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Toronto startup's mosquito traps to protect Olympians from Zika in Rio

Toronto startup's mosquito traps to protect Olympians from Zika in Rio

Posted by PanamericanWorld on July 21, 2016

A team of Toronto entrepreneurs is doing its part to ease Zika virus concerns among Olympians headed to Rio.

About 250 biodegradable mosquito traps made by Toronto startup Greenlid have been donated to the Canadian Olympic Committee and will be placed around areas where the athletes are living and training while in Brazil.

The partnership comes as Olympic athletes continue to pull out of the competition for fear of the virus. Last week, Canadian tennis icon Milos Raonic cited uncertainty about Zika as was one of the reasons he decided not to compete. Two staff members from the organizing committee also aren’t making the trip.

Jackson Wyatt, co-founder of Greenlid, said the goal is to create a “mosquito shield on the perimeter of where our athletes will be.”

“It’s about taking extra precaution, any extra step against these mosquitoes,” he said.

Wyatt and his brother, Morgan, started producing the paper-based traps about two years ago, out of their passion to eliminate plastics in the fight against mosquitoes.

Since then, they’ve shipped thousands of traps to Australia where the government uses them to fight off dengue fever. About 10 other countries are running similar trials, including Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The price varies, but the group is trying to set it at less than three dollars on the Canadian market.

For every trap purchased, Greenlid donates another one to charities working in communities most affected by mosquito-borne illnesses.

For the two brothers, the beauty lies in simplicity.

“We just drop the trap off, just fill it with water and insecticide and just kind of forget it,” said Wyatt. “No education burden or literacy needed. It’s just the simplest of things.”

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