Health department using new tool in fight against mosquitoes in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has a new strategy for dealing with mosquitoes.

Last summer, the Zika virus was a big concern. This year as a preventive measure the health department is changing the way it deals with mosquitoes in the city.

Typically, starting in June, the health department would spray for mosquitoes. This year, the agency will instead begin using a device to trap mosquitoes.

The department will place seven traps around the city. The mosquitoes caught will be tested, and if the health department deems it necessary, they will begin to spray like in years past.

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh is the City Commissioner of Health. He says this new technique is a recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mosquito season is less than a month away and the impact Zika will have this summer is still a question.

"So, up 'til now, Kentucky, for instance, has only had travel-related cases but there's a possibility that this mosquito season that the virus could move into the mosquito population northward and reach Kentucky," Dr. Humbaugh said. "We don't know if it will happen this mosquito season."

The city has a backpack sprayer that they'll use it if they detect Zika in a particular area of Lexington. Experts recommend people get rid of standing water in yards and that everyone wear mosquito repellent when outside.

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