B21002 Application for authorisation to conduct an experimental release of sterilised males of the alien tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

Receipt of application published on 3 January 2022

Publication in the Federal Law Gazette (BBI): 

Applicant: Università professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI)

Description and origin of the organism:

  • The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an invasive alien organism, native to Southeast Asia, which has been established in Ticino for around 20 years. It has also been spreading to other regions of Switzerland in recent years;
  • Tiger mosquitoes can transmit pathogens such as the Zika, Chikungunya and dengue viruses;
  • The sterilised tiger mosquito males to be used in the trial were obtained from a rearing of individuals collected in Ticino in 2019 and 2020.

Content and purpose of experiment:

  • The trial is part of an international project to investigate the effectiveness of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in controlling tiger mosquito populations and thereby reducing disease transmission;
  • The trial involves releasing large quantities of irradiated sterile males on a weekly basis. Females in the wild will mate predominantly with these sterile males (which will outnumber wild males by a factor of five to ten). As females that mate with a sterile male do not produce any viable offspring, the population is expected to decline;
  • The male mosquitoes to be released do not bite, do not produce any offspring and will die after about two weeks;
  • The trial will be conducted in the communes of Morcote and Melide. The success of this method will be determined by comparing tiger mosquito populations at these locations with other locations where no such releases are made.

Location of experiment:

Melide (TI), Morcote (TI)

Duration of experiment: 2022–2023 (releases from May to October each year)

Licensing procedure:

  • The procedure is based on Articles 17 et seq. and 21 et seq. of the Ordinance on the Handling of Organisms in the Environment (Release Ordinance, RO) of 10 September 2008 (SR 814.911).


Last modification 05.04.2022

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