Glasgow & West Scotland

Newton Mearns fly infestation due to illegal waste dump

Swarm of flies Image copyright Getty Images

Swarms of flies have descended on parts of East Renfrewshire after illegal waste was dumped in the area.

People in Newton Mearns have been complaining about the infestation since last month.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it was investigating the issue after the waste was dumped at Netherplace Works.

East Renfrewshire Council said it could not yet confirm when the waste will be removed and the site cleaned up.

Sepa said it was working with the local authority and other agencies to remove the material.

The flies also appear to be spreading to neighbouring Clarkston and Giffnock.

Newton Mearns residents Rachel McPherson and Lorraine Gardiner have been struggling to control the flies. Ms Gardiner has even had them landing on her face in the middle of the night.

Fly spray sold out

She told BBC Radio Scotland's Call Kaye programme: "We've had the flies for three weeks as we first noticed them on Mother's Day.

"On Saturday we were enjoying the sunshine with our doors and windows open and within 20 minutes there were 30 flies in the living room. It's absolutely horrendous.

"I have a five-year-old and an eight-year-old and you need to wait for their dinner to cool down but you can't leave any food out at all now. You waken up in the middle of the night with them on your face. It's absolutely disgusting.

"At first I thought something had died in my house it was so bad. Then when we tried to get fly spray we found out it was sold out everywhere."

After mentioning the issue in a Facebook post, Ms Gardiner discovered her neighbours had the same problem.

"I think it's spreading further and further out," she added. "I think I live near the source and that's why we've maybe been experiencing it for a bit longer. Now people in Clarkston and Giffnock have been getting them."


Fly facts.

From pest control officer Yaser Rashid

Image copyright Getty Images
  • There are more than 100 different types of flies
  • The most common are bluebottles, greenbottles, common house flies, lesser house flies and horseflies
  • These common flies carry the most disease
  • They lay 75-150 eggs per batch - they just need a food source to lay eggs
  • To control them, remove the food source (where possible), use fly screens around windows, electric fly killers and aerosols (which are not a risk to people)

Ms McPherson told the programme: " Its not been very nice. Originally we thought it was just our house but after speaking to neighbours and local shops realised this was a bigger issue.

"There are a lot of flies in the house, all the time.

"I've got two toddlers and an ill cat so I'm reluctant to use lots of aerosols in the house polluting everyone's lungs and we do have a very small house. So we've just been trying to enhance our fly-catching techniques."

In a joint statement, Sepa and East Renfrewshire Council said: "We are investigating an illegal deposit of waste at Netherplace Works, Newton Mearns.

"Sepa are liaising with the landowner and their contractors regarding measures to reduce flies and limit the potential environmental impact on the site.

"A time frame for final removal of the waste and an associated site clean-up cannot be confirmed as yet.

"However, officers are working closely with East Renfrewshire Council and other agencies in order to ensure waste is removed as soon as possible."

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