In this photo provided by Microsoft, Microsoft researcher Ethan Jackson sets up a trap for mosquitoes in Harris County, Texas in 2016. (Microsoft via AP)
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When the robotic traps were pilot-tested around Houston last summer, they accurately captured particular mosquito species – those capable of spreading the Zika virus and certain other diseases – that health officials wanted to track, researchers reported Thursday.Trapping hasn't changed much in decades: Typically net traps are outfitted with mosquito-attracting bait and a fan, and suck in whatever insect gets close enough.Program the trap for the desired species – such as the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is the main Zika threat – and when one flies into a cell, its door snaps closed.Mosquito control director Mustapha Debboun called the high-tech trap promising, and is looking forward to larger scale testing this summer.Today's traps already provide lots of useful information, Florida's Day noted. Some mosquito species are so plentiful that he can catch thousands in a single trap.
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