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Development of a Vector Arthropod (Tick and Flea) Pitfall or Sticky Trap with CO2 Attractant


OBJECTIVE: The development of a tick and flea sticky or pitfall style trap to be used for field surveillance which employs a deployment sound source of CO2. DESCRIPTION: Current methods for trapping ticks and fleas by DoD personnel are not as effective as should be given the peer reviewed literature which documents what serves to attract and trap off-host tick and flea species known to carry disease causing pathogens (Gaaboub et al, 1972; Borchert et al, 2012; Miles, 1968; Hokama, 1977; Garcia, 1962; Nevill, 1964). Among the methods currently employed by DoD entomologists, public health and pest management personnel for monitoring for ticks and fleas of medical and veterinary importance are tick drags and burrow swabs and, when available, with dry ice as a source of CO2, but these are either manpower intensive, not conducive to current deployment packages, or ineffectual. A tick drag is a piece of white sheet or fleece with a dowel sewn into one end and pulled by a string tied to the ends of the dowel, and burrow swabs are cotton balls on the end of a dowel rod or sewer snake, which are inserted into animal burrows. The dry ice is laid on the tick drag and left for some period of time. However, the ticks will more often than not crawl off prior to the attendant being able to return to the drag, or the attendant is left in the area watching the drag for 4 6 hours. What is sought here is a pitfall or sticky like trap which provides a continuous source of CO2 for ~8 hours of use which weighs less than 3 pounds and dimensionally suitable for field use in grid and burrow trapping. The ideal product will be well suited for preventative medicine deployment packages and equally effective as current collection methods. The trap must be low cost and durable enough to allow for multiple reuses and long term sustainability. The trap would allow for survival of collected arthropods for five days under similar temperature and humidity levels; may be of similar dimensions as discussed by Miles (1968) 12cm (long) x 5cm (diameter); allow easy removal of specimens; and self-contain additional parts. PHASE I: The Phase I deliverable one will be to design/develop a prototype(s) along with providing limited testing data (lab or field) demonstrating the effectiveness of each prototype in collecting and maintaining fleas and/or ticks from locations of known populations. The population data will be based on previously collected population data for each field site. Field-sites should provide supporting data for hard and soft tick species and flea species of medical and/or veterinary importance. Prototype data will also include potential for reusability, weight, dimensions, durability, and potential cost for each prototype. PHASE II: Phase II deliverables are include producing hardware prototype(s) of Phase I work, and development of proper field testing metrics that will address the following requirements: trapping effectiveness of fleas and ticks in a variety of climates and conditions (i.e., rain, extreme heat, areas of high humidity, etc), durability, reusability, preventative medicine deployment package weight and dimensions, and costs per unit/maintain unit analysis. Small businesses will work closely with Armed Forces Pest Management Board and relevant board committees to assure that their metric of prototype testing (i.e. field collection and lab analysis) are in line with DoD standards. A final report of findings for each prototype will be provided, along with comparisons of strengths and weakness of multiple prototypes (when applicable). PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III expectations are that the small businesses will work with the Armed Forces Pest Management Board, and relevant board committees, to develop the hardware prototype(s) into products which can be submitted for inclusion in service specific deployment packages. This will require the product to be granted a national stock number which will be coordinated with the Armed Forces Pest Management Board. REFERENCES: References are available through the Armed Forces Pest Management Board"s"Literature Retrieval System"at 1. Borchert, J.N. et al. 2012. Evaluation and Modification of Off-Host Flea Collection Techniques Used in Northwest Uganda: Laboratory and Field Studies. J. Med. Entomol. 49(1): 210-214. 2. Gaaboub, I.A., Mansour, N.A. & Kamel, F.M. 1971. A Field Trap for Collecting Adult Fleas. WHO/VBC/71.289, Z. angew. Entom., 68. H. 4, S. 432-438 3. Garcia, R., 1962. Carbon-dioxide as an attractant for certain ticks (Acarina"Argasidae and Ixodidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer., Vol. 55 (5): 605. 4. Miles, V.I. 1968. A Carbon Dioxide Bait Trap for Collecting Ticks and Fleas from Animal Burrows. J. Med. Ent. Vol. 5(4): 491-495 5. Nevill, E. M. 1964. The Role of Carbon Dioxide as Stimulant and Attractant to the sand tampan, Ornithodoros savignyi (Audouin) Onderstepoort J. Vet. Res. 31(1): 59-68.
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