Conventional SIT programmes are highly effective in controlling pest insects. RIDL can enhance their cost-effectiveness by substituting for the gamma irradiation which reduces the vigour and competitiveness of the sterile insects. Female-specific RIDL (fsRIDL) can also be used to separate the sexes to allow male-only releases, which have been demonstrated to be significantly more cost-effective. RIDL-based insect control programmes will be highly competitive compared to other methods of controlling insects.
RIDL harnesses the natural instinct of a male to find a female. A male insect will find a female of the target pest species far more efficiently than a human.
RIDL is a biological control method which is totally species-specific so there are no off-target effects. It can be used to reduce a target population to below the damage, or disease-transmitting, threshold and then low level ‘preventative’ releases can keep it there.
Total sex separation is possible so that only male insects are released, eliminating disease risk (male mosquitoes do not bite or spread disease) or risk of crop damage from egg-laying females. RIDL is species-specific so, unlike using insecticides, only the target insect population is affected. The conditional lethal attribute also protects against the hazard of accidental release. If RIDL insects were to escape from a rearing facility, they would be unable to reproduce because they would not have access to the diet supplement. RIDL allows rearing facilities to be located in pest-free zones without the risk of escapees causing harm.
RIDL insects are reared and released locally, building local expertise and providing employment.