Blackflies

Dear editor,

I have resided in Warren County for many years and enjoy the outdoors. The last several years I have found outdoor activities unpleasant due to black flies (small swarming insects sometimes referred to as gnats).

Black flies breed in streams and rivers. Once they hatch, they will migrate up to five miles.

Aerial spraying of streams should be conducted by the state from spring until fall. In past years funding was not available to continue spraying throughout the entire season. High water in streams and rivers prohibits the effectiveness of spraying. Warren County has had plenty of rain and high water in the streams. June 5 was the only time spraying was done to my knowledge.

If you are frustrated with these insects, I encourage you to contact our county commissioners, state representatives Kathy Rapp, Scott Hutchinson, Senator Joe Scarnati and governor Corbett. The WTO lists how to contact our state representatives several times a week.

The state has a website to report complaints regarding these insects (www.depweb.state.pa.us/blackfly). William Andrus is the blackfly biologist for northwest Pennsylvania. To ensure spraying our voices need to be heard.

I have visited several counties in Pa. (Tioga, McKean, Potter, Indiana, Clearfield) and have not encountered blackflies there. Warren County must be the perfect breeding ground and home for them. If the blackflies are not controlled or eradicated our tourism for outdoor activities will suffer greatly.

If I was a tourist I would not return to Warren County.

Elaine Taraska

Warren