Current techniques for the genetic engineering of insect genomes utilize transposable genetic elements, which are inefficient, have limited carrying capacity and give rise to position effects and insertional mutagenesis. As an alternative, we investigated two site-specific integration mechanisms in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. One was a modified CRE/lox system from phage P1 and the other a viral integrase system from Streptomyces phage phi C31. The modified CRE/lox system consistently failed to produce stable germline transformants but the phi C31 system was highly successful, increasing integration efficiency by up to 7.9-fold. The ability to efficiently target transgenes to specific chromosomal locations and the potential to integrate very large transgenes has broad applicability to research on many medically and economically important species.