Here's the Buzz
Posted June 13, 1998
ROXBORO — Some homeowners in Person County say they've got more flies than they can shake a swatter at. The source of their plague of flies may be a neighboring farm where organic compost is spread.
County agriculture officials say you can blame it on the rain.
Nonetheless, Trent Peed and Tammy Overby are besieged with flies. They say the infestation started five years ago.
Peed suspects the farm land that surrounds his home attracts the flies -- not the land itself, but what's spread on it. Tobacco dust can be used as an organic soil amendment.
The state requires a permit to use tobacco waste as a soil amendment, and requires it be spread onto fields and seeded.
"It's unfortunate that it rained during the time the compost would have been spread. And would have avoided this fly problem, said Derrick Daye, cooperative extension service director. "A new methodology in the future may solve future problems."
Daye expects the swarms to die off now that the compost is spread out and seeded. Until then these residents of Halifax Road will postpone their summer cook outs and keep their weapons of insect warfare close at hand.
The Person County Department of Environmental Health has collected a sample of the flies on Trent Peed's property. They'll have the state test the sample to see if the flies carry anything hazardous to humans.