Alternatives to Spraying
Besides Prevention, Prevention, Prevention?
Consider A Bat House!
Consider the community use of a bat house as part of your natural mosquito abatement program. Many zoos, parks, and city managers have installed bat houses in order to provide roosting habitat for their local bat species, as a single bat is capable of eating 500 - 1000 mosquitoes per hour. Though they may not always eat that many mosquitoes, they are known to be an important part of keeping a natural check on exploding mosquito populations. Bats are one of our most beneficial creatures alive. Yet, due to human development and the use of pesticides, the numbers of bats are in serious decline (with some species threatened by extinction).
"With the advent of mosquito-borne West Nile virus, perhaps bats will gain new respect. Spraying for mosquitoes is at best only a temporary measure because insects quickly develop immunity to chemical controls. A more permanent solution is bats, which are mosquito-eating machines. One brown bat can consume 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour." (Denver Post, 9/14/03)
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Bats Offer Alternative Pest Control
(Daily News Archive ,Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2001) Homeowners in Florida are beginning to look toward bats to combat nuisance insects in their neighborhood, according to Environment News Service. Florida residents have been increasingly concerned about insect pests since July when West Nile Virus was found in the state. Since then, the use of backyard bat houses has been on the rise. Bats feed on up to 1,000 flying insects per night, including mosquitoes, moths and flies.
A bat house provides
shelter for bats during the day. They tend to stay within the area of
the house during night. Since bats are peaceful creatures, many species
will share the same space in a bat house. On average, most residential
bat houses will hold 100 to 300 bats. The University of Florida's Institute
of Food and Agriculture Sciences created a house that is host to 100,000
bats, now a landmark in the area.
This type of pest control has been used in Europe since the 1960's and first started being used in the United States in the mid 1980's. As bat houses become more popular, certain myths will likely be dispelled. For example, contrary to popular belief, the rate of rabies in bats is very low. Also, it is possible to block bats' access to areas where they may be unwanted.
How much mosquito control can we really expect from our flying friends?
A few of the cities/groups that are working to attract bats for assistance with mosquito abatement:
To learn more about building and maintaining a residential or community bat house, visit:
For more information on bats, bat species, locations, additional links, etc., visit:
12 Bat Facts