ISCA Acquires Assets from Canadian Company’s Pest Management Portfolio

Deal with Scotts Canada, Ltd., a subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, allows Riverside, Calif., biotech firm to expand its line of eco-friendly products supporting safer forestry, agriculture, and pollination.

ISCA Technologies’ acquisition of assets
developed by the Canadian company Contech
Enterprises included earth-friendly controls
for devastating mountain pine beetle, shown in this
picture killing pine trees in Waterton National
Park, Alberta, Canada.
Credit Daniel Miller, U.S. Forest Service.

Riverside, California – ISCA Technologies, a Riverside, Calif. biotech firm, has acquired from Scotts Canada, Ltd., a subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, certain intellectual property rights and assets of the industrial business portfolio of pest management products originally developed by the Canadian company Contech Enterprises to control insects and other pests in ways that greatly reduce reliance on harmful chemical pesticides. Scotts has retained the consumer business assets of Contech.

Like many of ISCA’s own innovations, these products use pheromones and other naturally-occurring compounds to protect forests, crops, pets and livestock from insect pests by manipulating pest behavior. The products had been originally developed by Contech Enterprises, a company that had operated in Delta, B.C., Canada, the rights to which were acquired by ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2016.

 Contech, previously known as Pherotech, successfully created, commercialized and licensed effective, safe and earth-friendly products during over many decades of intense research and development in collaboration with scientists at numerous academic institutions and government agencies, including Simon Fraser University, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and United States Department of Agriculture. ISCA, which has customers and research partners around the globe, will preserve and build on this body of important work.

 ISCA is already making and selling two of these Contech-developed products to manage and control bark beetles that kill pine and spruce trees. These products dispense beetle pheromones that essentially trick traveling beetles into believing that treated trees are already infested, and thus too crowded for newcomers. This causes the beetles to bypass treated trees, leaving the trees unharmed.  

Agenor Mafra-Neto

 “Bark beetles have been devastating the pine forests of western Canada and the United States for years,” said Agenor Mafra-Neto, Ph.D. president and CEO of ISCA Technologies. “We are pleased to be in a position to keep alive the environmentally-safe innovations originally developed by Pherotech and then commercialized by Contech and ScottsMiracle-Gro.”

 The bark beetle products, Pine Beetle Repellent Verbenone Pouch and Douglas-Fir and Spruce Beetle Repellent MCH Bubble Cap, are sold by ISCA and the following distributors: Horizon Companies (Forestry Distributing) and Dataweb Inc. in the United States, and Solida Inc., in Canada.

 Marc Charbonneau, Solida’s general manager, said he was pleased to see ISCA keep these products in the marketplace. But more importantly, he expects ISCA to improve upon the Contech innovations.

 “ISCA has the professionalism and synergy not only to continue the Contech lures and other products but improve on them for the government agencies, universities and others who need them,” Charbonneau said.

 About ISCA Technologies: ISCA is the world’s largest semiochemical insect pest management products producer that targets row and forestry crops. ISCA Technologies, Inc. is a privately held biotech company based in Riverside, Calif., that develops, manufactures and commercializes safe, economical, environmentally friendly, and highly effective control solutions to crop-destroying and disease-spreading pests worldwide through the use of naturally occurring compounds that influence animal behavior. ISCA’s revolutionary pest controls don’t harm non-targeted species and drastically reduce or, in many cases, even completely replace pesticide applications. For additional information, visit us at

 About ScottsMiracle-Gro:  The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company’s brands are among the most recognized in the industry. The Company’s Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in the U.S. and certain other countries by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. We maintain a minority interest in TruGreen®, the largest residential lawn care service business, and in Bonnie Plants®, the largest marketer of edible gardening plants in retail channels.  The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, The Hawthorne Gardening Company, is a leading provider of nutrients, lighting and other materials used in the hydroponic growing segment. For additional information, visit us at

 Keywords: pine, ISCA, Contech, Pherotech, bark beetle, spruce, verbenone, pheromone, ScottsMiracle-Gro

Hot Links to high res photos: Forest damaged from bark beetles and Agenor Mafra-Neto