Daily Herald opinion: Love them or hate them, the great cicada craze has had people buzzing

What is it about an insect that fascinates us so much?

What is it about an insect that disgusts us so much?

Of course, we’re talking about the 17-year cicada, whose emergence has captivated the suburbs with its beauty, beady red eyes and constant noise.

Suburban businesses have embraced the craze with decorated cookies, infused drinks, specialized merchandise and themed art. And kids who weren’t around 17 years ago have been enchanted by their arrival.

There’s something interesting about a bug that is so patient, timely, determined and abundant. The periodic visitor is both mysterious and enthralling, yet repulsive to so many.

You’ve probably spotted some of these differing opinions on social media.

There are photos celebrating cicadas’ stunning wings, rare blue eyes and shedding skin. But many have also said their summer has been ruined, and they are anxiously awaiting the insects’ departure. If that’s you, you’re probably NOT looking for tips on how to preserve their carcasses once they disappear. Because, yes, that’s a real thing.

People have bonded over their affection for or loathing of them ever since these 17-year cicadas were a trending topic months before appearing this spring.

We, too, have embraced the craze, publishing our fair share of timely cicada stories and pictures. And we bet you’ve had numerous conversations with friends and family about who has the most, how to avoid them and when they will leave.

Maybe you’re even like North Aurora resident Bettina Sailer who has gone to great lengths to enjoy the cicadas. After having no cicadas in her yard 17 years ago, she took matters into her own hands, brought the bugs to her yard and now has 6,000 of them flying around her property.

Over 800 people commented on our Facebook post about Sailer, and it was fascinating to read such differing opinions. So. Many. Opinions.

Sailer relocated cicadas, and while some feel she disrupted the ecosphere, others relate to her love for the critters.

We’re not sure why such passion exists for a bug, but we do recognize how the phenomenon has connected people, for better or worse.

People are talking, comparing, sharing, educating, photographing and enjoying nature. Many like Sailer adore the cicadas and have found so much joy during their visit. Others can’t wait for them to leave, and we’re here for those feelings, too.

However you feel, the 17-year cicadas will leave us soon. Some people will rejoice, some will lament. But know this — the annual variety will be here before you know it, stirring emotions and reminding us that the circle of life continues whether we embrace it or not.

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