Swarms of flies that suddenly appeared in downtown Sonora in recent weeks have puzzled business owners, residents and city officials.
But the city's Public Works Department is hoping to identify the source of the pests after it conducts inspections along Washington Street today.
Public Works Supervisor Bill Seldon said he began researching the problem about two weeks ago after receiving a complaint from Stoneground Studios at 161 S. Washington St.
"It's terrible," said co-owner Russell Moreton. "It's really weird actually."
Moreton said he has placed fly traps at the store.
Hordes of flies have also been spotted at least 500 feet north of Stoneground Studios at Backspace, A Retail Retreat.
Co-owner Lissa Anderson said one or two dozen linger outside the entrance. None have entered the store even though the door is usually open.
Although flies and other insects are typically more active in the spring, Anderson said there seem to be more flies downtown than in previous years.
"I have no idea (why)," she said. "We've tried figuring it out but to no avail."
Seldon said it has been difficult to identify the source of the bugs because they are buzzing around in circles rather than traveling from one place to another.
City Administrator Tim Miller said it could involve a nearby drainage or sewage system.
"We're researching everything we can," Seldon said. "I haven't ruled anything out."