Published: 00:01, 22 May 2017
A couple have spoken of their horror after their home was left brimming with thousands of flies that filled every room in the house.
Andrew and Sophia Wadsworth say the problem happened when lorry loads of chicken manure were dumped on a field near their home in Stepneyford Lane, Benenden.
Mr Wadsworth, a Lloyds of London underwriter, said: “We literally have thousands of flies in the house when the sun comes out. They come in through gaps in the wooden frame of the house and our sitting room was alive with them.”
After spraying insecticide, Mrs Wadsworth vacuumed up the dead flies that filled the barrel of her Dyson cleaner.
She said: “There were flies swarming inside our house and one night we couldn’t sleep as the bedroom had been full of them and the smell left by the dead flies was overwhelming.”
The couple self-built their timber-framed home, where they have lived for the last nine years and they say that flies are getting in through the gaps in weatherboard.
Mrs Wadsworth said: “The worry is that they are laying eggs behind the weatherboarding and in the window recesses.”
Neighbours have also been affected by the infestation and Mrs Wadsworth said that while she had been in London her neighbour warned her of the fly problem before she returned.
She said: “The problem arose three or four weeks ago when lorry loads of chicken manure arrived at the field.”
Mr Wadsworth said: “There are strict environmental rules about dealing with chicken manure. It should be covered up with plastic sheets or dug in straight away.
"This has not been dealt with properly and we have contacted Tunbridge Wells Council about it.”
The manure pile is on a field at the corner of Halden Lane and Stepneyford Lane.
In 2003 a plague of flies hit Benenden and the cause of the problem was attributed to poultry manure being stockpiled.
The level of infestation was so high that it forced the Bull and the King William IV pubs to shut and the Collingwood Grange Nursing Home to move its residents with learning disabilities.
A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said that the council’s environmental health department are aware of the problem and dealing with it.
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