With just a few days left in his contract and just as many barrels of bacterial treatment, Mark Hopkins of Enscience may be returning to waterways in south Logan to treat back flies again.
Magistrate Jack Crossley asked his fellow fiscal court members Tuesday if they would be alright with allowing Hopkins to go back and do one more check this year since he had two days in his contract left. Crossley said he had already spoken with him and he thought it might be a good idea.
“There are still a few isolated places the black flies have presented themselves,” said Crossley.
Magistrate Jo Orange suggested waiting until the spring to use those days and the left over barrels of treatment. She said she didn’t believe the black flies were that bad in the cold weather.
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin told Crossley to do what he wanted. He agreed with orange saying that maybe it could wait until spring, but basically felt Crossley could do what he wished considering the county had already agreed to the contract.
Crossley admitted the flies will always be in Logan County.
“He (Hopkins) felt like we needed to go back. We will have to do it again in the spring,” said Crossley.
Crossley said he would talk to Hopkins once again and inquire about a return visit before the end of the year.
Logan County has been experiencing a overwhelming presence of the black fly over the past four to five years, especially in the southern part of the county. This pesky problem preempted the Logan County Fiscal Court to hire Enscience, a local company who went into the most remote areas of the Red River and Whipporwill Creek this spring and summer to apply Bacillus thuringienisis israelensis (Bti), which is a biological material specifically designed to target black fly larva. The material is non-toxic to humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants and most invertebrates when properly applied. It is used worldwide to control black flies and mosquitoes without harming non-target organisms.
Hopkins, who is the president of Enscience, says it seems to be working well. It is important to kill the black fly at the larval stage, said Hopkins.
The state of Kentucky purchased 23 barrels of product for Logan County. There are a few left. The county agreed to purchase additional barrels for $10,000 if needed, but so far they have not had to.
Robert Fusco, a field scientist with Valent BioSciences Corporation brought in by the state to access the black fly problem, says the flies have always been in the area, it’s the river that has changed that may be causing an increase. The river is extremely clean now, where it used to be more polluted.
Hopkins said that Logan County will probably never be free from the black fly, but by treating the waterways each year, they can curve the amount.