County Executive Alan McCarthy and his staff have been working on a plan with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to address the black fly nuisance issue that has been brought to the county government’s attention by numerous residents in the northwestern sector of Cecil County. Although this is not a public health matter, it has risen to the “take action” phase due to the nuisance complaints that have been raised over the last couple of years.
Black fly management has been in place for almost 30 years in southern Pennsylvania. Washington County, MD. started a pilot program for spraying with State assistance over the last couple of years. Knowing that this matter will not miraculously disappear in Cecil, the County Executive has directed his staff to develop an environmentally safe program to deal with this matter starting in the spring of 2019.
The Maryland Department of Environment will issue a permit in late April or early May at which time, the county team will meet with MDA staff to identify larvae. It is anticipated that spraying will occur between the months of May and September and that spraying frequency will be approximately every 2 weeks.
“We are tremendously appreciative of the assistance of the Maryland Department of Agriculture who has so willingly come to our aid and provided guidance as we work to deal with the black flies in Cecil County,” said County Executive Alan McCarthy.
This map depicts the five proposed treatment sites in Cecil County. The pesticide, Bti, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), is sprayed into the noted moving waterways and the current will carry it down stream. Bti, is specifically designed for this use and will kill mosquito larvae, black fly larvae, and midge larvae. The pesticide will remain effective for close to a mile downstream, so this map will allow us to treat all the habitat. tBti has been extensively studied and is considered very safe.
To learn more about the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Black Fly Pilot Program, please visit their website: https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/Black-Fly-Program.aspx.
Cecil County residents with questions and/or concerns, should email the Public Information Office.