Local News

Some Chicken Farm Neighbors Wish They Could 'Swat' Away Summer Heat

Posted August 12, 1999

— Flies are a nuisance, and some residents in Wilson County say flies from a nearby chicken farm are driving them crazy. This summer's sweltering heat has made it difficult for farmers to swat the problem.

Alex Speight, 2, does not seem to mind the occasional fly buzzing around him, but his parents say the flies are becoming a big nuisance.

"You buy a new house, you buy new land, and you come home to a house that's full of flies. Basically, it makes you not really want to come home," said James Speight.

Speight and his family live on Sims School Road just yards from a chicken farm. Many residents on the street have complained about the pests.

The farm's owner, Lloyd Holman, uses chemicals to control the flies, but they do not always work.

Because of the intense heat we've had this summer, farmers have to actually spray their chickens with water. Unfortunately, moisture is a great breeding ground for flies.

"These little small creatures crawling on the surface of the container are the wasp parasites," said Mike Stringham,N.C. StateEntomologist.

Stringham says some farmers like Holman are also using wasps to kill flies, but he admits that even this method is no match for the summer's fly population.

"It seems that based on everything that I have looked at out in the field that most of it is related to the poultry farmers' effort to cool down the birds," said Stringham.

The heat has had another side effect on farms. It has killed 2,000 of Holman's chickens.

"This is the first year we've ever lost them from the heat," said Holman.

Holman hopes the weather will soon be cooler and less pesky for everyone.

Scientists say fly strips are one good option in your home. They suggest you avoid using bug sprays, especially if you have small children or animals.

The best option may be to keep windows and doors shut.

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