DEP to Begin Black Fly Aerial Spray Program on April 9

The Department of Environmental Protection will begin its annual black fly control aerial spray program on Monday, April 9, starting with nearly 220 stream miles in several mid-state counties.

The spraying will take place on the Juniata River in Dauphin, Juniata, Mifflin and Perry counties; Conewago Creek in York County; Conodoguinet Creek in Cumberland County; and Penns Creek in Snyder and Union counties.

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 warmer months.

Through August, 44 rivers and streams spanning more than 1,500 miles in 33 counties will be monitored and treated as needed. Spraying activities will be performed by helicopter and the frequency will depend upon 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 over 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 on Pennsylvania’s Black Fly Suppression Program, visit or call 717-346-8238. 

Editor’s Note: Below is a list of the 44 waterways in 33 counties to be sprayed for black flies during 2012:

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

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  

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