PA To Conduct Black Fly Suppression Along Delaware River

Don’t be surprised to see a low-flying helicopter.

File photo.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is set to carry out an aerial operation to suppress black fly populations along the Delaware River on Friday, May 3,

The operation will begin at 8 a.m.

The suppression effort will cover the river from Easton in Northampton County to the Trenton and Morrisville Borough area, according to officials.

A white Bell 206 Longranger helicopter with blue stripes and bearing the tail number N660HA will be used for the operation. State personnel will oversee the operation from all landing zones involved.

Helicopter Applicators Inc. will be responsible for dispersing Vectobac 12AS, a larvicide manufactured by Valent Biosciences. The product, which is based on the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti), targets the larval stages of black flies. Bti is not harmful to fish or other aquatic life in the treated areas, and is specifically approved for use in Pennsylvania’s water management efforts, according to officials.

The helicopter will operate close to the treetops, scanning for any people or boats along the riverbanks to ensure safety before releasing the larvicide, which resembles a thick brown liquid similar to chocolate milk.

The operation is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to manage black fly populations along the Delaware River.

The data sheets for the chemical being used:
– Vectobac 12as – Specimen label (PDF)
– Vectobac 12as – SDS (PDF)

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