Mayor de Blasio put mosquitos on notice today, announcing a three-year, $21 million plan to fight the increasingly alarming Zika virus. Although the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads Zika has not been spotted in NYC, health officials fear that a similar species that does live in New York, the Aedes albopictus, could start spreading the virus if it bites a New Yorker who was infected with Zika elsewhere.

In an attempt to prevent that from happening, the Health Department will increase its efforts in areas with higher numbers of Aedes mosquitoes, using the same tactics they've used to combat West Nile virus, including: "breeding ground control, which eliminates standing water; larviciding, which targets the larval life stage of a mosquito; and adulticiding, which kills the adult insects." The Health Department is also increasing surveillance by adding 61 new mosquito traps that specifically attract Aedes species of mosquitos.

A public outreach campaign with the slogan "Fight Back NYC" will urge New Yorkers to get rid of standing water, use mosquito repellent, and make sure their window screens are secure. The City is also encouraging pregnant women who spent time in a Zika-infected region while pregnant to get tested, as well as pregnant women who had sex with a man who recently spent time in a Zika-infected region.

“We are doing all we can to target the mosquito that could transmit Zika here in the city, and building the capacity to respond to every possible scenario, no matter how unlikely,” de Blasio said today. “We will spare no effort to protect pregnant New Yorkers from the devastating consequences of Zika, and we ask New Yorkers to help us by taking simple steps to get rid of standing water where mosquitos can breed."

As part of the announcement, De Blasio toured the entomology lab at the City of New York Public Health Laboratory today. According to the press pool report, the mayor "was shown the different types of traps that will be deployed for the first time in NYC." From the report:

The Sentinal Trap runs on a 12-volt battery and looks like a giant cylinder encased in white mesh. The Grand Trap runs on D batteries and looks like an even bigger cylinder with clear mesh.

The mayor asked what kind of bait is used to to attract mosquitoes.

"Human skin odor," Dr. [Waheed] Bajwa mentioned.

“Like Cologne,” the mayor replied.

"Yes," Dr. Bajwa said.

You can stay updated on all the latest scary Zika news here at the Health Department website.