Town builds bats homes to control mosquitoes


July 6, 2016

A Long Island town continues to add bat houses at several of its parks with the goal of attracting bats and, in turn, reducing its mosquito population.

In the wake of recent threats of West Nile and Zika viruses, mosquito reduction methods have popped up all over the world, including Brazil’s sweaty billboard project and a nuclear radiation plan.

In 2007, the town of North Hempstead, N.Y., started encouraging constructing the boxes in its parks— some built by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts — to curb the use of pesticides. A few more have been added each year since, reports The New York Times.

“We have an increased sense of urgency in terms of wanting to make sure that we’re controlling the mosquito population to the very best of our ability,” Judi Bosworth told The New York Times, alluding to the viruses. “Just having bat houses isn’t going to be the answer, but at least it’s looking toward a solution that is environmentally friendly.”

“The effectiveness of bat boxes is hard to quantify,” says Kevin Braun, the town’s environmental control specialist. “But we know that bats eat flying insects, including mosquitoes, so it is not a great leap of faith to say that more bat boxes means more bats and less mosquitoes.”

[Comment below to share your thoughts on using this technique to reduce mosquito populations.]

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