SAUGUS (CBS) – Swinging his net to collect insects at Fiske Brook in Saugus, entomologist Tony Kiszewski is looking to solve a mystery. “The key is to find out the source,” Kiszewski said. “Finding any major infestation.”
The I-Team brought in the bug expert – after residents on Pemberly Drive told us they have been plagued with a fly infestation for months and the town was not helping.READ MORE: Nearly Half A Million Lose Power As Nor'easter Hits Massachusetts
“That’s why I called you,” Annette Cafarella said, telling WBZ the flies are in their coffee, in their food, in their faces and when they go to sleep they breathe them in at night.
Neighbors say it has gotten so bad they can’t even eat in their own homes. Mary Dalrymple says, “We can’t live like this anymore.”
Kiszewski, a Bentley University professor, identified the flies in the homes as phorid flies or corpse flies because they usually feed off deceased humans and animals. So far, he’s found no evidence of anything decaying in the brook area. He is still investigating and talking to neighbors who say there has been a lot of construction in the area and pest control measures were taken for rodents. But Kiszewski says he doubts there would be enough rats to support such a large infestation.
WBZ was there when the chair of the board of selectmen Anthony Cogliano showed up with his own pest control expert. He said he needed state approval to treat the brook. “The town, myself, no one wants the neighbors to go through what they are going through,” Cogliano said.
If getting DEP approval to treat the vegetation is what could solve the problem, that is what he says he’ll push the town to do.READ MORE: Plymouth Homeowners Scramble For Emergency Supplies After Damage From Nor'easter
But the longer this goes on – families are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks.
Professor Kiszewski says people can get infected with these flies. There have been a few cases, while rare, it is a potential problem.
Mary is worried about her three grandchildren who live with her – telling WBZ through tears, the whole situation is “just horrible.”
The DEP says so far it does not appear that the town would need a permit from the waterways division for spraying.
The town health director told residents workers will open the sewer lines Wednesday and use a camera to look for possible causes.MORE NEWS: 'The Wind Was Crazy': Almost All Of Scituate Without Power After Nor'easter
Families were also notified that the town plans to dredge the brook and cut back the overgrown vegetation.