Conventional Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) programmes are highly effective in controlling pest insects. Oxitec control technology can enhance their cost-effectiveness by replacing the radiation that reduces the fitness of the sterile insects. Female-specific Oxitec genes can also be used to separate the sexes to allow male-only releases, which is especially cost-effective. Oxitec insect control programmes will be highly competitive compared to other methods of controlling insects.
Oxitec technology 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 using another method of control.
Oxitec works with the appropriate regulatory agencies in each country for evaluation of the safety and environmental footprint of our technology, including organisations such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and The National Technical Commission for Biosecurity (CTNBio) in Brazil. Oxitec complies with all of the laws and regulations in each jurisdiction. Oxitec technology is species-specific because the insects only produce viable offspring with their own species so the genes don’t spread. The insects and their offspring die so the genes don’t persist in the environment. The proteins of the introduced colour marker and pest control genes are non-toxic and non-allergenic.
Oxitec technology is a form of biological control which is completely species-specific because the insects only produce viable offspring with their own species, so other beneficial insects like bees are not targeted. It can be used to reduce a target population to below the threshold for damage or disease transmission, then low level ‘preventative’ releases can keep it there.