Zika virus

Using Tires to Fight Zika

If you at all keep up with recent news, you know the word Zika. The disease is wreaking havoc in South America, specifically causing birth defects in unborn infants. Because a specific type of mosquito is the likely carrier of Zika, experts are working to control mosquito population growth. Researchers think they may have a solution — tires.

In a nutshell, portions of used tires serve as effective traps. The virus-carrying Aedes genus mosquito enters the tire trap and lays its eggs. Researchers then monitor and destroy the eggs.

But why tires?

According to the press release:

“We decided to use recycled tires – partly because tires already represent up to 29% of the breeding sites chosen by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, partly because tires are a universally affordable instrument in low-resource settings, and partly because giving old tires a new use creates an opportunity to clean up the local environment,” said [lead researcher] Dr. Ulibarri.

He also celebrated the side benefit of essentially recycling tires. We are always up for reusing tires! What do you think about this project? Sound promising?

More about the science behind the project can be found here.