I share the concerns about the seemingly constant outbreaks of flies in Feniton and I appreciate the frustration that these outbreaks engender.
Everyone has a pet theory about the cause of the fly outbreak and voices these theories on the village Facebook page. That may help to make us feel that we are a community sharing the same (revolting) experiences, but in itself this will do nothing to help.
So … what to do?
We absolutely have to work with the Environmental Health Officers (EHO) at East Devon District Council to find a solution to the problem. And there won’t be one solution … each outbreak may be caused by different sources of flies.
The much favoured culprit used to be the poultry units around the village, but EHOs have been working with the farmer and he has been scrupulous in maintaining rigorously to an effective larvicide regime.
It may be tedious, but those affected need to put up fly papers for a week, date them with a start and end date, roll them up carefully at the end of the week and place them in a cardboard box (a cereal box is fine). These need to be taken to Blackdown House (the new EDDC headquarters on Heathpark in Honiton), addressed to Lucy Turner, Environmental Health Department, complete with your contact details, including address so that Lucy can monitor the geographical area of the complaint. If the outbreak continues, collecting evidence with fly papers has to continue too.
Lucy has the unenviable task of counting the flies to assess the level of the outbreak. She will be looking for numbers upwards of 100 … anything below that is not really considered a problem. She will also be able to identify the type of fly and this gives a clue to the source of the outbreak.
I know it’s tedious and time-consuming, but without the evidence, EHOs can’t act.
I’m in frequent contact with the EHO each time there’s an outbreak and she is out and about in the village, sometimes on her day off, to try and find the source.
Please don’t enter private property yourself (and apart from footpaths, farmland is private property) to try and find the source. We have to work with Lucy and help her in her job … please spare the time to collect and send her the evidence.
A couple of links which might be useful to give further background: