- 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9 provides potential for novel ways of genetic pest control by improving gene drives. Like all pest control strategies, gene drives are not hazard-free. Difficulties involved in the containment of gene drives may restrict their use and require international agreements before release of approved types. Ecological risk assessment of gene drives designed to control agricultural pests should be conducted before their deployment. Public support will be crucial for the implementation of gene drives for pest control. Natural and social scientists need to work together to design ways to include the public in the decision-making process. The present commentary provides some thoughts on some of the issues one should consider when contemplating using gene drives in the management of agricultural pests.