HARRISBURG, Pa., May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection will soon begin aerial spraying on more than 1,600 stream miles in 33 Pennsylvania counties to control black flies.
The first aerial spraying will take place May 10 along the Delaware River. Other waterways will be treated as current and weather conditions allow.
"Adult black flies, also known as gnats, can be a nuisance to millions of Pennsylvanians and our guests from other states who enjoy spending time outdoors during warm weather," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "We will once again be taking aggressive action to control black fly populations as they begin to hatch, and will continue to treat our rivers, creeks and streams in an attempt to make time spent outdoors this spring and summer as enjoyable as possible."
This year, 47 rivers and streams spanning more than 1,600 miles will be monitored and treated as needed. Spraying activities will be performed by helicopter and the frequency will depend upon 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, making the treatment ineffective.
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, birds or other insects.
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 concerned at the sight of a helicopter spraying 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 on Pennsylvania's Black Fly Suppression Program, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword Black Fly.
Media contact: John Repetz, 717-787-1323
Editor's Note: Below is a list of the 47 waterways in 33 counties to be sprayed for black flies:
Armstrong: Allegheny River, Kiskiminetas River, Mahoning Creek, Redbank Creek
Beaver: Connoquenessing Creek
Berks: Maiden Creek, Manatawny Creek, Schuylkill River, Tulpehocken Creek
Bradford: Chemung River, North Branch Susquehanna River, Wyalusing Creek
Bucks: Delaware River, Neshaminy Creek, 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
Luzerne: North Branch Susquehanna 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
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection