PUBLIC NOTICE: Maryland Agencies to Treat Potomac River for Black Fly Control on June 3

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 3, 2024) ~ Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced a new pilot program in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources to control black fly populations in the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The treatment is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 3, 2024.

The MDA will be using a Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)-based larvicide, which is a naturally occurring bacteria found in soils. This bacterial insecticide will be applied via helicopter, specifically a Bell 206 Long Ranger with a green and white paint scheme and tail number N641HA.

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While the treatment may cause temporary discoloration of the water, it is completely nontoxic and poses no harm to humans, fish, crabs or other aquatic invertebrates. According to MDA officials, Bti only affects a limited variety of organisms such as midges, black flies, and mosquito larvae.

The Black Fly Suppression Pilot Program was established in 2016 and aims to control black fly populations in targeted areas. For more information on the program and its methods, interested individuals can visit MDA's website or refer to their fact sheet on Bti.

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