PUBLIC NOTICE: Maryland Agencies to Treat Potomac River for Black Fly Control on June 29

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ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 28, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA)—in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources—will treat a targeted area of the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, as part of a pilot program to control black fly populations in the area. Treatment is scheduled for 8 a.m. June 29.

MDA will apply a Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)-based larvicide via helicopter (Bell 206 Long Ranger, green and white paint scheme. Tail number is N641HA). Bti is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soils worldwide. It is a bacterial insecticide, not a chemical, and is only harmful to a very limited variety of organisms, including midge, black fly, and mosquito larvae and a few other aquatic Dipteran (flies) insects.

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The treatment may cause temporary discoloration of the water, but it is completely nontoxic and is not harmful to humans, fish, crabs or other aquatic invertebrates. A fact sheet on Bti can be found here.​

The Black Fly Suppression Pilot Program was established in 2016. For more information on the program, please visit MDA's website.

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Follow Maryland Department of Agriculture on Twitter @MdAgDept

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