PA DEP will be conducting an aerial black fly (biting gnat) larviciding operation along the Schuylkill River and Perkiomen Creek on June 8, 2020, beginning at approximately 0830 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, and Schuylkill counties. Philadelphia borders the work being conducted in part of Montgomery County.
The helicopter used for this operation will be a grey with blue/red striping Bell OH58 helicopter with tail # N655HA. 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 the Landingville Dam in Schuylkill County and the City Avenue bridge in Philadelphia. Work on the Perkiomen Creek will be from Oaks to Spring Mountain.
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 or concerns, please call the Borough at 610-933-8801