Uckfield residents ‘bombarded’ by flies from sewage works

Residents of an East Sussex town has been plagued with flies from a nearby sewage treatment plant.  Over 600 residents have signed a petition calling for action to be taken to control the repeated outbreak of flies. Southern Water said treatment works across the country were experiencing problems with large numbers of flies. Pesticides had proven ineffective and they were trialling the use of nets, while considering introducing natural predators like bats.

Mark Lucas said he could not use his garden due to the ‘swarms’ of flies. “You cannot have a window open, you cannot be outside when they’re bad,” he said. “God knows what bacteria they are bringing with them”. When he first moved in there, he noticed the swarms a couple of times a year but is now seeing them every day.

A petition said residents were “unable to enjoy our gardens without being bombarded” by “huge swarms of little flies”.

“They swarm around your head, they are really persistent,” resident Den Banfield said, adding: “They get in your hair, they get in your mouth.”

Professor Richard Hopkins, an entomologist at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, said flies from wastewater treatment works were “generally regarded as nuisance, rather than a direct human health risk”.

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