Insect nuisance

Insects can become a statutory nuisance when they are traceable to a commercial activity and there is a noticeable increase in their numbers, which interferes with the comfort and enjoyment of another’s home.

Flies are carriers of various diseases that can have a negative impact on human health. Therefore it is essential to ensure that they are not allowed to increase significantly in numbers and breeding sites are quickly identified and eradicated where possible.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 amended the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to bring insects under the statutory nuisance regime. The legislation only relates to insects emanating from relevant trade or business premises. It does not apply where the source of the problem is a domestic property.

Working out the source of nuisance can sometimes be a difficult and lengthy process, as flying insects can travel considerable distances.

Likely sources of insect nuisance include:

  • Poultry houses/farms (buildings on agricultural land are not exempt)
  • Sewage treatment works
  • Manure/silage storage areas
  • Animal housing
  • Stagnant ditches and drains
  • Landfill sites, refuse tips and waste transfer stations

This provision does not apply to insects from domestic premises or to insects listed in Schedule 5 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, unless they are included in that Schedule solely to prevent their trade or sale. There are also exemptions for certain types of land, including arable land, ponds, lakes, reed beds, orchards and nurseries.

For general information and advice on statutory nuisance please visit our statutory nuisance homepage. The page provides background information on what the requirements are for something to be a statutory nuisance, information on how we investigate and what information and commitment we would require from our complainants.