1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Development of innovative tools for surveillance and control of Rhipicephalus ticks.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Previous research on responses of mosquitoes to host odors provides a range of potential attractants that may be effective for tick. Laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine which compounds are the most attractive to ticks. These will be evaluated under field conditions using a modified commercial bedbug trap and the most effective combination of attractants compared against current surveillance methods. Effective attractants will be used to develop an attract-and-kill approach for these ticks.
This research is related to Objective 5 of the inhouse project - "Determine chemical and other cues associated with regulation and orientation of specific behaviors by Aedes albopictus, Culex pipiens group species/hybrids, and other biting arthropods that can be applied to the solution of operational surveillance and control progress."
Significant progress has been made on this project to date. For objective 1 which is to develop effective host odor-based surveillance tools for the brown dog tick, a series of chemicals at various doses have been evaluated in a Y-tube olfactometer and several compounds (and their optimal doses) have been identified. Of these, attraction was increased with the addition of CO2. For objective 2, which is to develop and evaluate innovative alternative tools for control based on attract-and-kill approaches using host odors and fungal pathogens, we have evaluated several commercial and locally obtained isolates of two species of entomopathogenic fungi against ticks. Several highly effective formulations have been selected for use in the next objectives. For objective 3, which is proof-of-concept efficacy testing for surveillance and control, we have prepared the facility for tick testing. Additionally, we have developed trap prototypes. The final objective relates to the final year of the project.