DEP to start spraying to lower black fly population

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | May 11, 2015 4:08 AM



(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvanians may notice some helicopters hovering over their waterways this summer. 

It's part of an effort to make the commonwealth's outdoors more enjoyable. 

Each summer, the state Department of Environmental Protection sprays a naturally-occurring bacterium on more than 1,600 miles of rivers and streams across the commonwealth to lower the population of black flies, also known as gnats. 

DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman says the spray kills the eggs of black fly larvae so they cannot grow to be full adults. 

"It's a product that is very safe for the environment, does not harm the acquatic ecosystem, birds or other insects," she says. 

Witman says the agency starts spraying in early May and will continue through the rest of the summer. 

"Black flies are a real nuisance, especially when people are trying to enjoy the outdoors, particularly on our streams and rivers," she says. "So, we do it as a service to the residents of Pennsylvania to reduce this pest."

Spraying will take place on rivers and streams in 10 midstate counties.

Here's the list from the DEP:

Fishing Creek
North Branch Susquehanna River

Conodoguinet Creek
Susquehanna River
Yellow Breeches Creek

Juniata River
Mahantango Creek
Susquehanna River
Swatara Creek

Juniata River
Susquehanna River
Tuscarora Creek

Juniata River

Juniata River
Sherman Creek
Susquehanna River

Schuylkill River

Middle Creek
Penns Creek
Susquehanna River

Penns Creek
West Branch Susquehanna River

Conewago Creek
Susquehanna River
Yellow Breeches Creek

Published in News

Tagged under , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »