Joe Vega, 47, a retired New York City police officer who lives in Cornwall, found the swarm so bad he had to wear goggles to chop wood in his driveway; he also had to drive with the windows tightly shut. Eventually, unwilling to simply wait out the bugs’ short life cycle, he contacted an exterminator.
But when he called First Rate Solutions Inc., a local pest-control company, he discovered that its owner, Samuel Soto, categorically refuses to kill cicadas.
“I’m very sympathetic to their plight,” said Mr. Soto, who went so far as to take out a $250 advertisement in the local paper explaining that cicadas are harmless. “I’m not going to spray for them, because they’re going to be gone in two weeks. Let them enjoy life for two weeks.”
“I could have made some money,” he added. “But it’s not the right thing to do.””