About Us

X Sterile Insect Technique, or XSIT, is an initiative of the Citrus Research International (CRI) to commercialise the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for the control of T. leucotreta or FCM as it is more commonly known.

XSIT | X Sterile Insect Technique | About Us

T. leucotreta is an endemic pest of the tropics with more than 80 different documented hosts. T. leucotreta established itself more than 40 years ago in South Africa with phytosanitary status, meaning that countries importing produce eg. citrus from South Africa maintains zero tolerance against this pest. Due to FCM resistance to the commonly used organophosphates and some other insecticides normally used to control FCM, the CRI, in association with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), PIP (Pesticide Initiative Program) and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) embarked upon a research project in Citrusdal in 2002 to develop SIT for application in FCM control.


XSIT | About Us | FCM Control with SIT

This research led to a commercial trial being conducted in Citrusdal, in 2005. In only one season,  excellent results were obtained in the suppression of the FCM population in the trial area. The results were welcomed by the industry and it was decided to commercialise this technique, whereafter XSIT (Pty) Ltd was established by River Bioscience. The facility was established in Citrusdal, where the field research had been conducted, and is also the region that provides a large amount of citrus production for the export market.