Low-tech trap might help fight Zika virus outbreaks, CDC says

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

New mosquito could carry Zika in US

A low-tech mosquito trap might help control the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus, as well as other viruses such as dengue and chikungunya, government researchers said Tuesday.

The traps cut in half the number of cases of chikungunya when they were used in a few neighborhoods in Puerto Rico over the winter, a team at Puerto Rico's health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

CDC and the Puerto Rico Department of Health designed this simple bucket trap to control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. (Photo courtesy: CDC)

"We think if it's effective against chikungunya virus transmission, then it should be effective against transmission of other pathogens, such as dengue and Zika viruses," said Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist at the CDC's dengue branch in Puerto Rico.

The trap uses no pesticides or chemical attractants. The mosquitoes can develop resistance to insecticides and have done so in parts of Puerto Rico.

"It's about the size of a five-gallon bucket," Sharp said. "It's basically water, hay and glue."

READ MORE: Zika Virus is Coming and We're Not Ready

Mosquito traps are nothing new -- but this one is particularly effective and inexpensive, the CDC team said.

The water-soaked hay attracts female mosquitoes and the sides of the bucket are coated with glue. When the female mosquitos land to rest before laying their eggs in the smelly water, they get stuck.

RELATED: Images of the battle against Zika

19 PHOTOS
Zika, health agents trying to eradicate Zika mosquitoes in South America, Central America
See Gallery
Low-tech trap might help fight Zika virus outbreaks, CDC says
RECIFE, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 01: David Henrique Ferreira, 5 months, who was born with microcephaly, is examined by a doctor on February 1, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Ferreira's mother says she spends up to eight hours per day in transit on buses, three days per week, to visit a litany of doctors with David. In the last four months, authorities have recorded thousands of cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. The ailment results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders including decreased brain development. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a 'public health emergency of international concern' today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Health ministry personnel fumigate a classroom against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, vector of the dengue, Chikungunya and Zika viruses in Tegucigalpa, , on February 1, 2016. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Friday declared the country on a preventive state of alert due to the Zika virus which in the last 44 days killed a person and infected some 1000. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA. / AFP / ORLANDO SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Migente foundation check mosquito traps in the Paris neighborhood, Bello municipality, Antioquia department, Colombia on January 26, 2016. The Study and Control of Tropical Diseases Program (PECET) of Antioquia's University released one year ago Aedes aegypti mosquitos carrying the Wolbachia pipientis bacteria, which prevents them from transmitting the Zika and dengue viruses, as part of project to fight dengue. The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease suspected of causing serious birth defects, is expected to spread to all countries in the Americas except Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said. AFP PHOTO /Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP / -- / RAUL ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A photographer walks through the fumes as Health Ministry employee fumigate against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador, on January 21, 2016. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome in fetuses. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS / AFP / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Army soldiers check for Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae during a clean-up operation against the insect, which transmits the Zika virus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 22, 2016. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)
Army soldiers check for Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae during a clean-up operation against the insect, which transmits the Zika virus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 22, 2016. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)
Army soldiers check for Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae during a clean-up operation against the insect, which transmits the Zika virus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 22, 2016. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)
A health agent from the Sao Paulo secretariat of public health and army soldiers check for Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae during a clean-up operation against the insect, which transmits the Zika virus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 22, 2016. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL / AFP / Miguel Schincariol (Photo credit should read MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)
A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador, on January 21, 2016. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome in fetuses. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS / AFP / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador, on January 21, 2016. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome in fetuses. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS / AFP / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador, on January 21, 2016. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome in fetuses. AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOS / AFP / Marvin RECINOS (Photo credit should read MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Health ministry employees spray to eliminate breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits diseases such as the dengue, chicunguna and Zica viruses, in a Tegucigalpa cemetery on January 21, 2016. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA / AFP / ORLANDO SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
A specialist fumigates the Nueva Esperanza graveyard in the outskirts of Lima on January 15, 2016. Health officials fumigated the largest cementery in Peru and second largest in the world to prevent Chikunguya and Zika virus, which affect several South American countries. AFP PHOTO/ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP / ERNESTO BENAVIDES (Photo credit should read ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)
View of the Nueva Esperanza graveyard as it is fumigated in the outskirts of Lima on January 15, 2016. Health officials fumigated the largest cemetery in Peru and second largest in the world to prevent Chikunguya and Zika virus, which affect several South American countries. AFP PHOTO/ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP / ERNESTO BENAVIDES (Photo credit should read ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images)
A pregnant woman is attended at the Maternal and Children's Hospital in Tegucigalpa on January 21, 2016. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA / AFP / ORLANDO SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
A pregnant woman waits to be attended at the Maternal and Children's Hospital in Tegucigalpa on January 21, 2016. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA / AFP / ORLANDO SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Aedes aegypti mosquitos are seen in containers at a lab of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Sao Paulo University, on January 8, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal are in Brazil to train local researchers to combat the Zika virus epidemic. / AFP / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Aedes aegypti mosquitos are seen in containers at a lab of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Sao Paulo University, on January 8, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal are in Brazil to train local researchers to combat the Zika virus epidemic. / AFP / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The CDC-led team tested the traps in several Puerto Rican communities, they report in a special release of the CDC's reports on death and disease.

In the communities where there were not traps, 45 percent of the 152 people tested had been infected with chikungunya, the researchers reported. Only 23 percent of the 175 people living in the communities with traps had been infected.

The CDC has licensed the trap technology to Washington state based Spring Star Inc. to make on a large scale, Sharp said.

Although they sound simple, the traps cannot just be made at home, Sharp cautioned.

READ MORE: How Will Zika Spread? Look at Chikungunya

"How you put it together is very important," he said. "You cannot just grab a bucket, throw some glue in it and it'll work."

For one thing, the wrong type of glue will repel the mosquitoes, he said. And if it's not designed just right, it could actually act as an incubator for the mosquitoes.

"It is important to note that these traps are not going to solve the Zika outbreak or any future outbreak," Sharp added.

"They are one tool of many that can be utilized to reduce an individual's risk of infection with any of these viruses that are transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

They have to be used intensively to work well, Sharp said. "In these communities that have traps ... there are three traps per home in about 85 percent of the homes," he said.

But it might be possible to cluster them in and around the homes of pregnant women in Zika-affected areas, Sharp said.

Zika's spread across much of central and South America and the Caribbean since late last year. It's infected hundreds of thousands of people and is now known to cause severe birth defects when it infects pregnant women.

RELATED: Victims of the Zika virus

1 PHOTOS
Brazil reporting more microcephaly cases, defect cause by Zika
See Gallery
Low-tech trap might help fight Zika virus outbreaks, CDC says
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

It is almost certain that it can also cause neurological damage, such as the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome. While Zika is rarely deadly, it killed a man in Puerto Rico earlier this year.

There's no vaccine yet and no specific treatment and the World Health Organization and CDC say the best way to fight it is to get rid of the mosquitoes that spread it. They're trying a range of options, from insecticides to genetically engineered mosquitoes, mosquitoes infected with bacteria that stop the virus and old-fashioned control of standing water.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners