Daily News Archive
From November 1, 2001

Bats Offer Alternative Pest Control

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. If you are interested in learning more about residential bat houses, visit http://www.batcon.org to see bat house plans.

Read the full text of this article at http://ens-news.com/ens/oct2001/2001L-10-31-06.html