Leaking sewer pipe causes fruit fly infestation at New Jersey mall

Posted: Updated:

A leaking sewer pipe has caused a fruity fly infestation at a mall in Jersey City.

Officials at the Hudson Mall say that the leak was underneath of the Foot Locker store. Employees inside the mall say that the infestation is hurting business.

“It’s bad, you know. It’s a mall, it’s not the street,” says Pizza Plus manager Juan Martinez. “They should take care of the problem as soon as possible.”

Martinez says that the issue started about two months ago. But he says that it wasn’t until late December that the mall was inspected by the Jersey City Health Department.

“Every day we complain and complain and they don’t care,” he says.

A Jersey City spokesperson says in a statement, “Health officials coordinated with mall management to rectify the issue using specific traps that were determined to be the most effective and safest solution." Electronic bug zappers have been placed all over the mall.

The situation is leaving some mall patrons concerned.

“I would shop here, but not heat here if there were so many flies,” says Newark resident Iyona Hall.

Shopper Rosette Miller says she saw flies in some of the shoe boxes in some stores.

“It's annoying because I can't shop. Looking at shoes and bugs are flying in my face,” she says.

The city has asked some stores to clear items off their shelves that attract flies. The owner of Good Fortune was told to clear away plants because watering them every day brought on more insects.

“I lost all my merchandise and still have to go to court to attend this ticket, this violation. I don't know what they mean by that,” says owner Sai Liow

The city issued Liow a violation for not putting his plants away or turning off the fountains in his store. He will have to go to court later this month for the citation.

Mall owner Urban Edge Properties said in a statement "significant positive results have been achieved and we will continue all remediation efforts until conditions at the center are returned to normal."

Several stores will remain closed until further notice.

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