Fly infestation leads to urgent call for rehousing

Posted On 02 Mar 2019 at 1:06 pm

A woman who was moved into a flat that is infested with flies has been told by the council to keep her windows shut.

Laura Fuller was given the advice even though none of her neighbours are plagued by the insects.

North Portslade councillor Peter Atkinson is now asking Brighton and Hove City Council to rehouse Ms Fuller urgently.

He said: “Ms Fuller is in a one-bedroom flat which is suffering from an infestation of fruit flies and gnats.

Council repairs

“This has been an ongoing problem ever since Laura moved into the flat and numerous investigations have failed to find the source of the flies.

“Works staff from the council contractor, Mears, did, however, recently discover a large number of dead flies under the floorboards of the bathroom.

“The council have suggested that Laura ‘keeps her windows closed’ which makes no sense as other residents have their windows open and don’t have the same problem.

“It’s also not practical in warmer weather.”

Councillor Atkinson said: “Laura suffers from significant mental health problems which have been made a lot worse due to the fly infestation.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

“We have gone through all the normal channels, both in terms of council officers and their contractor Mears, but we are getting nowhere.”

Councillor Peter Atkinson in the bathroom holding fly paper which Laura has to have in place all the time

Ms Fuller has been offered temporary accommodation for a week but the fly problem has already taken months to investigate and a more permanent transfer is really the only sensible and practical option.

Councillor Atkinson has contacted the council’s head of housing to ask that Ms Fuller’s case be escalated to the highest possible level within the council.

He said: “Laura deserves better and I am really concerned that her mental health will continue to deteriorate due to this intolerable situation.”

  1. Chris Reply

    Fungus gnats, which breed in indoor plant pot compost or damp dark areas, and look like fruit flies, can be a right so and so to get rid of. A single fly can lay a few hundred eggs and they can quickly take over. For the first time ever I’ve had a problem with two plant pots in my lounge, but have eventually got rid of them after about four months. There’s plenty of advice online, and what worked for me was to keep the plants as dry as possible and water with a very dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide, inspect the pot saucers daily and kill any larvae, look for flies near the windows and kill them. I didn’t want to use chemical sprays, it would have needed repeated spraying because of the speed the gnats can reproduce, and didn’t want to get rid of the plants if possible.

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