SPLATTM - Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology



SPLAT Mating Disruption formulation

SPLAT applied on a peach tree to manage oriental fruit moth.

Aerial application of SPLAT

In this photo, a plane from Dynamic Aviation, which is contracted by the USDA Forest Service under the Slow the Spread (STS) of Gypsy Moth program, is applying SPLAT GM. SPLAT GM has been applied to almost 300,000 acres as part of the STS Program.

Mechanical application of SPLAT

SPLAT GM is one of only 2 USDA approved mating disruption formulations under the USDA Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread (STS) program. Almost 20 tons of SPLAT GM have been manufactured under contract for the STS program, applied to almost 300,000 acres. The photo above shows the loading of drums of SPLAT GM for delivery to Dynamic Aviation, which is contracted by USDA to aerially apply the SPLAT GM.

Read the news release here.

 

SPLAT® (Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology)*:
Biologically inert matrix for the release of semiochemicals and/or pesticides

Semiochemicals (such as synthetic pheromones) and some pesticides are volatile compounds which require an appropriate delivery and dispensing system to optimize and modulate its release in a manner that offers the best insect attraction in the time period desired. ISCA possesses a range of technologies that can dispense, optimize and modulate the semiochemical and/or pesticide release in mating disruption or attract & kill pest management programs.

SPLAT (Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology) has numerous advantages over current semiochemical controlled release technologies:

  • Provides long term rain and UV protection for the pheromone and/or active ingredient.
  • Biologically inert and bio-degradable matrix.
  • Ability to vary release rates and duration from weeks to months with one application depending on the size of the SPLAT dollop, and in many cases, achieve season long control with one application.
  • Amorphous and flowable quality allows for many types of application methods: spatula, caulking gun, metered backpack sprayer, tractor, aircraft, etc.
  • Possible to develop formulations to target more than one pest with formulation mix of desired pheromones, active ingredients and/or pesticides.
  • An EPA science review has certified all inert ingredients in SPLAT to be "suitable for food use".
  • In September 2009, the first SPLAT mating disruption formulation, SPLAT LBAM HD-O, was approved by the EPA National Organic Program for use by organic certified farms. Beginning in 2011, all SPLAT mating disruption products are (or have the potential to be) certified for use for organic production.
  • The use of SPLAT for attract & kill applications, which combines the use of one or more a species specific attractants and an insecticide, presents many advantages over the traditional application of conventional insecticides:

    1) Less insecticide is applied (both in quantity and frequency) since the target insects are attracted to the SPLAT dollops, while reducing the dangers of insecticide resistance buildup.
    2) With the insecticide protected from the elements by SPLAT dollops, insecticide field efficacy is improved from days to weeks or months
    3) One of the most often cited criticisms of mechanically applied insecticides are the dangers associated with insecticide drift. Current aerosolized methods of insecticide application have a tendency for drift due to the light weight and liquid state of most insecticides. However, SPLAT, with its heavier wax emulsion inert ingredients, resolves this issue with the concentration and controlled release of the active ingredients from SPLAT dollops, applied at a much lower rate, while still having better field life. SPLAT dollops typically do not drift. With some of the mechanical application methods used, SPLAT dollops can be aimed and applied to a precise spot (such as a tree branch), and due to their stickiness, the SPLAT dollop will “anchor” to the precise spot.
    4) When pheromone traps are used for the purpose of mass trapping, SPLAT attract & kill solutions can be developed as an alternative to mass trapping. SPLAT attract & kill solutions have several advantages over mass trapping solutions: traps do not need to be purchased, labor cost savings are generated because traps do no need to be serviced, field application of SPLAT attract & kill products are significantly faster compared to setting up and regularly servicing the traps and lures required for mass trapping.


  • SPLAT dollops are visually inconspicuous and virtually indistinguishable with other environmental dirt and grime. This is a helpful characteristics in many situations such as area wide applications. An example is the aerial application of SPLAT GM as an operationally approved formulation under the USDA Forest Service Slow-the-Spread of Gypsy Moth program. Over the years, SPLAT GM has been applied to several hundred thousand acres in the north eastern United States, without causing undue alarm to people.

SPLAT has proven its effectiveness in mating disruption, lure and attract & kill programs for many insect pests (such as codling moth, oriental fruit moth, pink bollworm, gypsy moth, brazilian apple leafroller and more), and ISCA welcomes collaborative efforts to develop new SPLAT applications.

ADVANTAGES OF SPLAT MATING DISRUPTION CONTROL

  • Unlike insecticide applications, mating disruption applications do not have concerns or issues associated with pre-harvest intervals, worker safety protocols (such as re-entry intervals and protective clothing), insecticide drift or resistance.
  • Mating disruption has the potential to reduce the number of insecticide sprays.
  • Mating disruption is species specific and does not impact non-target species such as beneficial insects or natural predators.
  • Mating disruption is environmentally friendly.  The ingredients of SPLAT are food grade and the active ingredient pheromone blend is a copy of the insect pheromone found in nature.
  • The overuse or misuse of many insecticides can lead to insecticide resistance.  The opposite is the case for SPLAT mating disruption formulations.   When effectively implemented, typically after the second year of application, the target insect population each year declines to a low level that less SPLAT (and insecticide sprays if you use them) need to be applied.    For this and other reasons mentioned above, mating disruption can be a cost-effective substitute for insecticides or supplement to reduce insecticide use.    

    CHECKLIST FOR COST EFFECTIVE MATING DISRUPTION USING SPLAT:

  • Many SPLAT formulations have better results in larger contiguous plots, preferably 10 acres or more, since the borders of the plot may have slightly higher damage due to mated females entering the plot.  Because of the border effect, the shape of a plot can influence effectiveness. For example for two small plots which have the same area of 10 acres each, the plot with a square shape will have better results than the one that is very narrow and long.
  • Plots with low to medium infestation level can be cost-effectively controlled with SPLAT. If your plot has a high infestation level, SPLAT may need to be supplemented with other forms of control.
  • Do plots in your vicinity practice good control measures? If no, there is a higher chance that mated females from adjacent areas where control measures are not effective may enter your plot and lay their eggs at the borders of your plot.  For this reason, it is advantageous to include plots in your vicinity as part of an integrated pest management program that includes SPLAT mating disruption.

    APPLICATION METHODS:

    Due to its amorphous and flowable quality, SPLAT offers the most flexible method of applying pheromone mating disruption and attract & kill formulations; it easily accommodates a variety of application methods: manual, mechanical and automated. Visit our YouTube Channel for the latest videos highlighting the numerous manual and mechanical methods that SPLAT can be adapted and applied. Many of these methods were developed by SPLAT users, who customized application methods from their existing equipment.

    SPLAT Gator
    John Deere Gator equipped with high pressure pumping components for maximum reliability. Precise metering valves assure accurate application.

    See it in action!

    SPLAT-o-Gator
    Developed in collaboration with researchers at Michigan State University, the SPLAT-o-Gator is an inexpensive option for applying SPLAT using a John Deere Gator.

    See it in action!

    Caulking Gun
    A standard caulking gun is the simplest way to apply SPLAT manually. SPLAT is packaged in caulking tubes which are compatible with readily available caulking guns.

    In this photo, Minnesota Department of Agriculture personnel apply SPLAT GM using off the shelf caulking gun.

     

    Aerial Application
    For large scale and region wide treatment, aerial application offers the most efficient method of application. In this photo, a plane from Dynamic Aviation, which is contracted by the USDA Forest Service under the Slow the Spread (STS) of Gypsy Moth program, is applying SPLAT GM. SPLAT GM has been applied to almost 300,000 acres as part of the STS Program.