Florida Keys

Oxitec’s Collaboration in the Florida Keys

Oxitec is partnering with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) to conduct a collaborative pilot project using our 2nd Generation Friendly™ Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit diseases like dengue and Zika in Florida. Our safe, non-biting male Friendly™ mosquitoes will be released in a small pilot study area to demonstrate their performance relating to the control of Aedes aegypti.

The project will begin upon regulatory approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Florida, and in conjunction with FKMCD’s approval and support.

A referendum in 2016 showed that Monroe County residents are overwhelmingly supportive of Oxitec’s technology, with 31 of 33 precincts voting in favor of the 1st Generation Oxitec mosquito project.

Before any deployment, we work hard to engage local communities, listen to concerns, dispel false news or erroneous information, and provide answers to any questions residents may have. We will continue to keep local communities fully informed in the coming months, and also encourage residents wanting to learn more about the project to contact us at florida@oxitec.com or call us on +1 888 308 1859.

For media inquiries, call us on +1 781 519 9981.

FKMCD is also available to answer any questions relating to this project.

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Key Facts:

  • Oxitec mosquitoes are safe, non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-biting and self-limiting;

  • Oxitec’s 2nd Generation technology adds a range of new features and benefits in addition to those delivered by its 1st Generation technology;

  • Oxitec’s mosquitoes do not pose a threat to humans or the environment, as confirmed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016;

  • More than one billion Oxitec mosquitoes have been produced for release worldwide, with no negative impacts;

  • More than 100 scientific studies and peer-reviewed papers have been published about Oxitec’s technology, a diverse cross-section of which can be found on Oxitec’s website;

  • Oxitec’s work receives exceptionally high levels of public acceptance and support in the communities where it has worked;

  • Oxitec’s field pilot projects will be small, designed to carry out tests on the ability to combat wild-type female (biting) Aedes aegypti relative to untreated control areas, as well as other operational and performance-related features of the 2nd Generation mosquito;

  • Despite erroneous claims, no tetracycline will have been used with Oxitec’s mosquitoes deployed in Florida.

Aedes aegypti in Florida

Aedes aegypti are invasive mosquitoes, not native to the United States, which carry and spread harmful diseases such as dengue, Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya. In recent years, Florida has seen locally transmitted cases of both Zika and dengue.

Mosquito control authorities work hard to reduce the Aedes aegypti mosquito. However, this species is difficult to control with current tools available, so authorities are looking for novel, safe and effective ways to keep mosquito populations at low levels.

For more information about the Aedes aegypti mosquito, click here; and for a recently published study on the growing threat that Aedes aegypti is posing to a growing number of US communities, please click here.

For more information on dengue in the US, click here.