Researchers in Florida are working to limit the mosquito population by installing more bat boxes (a brown bat can eat up to approximately 1,200 insects per hour- including moths, gnats, crickets, beetles, locusts, mosquitoes, fruit flies and other bugs).
From the article:
“Bats help control populations of infectious, night-flying species that affect humans and animals. They also help limit agricultural pests. They are known to eat 80 different insects, 30 of which are harmful to humans and animals. Thirteen of these insects carry pathogens like heart warms and West Nile virus.”
However, Brian Pope, director at Lubee Bat Conservatory, says that it’s hard to determine the impact bats will have in controlling Zika because the Aedes mosquito flies during the day and bats are out at night. But, researchers will still develop a year-long comprehensive study to examine exactly what species that bats consume.
Regardless, bat boxes are still helpful as they are an alternative to harmful pesticides. Besides, having a bat house decreases the likelihood they might take up residence in attics, barns or other man-made structures.
You can build your own, there are tutorials on Youtube, or you can purchase one. The University of Florida has bat houses with a population of about 300,000 bats and can hold 750,000 bats.
About 20 minutes before the sun sets, bats will begin to fly from roost sites to feed and continue emerging thereafter. They come and go all night and some bats don’t even return until early morning.
What do you think? Do you have any space on your property for a bat house?