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One Man's Trash is Another Man's...Zika Combatant?

Canadian and Mexican researchers have developed a cost-effective mosquito trap to combat Zika in Guatemala

Photo of Neshani Jani

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An Ovillanta

Earlier this year, Canadian and Mexican researchers working in Guatemala created mosquito trap made from discarded tires called an "ovillanta." The trap is formed by arranging sections of the tires into a mouth-like shape with a cavity that holds a nontoxic, milk-like substance to attract mosquitoes.

Old tires are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, as they fill with water when it rains. There are thousands of discarded tires in Latin America where Zika is most prominent, and researchers have estimated that the mosquitoes that transmit Zika use discarded tires for nearly 1/3 of their breeding sites.

Aside from being remarkably effective (the tire traps killed seven times as many mosquitoes as standard traps the researchers set up in Guatemala) there are several other merits to using these particular traps:

  1. Tires are a universally affordable instrument in low-resource settings
  2. Giving old tires a new use creates an opportunity to clean up the local environment
  3. The traps are cheaper than using pesticides to kill mosquitoes, which don't always work, and can also harm bats and the environment. 

The tire trap is a shining example of how cheap, everyday items can have a crucial impact on trapping mosquitoes and getting the Zika and other mosquito-born viruses under control.

Learn more about the traps and how they work>>


Join the conversation:

Photo of Waiswa  John Billy

Hello, thank you for being that innovative. These are great ideas that need to be published and taught to our local communities to help them fight and prevent spread of infectious diseases like zika.

Photo of Neshani Jani

Thanks Waiswa Billy John  , I hope you can continue to spread the idea to your community as well! I wanted to also give credit where it is due - to Gérard Ulíbarri and his research team who came up with the idea.

Photo of Waiswa  John Billy

Thank you Neshani Jani . I am to spread this idea to my community more and more. its such a wonderful idea that one can apply. I applied for a chapter in my community but it has not been comfirmed yet. It will help me make a great impact in my community working with a team that joins the chapter. This can help spread the idea more and get more good ideas.

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