By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
— HARRISBURG -- Today begins the annual black fly control aerial spray program, and Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties are among 32 counties on the Department of Environmental Protection’s list this year, the agency announced.
Monday finds the Schuylkill River in Berks and Schuylkill counties, Manatawny Creek in Berks and Montgomery counties, and the Delaware River in Bucks and Northampton counties getting sprayed. This is nearly 120 stream and river miles.
In Northumberland County, the Mahantango Creek and the Susquehanna River, including the north and west branches, will be treated.
In Snyder County, Middle Creek and Penns Creek as well as the river will get sprayed. In Union County, Penns Creek and the west branch of the river will be treated.
DEP will notify county and local emergency management officials before any spraying to make them aware that helicopters seen flying over creeks, streams and rivers are working on behalf of the state’s black fly program, the agency said.
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.
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, DEP said.