By John Lauritsen

ISANTI, Minn. (WCCO) — A fly infestation is creating the wrong kind of buzz in Isanti County. Neighbors along 289th Avenue say it’s gotten so bad, they can’t even spend time working in their yards.

County officials say manure spread onto a nearby field is to blame. A spokesman from the zoning office says the manure contained garbage and maggots, and the county attorney is looking into potential charges.

“Creepy. It’s just annoying. It’s just really creepy,” Phyllis Lundquist said.

The porch attached to Phyllis and her husband Dave’s home is designed to keep mosquitoes out. Instead, it seems to be keeping the flies in.

“We’re seeing hundreds and hundreds of blow flies is what I’m being told is what they are. I’ve been told they can lay up to a thousand eggs a piece,” Dave said.

And they aren’t just in the porch, they’re all over their property. The Lundquist’s say it’s what a farmer had in his manure that’s caused this blow fly takeover.

“Maggots, garbage, food waste and manure,” Dave said.

The county said the farmer began hauling manure this past winter and left it until the spring. Flies developed over time, and when the zoning office saw garbage in the manure they asked the farmer to hold off. But they say he spread the manure anyway.

Dawn Strande said her son is getting married on their property in a few months and she’s worried the infestation will still be here.

“We have this beautiful wedding planned. And my husband and I can’t get outside to work on our yard because we are just swarmed by these things,” Dawn said.

But everyone agrees the Hanson family may be in the worst shape of all. They live right across the field from where the manure was spread. Their house is covered and opening their mailbox has become an adventure.

“It’s not 10 or 12, it’s 100 hitting you at a time. It’s impossible to do what you want to do around here,” Tom Hanson said.

And every neighbor we talked with said they are worried about the health effects from this. The county says they are looking into that too and possible ways to get rid of the flies.

When reached by phone, the farmer had no comment. Dave Lundquist said he would like to see an ordinance passed to keep manure from sitting on property for an extended period of time.

John Lauritsen

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