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The original item was published from 6/16/2023 9:42:00 AM to 6/16/2023 9:42:05 AM.

News Flash

Health Department

Posted on: April 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] PA DEP will be conducting an aerial black fly suppression operation

White Bell Long Ranger

On April 11, 2023, PA DEP will be conducting an aerial black fly (biting gnat) larviciding operation along the Schuylkill River and Neshaminy Creek, beginning at approximately 8:00am at Wings Field in Montgomery County.

This aerial spraying activity will utilize a helicopter to apply Vectobac 12AS (also known as B.t.i.) into the aforementioned waterway(s) in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, & Berks. (Philadelphia borders the work being conducted in part of Montgomery County.) 

  • Work on the Schuylkill River will take place between City Avenue bridge in Philadelphia to just North of Reading in Berks County.
  • Work on the Neshaminy Creek will take place from the 611 Highway Bridge in Doylestown to Playwiki Park in Langhorne

The helicopter used for this operation will be a White Bell Long Ranger with red & blue stripes & with tail number N660HA. The aircraft is operated by Helicopter Applicators of Gettysburg, PA. DEP personnel will be on site at all landing zones managing the operation.

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. The material is only applied to the surface of the water and not sprayed.

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 the water at 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 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 directly to the water.

Any questions about the operation may be directed to me. Product labels and SDS sheets are below. 

For more information about the PA Black Fly Suppression Program click here.

Vectobac 12AS - Specimen label (PDF)
Vectobac 12AS - SDS (PDF) 

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