I have received the following email from a resident in Feniton showing the level of concern about the problem of flies from chicken farms in the village.
“As spring arrives we are seeing flies in the house again. Whilst it is only a few at present, I am concerned that we could so easily end up in a horrendous situation again this year if the farmer does not get on top of the spraying asap. Please would you be able to confirm that the farmer has sourced sufficient quantity of spray this year and that they intend to start treatment before we have a plague yet again. I would have thought that treatment in the next few weeks would be appropriate as the temperature rises. I simply could not tolerate another year like last year, and frankly don’t see why we should have to.”
The environmental health officer is in touch with the farmer to ensure that he is fully compliant with larvicide treatment in the poultry sheds to prevent the problems faced by Feniton over recent years. Her response to the email above is:
“I understand your concerns. Contact has already been made with the farm regarding the farm’s fly management programme. They are well aware of what they need to do in order to prevent a fly nuisance from occurring. A more comprehensive update will follow shortly. I was aiming to give all complainants an update within the next couple of weeks.”
It’s important to remember that EDDC does NOT have the legal power to shut down the poultry houses, but it does have the power to take legal action against the farmer if the poultry houses are causing a nuisance, and indeed it has done this very successfully to other farms in the district.
However, in order to do this, EDDC requires evidence that there is a real problem, which is why in the past residents have been asked to put up fly papers in their houses for exactly one week. These are then collected by the environmental health officers, who then have the unpleasant task of counting the number of flies caught and recording instances of high numbers. Should the need arise this year, get in touch with EDDC’s environmental health officer on 01395 571645 and she will let you have full instructions.
This is a very tedious, time-consuming and expensive process and it would always be better if the farmer dealt with the problem at source. We also have to be mindful that we live in a beautiful, rural part of the country, and that a few flies are to be expected within an agricultural environment … what we don’t want is the large number of flies we have been subjected to in the past.
Alternatively, ‘red tops’ are very effective at controlling flies before they reach the house. However, the red tops cannot be used as evidence in any legal proceedings against the farmer. The bags contain a pheromone which attracts flies into a trap from which they cannot escape. They are extremely efficient and a single red top should last for the whole season.