Residents on a Melksham estate have been under siege from a plague of flies described as something out of a horror movie.

Homes on the Berryfield estate to the south of the town have been overrun with thousands of flies over the past two weeks, which residents say are making their lives intolerable.

Environmental health officers from Wiltshire Council have been investigating the cause of the invasion after receiving more than 20 complaints, focusing on fields at Outmarsh Farm belonging to farmer John Stainer, which border the estate.

Berryfield Park resident Tracey Land said: “It’s horrendous, they’re everywhere. It’s like something out of a horror movie. The whole estate is affected, my neighbours are all horrified. It’s not so much the flies as what they leave behind.”

Because of the swarms residents are unable to open doors or windows, even during the recent scorching weather, and preparing food has become almost impossible.

Lorna Howard, 27, a mother-of-three, who also lives in Berryfield Park, said: “I can’t use fly spray because two of my children have breathing problems.

“They’re everywhere, when my eight-month-old is sleeping and his dummy falls out of his mouth they are going in his mouth.

“I just go off with him for a drive, I’m hardly at home now. I don’t know how much more I can take.”

Shops in Melksham have been running out of fly spray due to high demand.

David Tucker, of Countrywide stores, said: “We sold out of stock over the weekend. We have got stock back in again including fly paper and fly pens, but fly spray is still minimal. People are still coming in looking for it.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman confirmed they were concentrating on the nearby farm.

She said: “Spreading organic material on agricultural land is legal and normal practice, it also makes good environmental sense to use natural material rather than artificial fertilisers. This process has taken place on this land annually without previous problems.

“We suspect the material spread and ploughed into the land some three to four weeks ago may have been infested with fly eggs.

“This is an agricultural risk that can be controlled by good practice. We will work with the producer and the Environment Agency to help prevent a recurrence.”

Mr Stainer told the Wiltshire Times that environmental health officers had visited him, but told him they were unsure as to the cause of the infestation.

He added that he hoped his farm was not what had caused the problem for his neighbours.