Local inspection – iron ore groans from fly invasion

The population is plagued by hundreds of thousands of insects. The origin of the plague is a modern scrap processing plant. The “Steirerkrone” has made a picture of the affected area

We had to break off our Mother’s Day meal outdoors, it was unbearable, “says Nadja Prieler, who lives with her family in the Münichtal district of Eisenerz. Three spiral flycatchers – as you actually see them in stables today – hang in her dining room the ceiling.

The fly plague took its course in the Eisenerz community around Mother’s Day. Hundreds of thousands of the pesky insects bring the population to the brink of despair. “It’s so disgusting,” confirms Ms. L. and continues: “Yesterday at lunchtime we surely had 30 or 40 flies in the kitchen. Sitting outside and eating is currently a single nuisance on warm days because of all the annoying animals, so the tenor of the population at the “Krone” local eye.

Contaminated cans as the root of evil
How could it possibly come this far? The massive appearance of the winged tormentors has its origin in a scrap processing plant on the site of the “old fish hall”. Primaras is a recycling company that processes scrap metal into high-quality materials for the Styrian steel industry. A new, state-of-the-art facility is due to go into operation soon, many millions of euros have been invested. In order to be able to start immediately when the system is finished, around 300 tons of scrap have been stored on the company premises for several months. These also include cans with food residues – a welcome breeding ground in combination with warm and humid weather.

“We reacted immediately and successfully fought the flies with insecticides,” says Primaras managing director Gernot Völkl. In fact, there is hardly a fly to be seen on the factory premises. For this they have spread in the area.

Mayor was insulted and threatened
“On the part of the community, we are fighting the plague as best we can, but the situation is very difficult to control,” says Eisenerz mayor Thomas Rauninger (ÖVP). 50 large flycatchers have been hung up in the past few days, and spiral catchers have been distributed to households. The community also works with a pest expert. “We hope that we can contain this as best we can soon. Unfortunately, the flies will not disappear completely that quickly, “sighs the young local manager, who has been through turbulent days. Occasionally he had to accept insults and even threats from the population.

Most Eisenerz appreciate the commitment to damage limitation on the part of the community and the Primaras company.

“It’s tedious, but we have to go through now,” says Ms. L. and quickly closes her front door – the next swarm of flies could come.