HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced the start of its 2022 black fly suppression program on City Island in Harrisburg on Tuesday.
The program involves both aerial and backpack spraying of waterways.
Black fly populations are lessened through the use of BTI, a naturally occurring bacterium that does not harm local ecosystems.
DEP officials say the uptick in black fly populations is due to cleaner streams and rivers in the state.
With increased funding, more stream miles can be treated.
"They're very strong fliers, they can fly over 20 miles, so even if you don't live near a river that we treat, if you're within 20 miles of one that we do, you can be impacted by black flies," said Program Manager Douglass Orr. "It's not a miracle program. If we have bad weather or high flows we might be shutdown for awhile, but we do a pretty good job of getting out there when we can and controlling populations."
Officials urge anyone fishing, boating, or near a helicopter spraying for black flies to make your presence known to pilots so that they can redirect their efforts.