Residents in Stocksbridge, Sheffield, concerned over unprecedented number of flies

Pest control experts have been called out to a Sheffield town – because residents fear it has been invaded by flies.

Sunday, 29th August 2021, 8:29 am

Business owners and those living in Stocksbridge say they are baffled by an apparent major rise in the number of insects in the town, and believe they have arrived in the last three weeks or so.

It is understood council experts have been out to try to find a cause, but have been unable to identify one. Businesses have stepped up cleaning, and both businesses and households have been reported to be turning to fly sprays, fly tapes, and fly nets to keep the flies away.

Apostolos Michailidis, co-owner of Bridge Bakery, said: “Over the last couple of weeks, we’ ve had a huge increase in flies, and we’ve tried to deal with it.

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“Apparently, someone from the council has visited and asked people to disinfect their bins. Some people are keeping their doors closed at all times because of this, although we can’t because we’ve got a glass ceiling.

"But we sell food and it is difficult to keep them all out. We keep cleaning, there are shops cleaning 10 times a day.

"It is a mystery what’s causing it. It’s not been hotter than normal. We are hoping that the council can find a way of sorting it out.”

At nearby restaurant Ponti’s, manager Arg Myrtja said he was closing the doors to keep flies out, and said there was equipment to kill flies in the kitchen, which was standard in restaurants.

Stocksbridge - Apostolos Michailidis

"The council has come out and has not seen anything that should be attracting flies,” he said. “It is a mystery.”

Louise Dutton, who runs a shop in Stockbridge, said she had been forced to buy products like fly tape, and a fly net, items which she had never needed before.

“We’ve never had to buy pest control products before,” she said. “Buying fly tape is not a normal summer, and I think people are fed up.

"We had a lady coming in two days ago who lives in Stocksbridge and couldn’t find anywhere to buy fly tape, and she had a baby so she didn’t want to use fly spray. We gave her some of ours.

Stocksbridge - Arg Myrtja.jpg

"I live in Oughtibridge, only 10 minutes away, and there doesn’t seem to be a problem there, even though it’s not far away."

Alan McGilveray, owner of McGilveray’s, also in Stocksbridge, said the flies were costing businesses money, and that the problem was affecting the whole town of Stocksbridge.

He said: “I’m having to fork out for candles on every table to keep the flies away. While it is hot, we are leaving the doors open, but we’re closing them when it gets cooler at 5pm.

"The council has been out and has not found a cause. They’re like household flies, but they just don’t seem to be going away.

Stocksbridge - Alan McGilveray

"We’ve used smoke bombs to get rid of them, but no sooner is it clear, they come back again.

"I’ve never seen anything like it in 40 years in the industry. A lot of our regular guest are saying they are seeing the same thing at home. People are fed up of it, and it’s been like this for three weeks.”

Sheffield Council has been contacted for comment.


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