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Retired doctor Brij Sinha starts every day with killing. Every morning he makes his way around his home armed with a small flannel, swatting at flies. His semi-detached house is also packed with plug-in devices, spray bottles, sticky traps, jostick burners and even limes with cloves shoved in them in a bid to combat the insects.
The Leicester Forest East resident told Leicestershire Live: “The fly problem is so bad here it drives you a little bit crazy. I’d like to move. I’ve tried every product you can buy, every tip and technique you see on YouTube but the garden is full of flies, the house is full of flies – live ones and dead ones. Something needs to be done. It’s very frustrating and expensive, too.”
Flies in parts of Leicester Forest East have been a problem for at least five years, with the finger of blame being pointed in various directions and some residents talking about stopping paying their taxes unless something was done. Dr Sinha and his wife moved in about 18 months ago and he, like dozens of others, has complained to the Environment Agency but it still seems there is no firm conclusion about what is causing the problem.
He has changed the way he lives to cope with the flies – keeping his cutlery submerged in water, putting a paper towel over the kettle to keep the flies out, cleaning the garden with disinfectant to stop them breeding and keeping the doors and windows closed as much as possible.
He said: “I thought it was just our house at first but the neighbours are all fed up with it, too, and even the shopkeeper nearby had problems. I don’t want to have to live like this. I came to England from India 45 years ago and there were a lot of flies there – but it was never as bad as this.”
Josh Bull, 25, who lives a few doors down from Dr Sinha, said the flies were such a menace that he looked forward to bad weather. And he said he suspected fortnightly bin collections were contributing to the mysterious fly problem.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “Yesterday was actually okay because it was wet. Last night my fiancee and I had dinner in the dining room and it was the first time in three months we got through our meal without bashing flies away.
“We’ve been debating selling the house but who would want to buy it? The flies are really bad when there’s hot weather and you actually look forward to a rainy day because there won’t be any flies around – as long as you’ve killed every last one inside the house, of course.
“My parents live nearby in Brightwell Drive and have the same problem and they’ve spent about a grand and a half on a huge canopy with nets so that they can have barbecues in the garden. I don’t know what causes all these flies but there is a smell around here sometimes and the bins are only collected once every fortnight, which probably contributes.”
About 500 yards to the west, on the opposite side of the motorway, the flies are also an issue in Charnwood Drive where Sukhvinder Singh, 47, lives with his wife and two children. He said: “We just moved in last month and it’s been very bad. There are at least 10 flies in the house at the moment.
“I don’t know where they’re coming from. I’m not used to it. We used to live near Abbey Park in Leicester and it was nothing like this. You’ll be having a meal and they’ll land on your food as you’re eating. When you open the door it’s like they’ve been waiting outside to rush in and you can’t even sit with a cup of tea in the garden because they come and land on the cup.
“When we bought the house we knew there was a motorway close by so there would be noise. But we had no idea about the flies and it’s been a problem every single day since we moved in.”
A spokesman for Blaby District Council said the environmental health team had not discovered the source of the problem. He said: “We’ve undertaken extensive investigations over a number of years.
“Our team believes there is no site within Blaby District which is causing excessive flies in Leicester Forest East. Therefore residents who contact us about flies, odour or dust are referred to other relevant agencies depending on the concerns they raise.”
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