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Traps Yield High Number of Potential Zika Carrying Mosquitos in Austin

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University of Texas Entomologist Dr. Alex Wild set up a mosquito trap in his backyard out of curiosity to see what kind of mosquitos he could catch in Austin. Unfortunately, Dr. Wild mainly caught the Aedes aegypti mosquito known as the species that carries the Zika virus.

According to KXAN, “Averaged over two days, Dr. Wild drew in eleven A. aegypti females per hour. He thinks the trap, which uses carbon dioxide to mimic humans breathing, must really appeal to A. aegypti’s senses.”

Even though cases of Zika in Texas have been travel-related, and there isn’t any evidence that Texan A. aegypti are carrying the disease, it’s alarming to know how easily it could spread.

Dr. Wild says that this species of mosquito breeds and thrives in neighborhoods. “What they love is old beer cans, they love clogged gutters, they like old tires. Their natural habitat here in Texas are the edges of human yards,” he told KXAN.

He notes that cleaning up a bit and emptying standing water will help lower their population. Since A. aegypti feed only on humans, we have to make our environment less hospitable so they know they are not welcomed guests.