Irksome insect infestation riles Merebank residents
Joey Naidoo, a 68-year-old resident of Merebank, said the fly problem had been prevalent for a while, but it appeared to have intensified recently.
“You cannot put food on the table because of the flies. They want to get into everything,” Naidoo said.
He speculated that sewage or informal dumps in the area were causing the influx of flies. Naidoo said he had tried a range of methods to get rid of the flies, from fly repellents to traps.
Desmond D’Sa, of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), said the infestation could be caused by the sewage and odour in the area. He said there had also been a lot of sewage leaking into Cuttings Beach.
“They are upgrading the entire sewage works and one of the pipes is being replaced,” D’Sa said.
He said the work started in September and had not been completed yet, while sewage was also being brought in from other areas, to be treated. “It is sad that the city's health department is not doing anything about it,” he said.
South African Institute of Environmental Health president, Dr Selva Mudaly, said large numbers of flies are normal in the summer heat.
More of the insects would be present in places where refuse is not properly disposed of.
Mudaly said flies can contaminate food, but there were many precautions that could be taken.
“People can separate dry and wet waste because flies breed in warm and moist areas. If you are disposing of something, put it in a plastic and tie it tightly. Make sure bin lids are put on tightly. Also, disinfect the bin because the smell of rot in the bin also attracts flies,” Mudaly explained.