HARRISBURG, Pa., April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will begin its annual black fly control aerial spray program on Monday, April 22, starting with nearly 120 stream and river miles in four eastern counties.
The Schuylkill River in Berks and Schuylkill counties; Manatawny Creek in Berks and Montgomery counties; and the Delaware River in Bucks and Northampton counties will be sprayed.
DEP uses Bti, a naturally occurring bacterium, to target the larval stage of four specific human pest black fly species. This bacterium degrades quickly in the environment and does not harm the aquatic ecosystem, fish, birds or other insects.
This effort greatly reduces the black fly population, making it easier for Pennsylvanians to enjoy outdoor activities during the warmer months of the year.
From now through August, 45 rivers and streams spanning more than 1,500 miles in 32 counties will be monitored and treated as needed. Spraying activities will be performed by helicopter and the frequency will depend on black fly surveillance results and weather conditions. Treatments cannot occur during periods of heavy rain or when water levels are high. Fast-moving water can carry away the spray product too quickly, making the treatment ineffective.
DEP will notify county and local emergency management officials prior to any spraying activity to make them aware that helicopters seen flying over creeks, streams and rivers are working on behalf of the state's black fly program. Anyone with concerns about the sight of a helicopter is encouraged to call their county emergency management office to verify that a black fly treatment is taking place in their area on that day.
For more information about Pennsylvania's Black Fly Suppression program, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-346-8238.
Editor's Note: Below is a list of the 45 waterways in 32 counties to be sprayed for black flies during 2013:
Armstrong: Allegheny River, Kiskiminetas River, Mahoning Creek, Redbank Creek
Beaver: Connoquenessing Creek
Berks: Manatawny Creek, Schuylkill River, Tulpehocken Creek
Bradford: Chemung River, North Branch Susquehanna River
Bucks: Delaware River, Tohickon Creek
Butler: Slippery Rock Creek
Clarion: Allegheny River, Clarion River, Redbank Creek
Clearfield: Chest Creek, West Branch Susquehanna River
Columbia: Fishing Creek, North Branch Susquehanna River
Cumberland: Conodoguinet Creek, Susquehanna River, Yellow Breeches Creek
Dauphin: Juniata River, Mahantango Creek, Susquehanna River, Swatara Creek
Elk: Clarion River
Fayette: Youghiogheny River
Forest: Allegheny River, Clarion River, Tionesta Creek
Huntingdon: Aughwick Creek, Frankstown Branch Juniata River, Juniata River
Indiana: Conemaugh River, Kiskiminetas River
Juniata: Juniata River, Susquehanna River, Tuscarora Creek
Lawrence: Connoquenessing Creek, Neshannock Creek, Slippery Rock Creek
Lehigh: Lehigh River
Lycoming: Loyalsock Creek, Pine Creek, West Branch Susquehanna River
Mifflin: Juniata River
Northampton: Delaware River, Lehigh River
Northumberland: Mahantango Creek, North Branch Susquehanna River, Susquehanna River, West Branch Susquehanna River
Perry: Juniata River, Sherman Creek, Susquehanna River
Schuylkill: Schuylkill River
Snyder: Middle Creek, Penns Creek, Susquehanna River
Union: Penns Creek, West Branch Susquehanna River
Venango: Allegheny River, French Creek, Oil Creek, Sandy Creek, Sugar Creek
Warren: Allegheny River, Brokenstraw Creek, Conewango Creek
Westmoreland: Conemaugh River, Kiskiminetas River, Youghiogheny River
Wyoming: North Branch Susquehanna River, Tunkhannock Creek
York: Conewago Creek, Susquehanna River, Yellow Breeches Creek
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection