SPLAT TK: Semiochemical Control of the Deer Tick

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2016-33610-25698
Agency Tracking Number: 2016-03874
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.3
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-08-31
Small Business Information
1230 W SPRING ST, Riverside, CA, 92507-0000
DUNS: 960774941
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Agenor Mafra-Neto
 (951) 377-3704
Business Contact
 Agenor Mafra-Neto
Title: CEO/President
Phone: (951) 686-5008
Email: president@iscatech.com
Research Institution
ISCA Technologies proposes to further develop and optimize SPLAT® TK, an attract and kill(A&K) formulation designed to target all active stages of the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, aspecies of major medical and veterinary significance in the U.S., due to its capacity to transmit Lyme disease and several other zoonotic pathogens. ISCA's sprayable, long-lasting SPLAT TK formulation will attract and arrest ticks in vegetation on the borders of high traffic or high risk areas, such as the edges of pastures, backyards, or hiking trails, thereby preventing them from locating and attaching to human or animal hosts. SPLAT TK consists of a blend of highly potent semiochemical components of the I. scapularis arrestment pheromone incorporated into SPLAT®, a patented, EPA-registered controlled-release matrix. This product can be tank-mixed by the end user with an appropriate reduced-risk acaricide to form an effective, environmentally friendly A&K formulation. Attraction to SPLAT TK blended with this tank-mixed acaricide component will result in the death or significant debilitation of all questing (host-seeking) ticks within the range of detection of the active semiochemicals. Our research suggests that very low quantities of acaricide are required to achieve desired levels of season-long tick control, as the selected pheromone components have been shown to induce ticks to cluster at the site of the attractants. The reduced toxicity of SPLAT TK is enabled by the synergy of a species-specific lure that attracts the target tick to a point source with a high dose of a reduced-risk acaricide. Unlike conventional acaricides, which must be applied as uniform cover sprays to be effective, SPLAT TK is designed to be dispersed as tiny, discrete point sources. These features facilitate this product's application across rural environments, even in areas of high human activity and in sensitive natural environments. SPLAT TK shows great commercial potential due to the increasing incidence of tick-borne disease in animals and humans, as well as the lack of effective control options for I. scapularis. By reducing the dangers posed by I. scapularis and the diseases transmitted by this species, we hope to safeguard the health of human and animal residents of our nation's rural communities and expand opportunities for economic growth within thesecommunities by bolstering such industries as rural tourism, camping, hiking, fishing, and agri-tourism, all of which are currently hampered by the lack of viable control options for disease-carrying ticks. In Phase II, this innovative, effective, and environmentally sustainable approach to tick control will be developed for application in livestock production, public health, parks andrecreation, and forestry pest management programs. The annual market potential for this product in U.S. rural communities is around $115M, with an additional potential sales value of ~$400Mto consumers in affected suburban markets. Phase I studies produced excellent results,demonstrating viability of the proposed solution. From several prototype SPLAT TK formulations of attractant/arrestant tick semiochemicals, two underwent small-scale field trials in New York that not only strongly suppressed nymphal I. scapularis populations, but alsocontrolled larval tick populations. Dead larvae, nymphs, and adults were found at or near SPLAT TK A&K deposits on the foliage in the field, indicating that attracted I. scapularis manipulatedthe formulation until intoxicated. In Phase II, we will continue to optimize the prototype SPLAT TK formulation, the blend of arrestant semiochemicals, and select the best candidate reduced risk acaricides, to create a highly effective A&K formulation for season-long control of I. scapularispopulations in the field. We will also conduct evaluations of various manual and mechanical methods of application for SPLAT TK, to identify the most effective means of deployment for t

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government