Grangemouth swat team target flies

Maureen Downs and Alex O'Donnell are being plagued by swarms of flies
Maureen Downs and Alex O'Donnell are being plagued by swarms of flies
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Residents are being bugged day and night by a plague of flies reportedly coming from a nearby recycling centre.

One evening this week, in the space of 15 minutes, Maureen Downs killed over 20 flies at her home in Duke Street, Grangemouth,.

19/06/12. John Devlin.  FALKIRK. 33 Aitchison Place. Property of the week. Owner is Fiona Smart.

19/06/12. John Devlin. FALKIRK. 33 Aitchison Place. Property of the week. Owner is Fiona Smart.

Now a confirmed expert with a swatter, Maureen says the problem is at its worst on hot days and has been growing outward, with reports of infestations in homes towards the town centre.

After a year of investigating various complaints, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) confirmed to Maureen and other residents on May 30 that the flies were coming from nearby Oran Environmental Solutions recycling centre in Spitfire Way.

“Now we have official word we have decided to form a group and see if we could do something because it is taking SEPA so long to deal with the problem,” said Maureen.

Acting on behalf of the residents, Grangemouth Community Council has written to Scottish Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson urging something to be done as quickly as possible.

Maureen said: “I think it’s worse than it was last year and it’s going further afield. We sent letters to people to gauge how far it was spreading and it looks like its down as far as Oxgang Road.”

On one occasion Maureen had to cancel a family barbecue because of the flies buzzing around the food.

“We have to keep our windows and doors shut on hot days,” she added. “It’s no way to live. The flies spread disease and we don’t know what they are carrying with them from Oran, so there are real health concerns.”

SEPA stated Oran was required to provide a written report detailing measures it intended to use to control the flies at the site.

A spokesman said: “The report was to include recommendations of a pest control professional on alternate means to control flies, suggestions for a means of covering the baled waste on-site to prevent flies accessing it, and details of plans to repair any holes in the site roof which would restrict the number of pests able to get out of the shed.

“SEPA wishes to give the new pest prevention measures the opportunity to demonstrate improvement over a reasonable period of time but will consider taking further enforcement action should these measures not prove effective or if it appears sufficient progress is not being made.”

Oran said this week the site had to follow SEPA rules in order to operate anyway.

Tom Gleeson, Oran Environmental Solutions CEO, said: “The site is governed by SEPA, who have regular contact with us, and we take numerous measures to keep down the number of flies at the site, as is standard practice in our operating licence.”

Mr Gleeson added Oran employed the services of Glasgow-based Dunning Pest Control in order to help meet this criteria within its licence.