Please See Notice from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the April 15th aerial spraying for the Black Fly in our area:
PA DEP will be conducting an aerial black fly (biting gnat) larviciding operation along the Schuylkill River and Perkiomen Creek on April 15, 2021, beginning at Wings Field Blue Bell approximately 0930 AM. This aerial spraying activity will utilize a helicopter to apply Vectobac 12AS (also known as B.t.i.) to the aforementioned waterways in Montgomery, Chester, Berks counties. Philadelphia borders the work being conducted in part of Montgomery County.
The helicopter used for this operation will be N637HA, a Green Bell OH58. The aircraft is operated by Helicopter Applicators of Gettysburg, PA. DEP personnel will be on site at all landing zones managing the operation.
Work on the Schuylkill River will take place between US 222 in Berks County and the City Avenue bridge in Philadelphia.
TENTATIVE pending sample results... Work on the Tulpehocken Creek will be from the mouth at Schuylkill River to the Blue Marsh Dam. Work on the Perkiomen Creek will be from Spring Mountain to the mouth at the Schuylkill River near the 422 bridge.
The B.t.i. material is a naturally occurring bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) that kills the immature (larval) form of the black fly when they feed on it in the waterways. This application of B.t.i. is not toxic to fish or other aquatic macroinvertebrates found in the treated waterways.
This work does NOT involve a helicopter spraying over the entire county. This work is targeted to portions of specifically mentioned waterways. The helicopter will apply B.t.i. to designated areas every few miles along the treated waterways. Application is done by first circling the area to look for people on the ground or water and/or obstructions in the air. Then, the helicopter will fly perpendicular to the water flow (whenever possible) and apply the B.t.i. material which is a brown, viscous liquid with a fish oil odor to it.
For questions and concerns, please contact PA DEP at:
Paul Mages, Aquatic Biologist II
Black Fly Suppression Program
Office of Program Integration