Flies have ruined Christmas for one Uckfield family and many more are suffering as swarms fill their homes every time a door or window is opened.
Claire Glandfield who lives in Bridge Farm Road, New Town, says she has turned relatives away for Christmas and she has thrown good food away because every time she opens the fridge door flies are attracted to the light.
Her daughter, who came home from university at the weekend, wants to move in with her grandparents in Nutley to get away from the flies.
Claire said: “I’m not made of money and will end up going to the food bank to feed my family as good food has been thrown away. I can’t live like this any more. Something needs to be done and now. Maybe I shouldn’t pay council tax until the problem is rectified.”
Claire said the problem lies with the sewage works in Bridge Farm Road and the response from Southern Water was “Glad we don’t live there” which was totally unacceptable.
She added: “Please help the local residents. Christmas is ruined. Imagine what it will be like in the hot weather. It’s December and winter.”
Claire said other residents in her area including Forge Rise, Forge Close, and The Smithy are also being plagued by flies and many have shared their anxiety on the Uckfield Talk Facebook page about the health hazard, with some blaming the flies for tummy upsets.
A spokesman for Southern Water said: “We’re very sorry to hear about the problems this customer is having with flies.
“We have been regularly dosing our treatment works including every week for the past month.
“So far this year we’ve spent £27,700 on chemicals and more on getting expert advice on the issue.
“The fly trap fitted to the filter beds at our treatment works is showing very few insects at the moment.
“We do everything we can to ensure that our treatment works are good neighbours to people who live nearby to these vital installations.
“It is possible that we are not the source of the flies – there are a number of agricultural facilities close to our work, and also a recycling centre.
“We will be getting in touch with the customer, paying a visit, and hopefully taking insects away for expert scrutiny. We will share our findings with the customer and any other relevant bodies.”
A spokesman for Wealden Council said: “We are aware of the nuisance the flies are causing and will be visiting homes affected to ascertain the scale of the problem.
“It appears that treatment of the Chironomids (midges) is being hampered by the recent high levels of rainfall. Our environmental health team is discussing with Southern Water the most effective form of treatment.”
• Swarming flies is a recurring problem in the Bridge Farm Road area. There was a similar problem in March. See: Swarming flies make life a misery for Uckfield residents and Fly problem – action to be taken at Uckfield sewage works.