked strong reactions from locals in Beausset. 
Nevertheless, these are not the first holidaymakers up in arms about the loud buzz made by cicadas — in 2016, tourists lodged a complaint against the noise in Bouches-du-Rhône.
And it's not just unwanted insect clamour which has been known to irritate tourists in the French countryside. 
Earlier in August, an angry holidaymaker who wanted a lie-in asked the mayor of the village she was staying in to delay the church bells from ringing early in the morning so that she could sleep in.
Tourist asks village mayor to silence church bells during her two-week holiday

Member comments

  1. These people make MY blood boil.If they don’t want to accept the wildlife and traditions, such as church bells, then don’t holiday in the country.
    Stay in your own little city cocoon and allow us, who appreciate where we live, to enjoy the ambience of our chosen part of France.
    Personally, I love to hear the changes of seasons with the Frogs and Cicadas singing their hearts out.
    I LOVE IT HERE! If you don’t, then clear off.

  2. Every place has its own unique noises. When we lived in Paris, it was the constant sound of ambulance sirens, the truck emptying the glass recycle bins at 3:00 a.m., and people screaming outside all night long. Who are you going to complain to? It is what it is. Enjoy the good parts and ignore the bad.

    I personally feel sad when the cicadas start, because it signals the end of summer. But at the same time, I love their sound.

  3. Another thumbs up for Leon. Those people make my blood boil. I think the Charente is too far north for the cicadas but we loved them when we lived on our boat in the south. Now we have a pond with a loud and proud population of frogs.

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Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.