Oxitec, a developer of biological pest control solutions, received approval from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to continue the pilot project for its Aedes aegypti just-add-water mosquito control technology in the Florida Keys.
The approval includes reviews from seven state agencies, including the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, to continue the project. The work will be carried out in partnership with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD).
In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved plans for the continuation of the pilot project as an extension of the Experimental Use Permit (EUP) granted in 2020. Following the EPA federal approval, Oxitec submitted a permit application to FDACS for state review, which has now been approved.
The 2022 project is expect to launch the week of May 9.
In Florida, Oxitec works closely with its government partners, local residents and a broad range of stakeholders, all of whom help guide, shape and contribute to the projects. Data from this additional pilot project will contribute to Oxitec’s application to the EPA for commercial approval of this technology.
Oxitec’s safe, sustainable and targeted biological pest control technology does not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, and is proven to control the invasive and disease transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito has invaded communities in Florida and other U.S. states, increasing the risk of transmission of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and other diseases.
“We’re immensely grateful to be working with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and to the communities who have welcomed us in the Keys,” Grey Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec, said. “We look forward to continuing our work with our world-class partners in Florida to deliver accessible, effective, and environmentally friendly solutions to control the increasing threat of invasive, disease-carrying mosquitoes.”