Nuisance flies around a landfill: patterns of abundance and distribution

Author(s): Howard J


Some members of the public living near landfills perceive the sites as a source of nuisance flies and their associated diseases. Both these factors contribute to frequent complaints to Environmental Health Officers about landfill operations. Fly monitoring using sticky targets was done at a working landfill site in the West Midlands in order to identify the key species of flies present at the site, and to establish whether these flies were similar to those occurring in the surrounding area. Targets were positioned in concentric rings, radiating away from the working face into the surrounding residential area. The abundance of the flies, both in and around the landfill site was monitored over a 6-week period commencing 16 August 1999. The key families of flies present on targets on the landfill site were Muscidae, principally Musca domestica L. (common house fly), Calliphoridae, (primarily 'blue' and 'green' bottles), and Sarcophagidae (flesh flies). In contrast, the families of flies found on targets immediately outside the working landfill site and in the nearby surrounding area, were largely vegetation-feeding or parasitic flies, together with other non-fly insects. The overall abundance of all flies increased significantly during the monitoring period.

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