Plague of flies at West Sussex village

Richard Rutherford with just a few of the invaders.

Richard Rutherford with just a few of the invaders.

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A PLAGUE of flies is causing residents in a West Sussex village major problems.

Residents at North Chailey say since sewage leaked into the soil near their homes the area has been infestated.

Richard Rutherford, former chief executive of the South of England Agricultural Society, who lives at Hazeldene Lane, said: “I have two fly papers in my garage and each one must have about 300 flies on it.

“They like shade so as soon as I open my garage they fly in.

“They are so thick you could breathe them in. It’s horrible if they get in the house.

“We don’t see an end to it all. No-one seems to be doing anything.”

Southern Water repaired the breaks in the sewage pipe but residents believe sewage had seeped into the soil before repairs and flies laid eggs in the earth, resulting in the current problem.

Southern Water said: “The problem may have been aggravated by the sudden increase in temperatures in early spring this year in combination with damp woodlands next to watercourses.

“This can increase the chance of more pupae hatching into adults, increasing the flies’ population.

“The cause of the current flies infestation remains however unclear, and investigations are continuing to identify its solution and prevent a similar situation in the future”.