Traps distributed to Florida counties to combat Zika virus

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services distributed several BG-Sentinal traps to seven counties, including Lee County.

The traps are used to capture the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes for testing. These type of mosquitoes are known to carry Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika.

Lee County received one new trap to add to their collection that they’ve been using for several years.

“We’re setting up probably about 13 to14 on a routine basis, and the others are used where we have suspected areas,” Shelly Redovan with the Lee County Mosquito Control District said.

Redovan says they strategically place the BG-Sentinal traps around the county, typically nearby homes where standing water is present or where certain plants grow. The traps essentially help target key areas where mosquitoes carrying a virus may be present.

“We’ve got a thousand square miles to cover and you can’t just start spraying everything, you need to target–where are those mosquitoes and what can we do the best to protect people,” Redovan explained.

The BG-Sentinal traps work by simply mimicking a human being.

“It has a very porous exterior atop, which is going to replicate human skin,” Redovan explains. “Then perhaps the lure that has some lactic acid and other mixtures to resemble human scent.”

Redovan says there is also a fan inside that traps the mosquito so it can be tested and identified.

“If we can stop the mosquitoes from ever biting someone that may have it, then we can prevent the mosquitoes from picking it up and transmitting it to someone else”

Lee County Mosquito Control says the best defense to stop the spread of Zika starts at home by making sure there are no areas of standing water.

There have been four confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Lee County.

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