If you want to attract bats faster to a bat house, hand a sock filled with guano
near it. That's what we did. Apparently the Eagle Scouts and Boy Scouts did
this experiment and it works.
Every winter when most of the bats migrate back to Mexico I go with a mask and
shovel up a lot of guano from under the bridge where they dwell. I throw it in
the compost pile. Of course I wear gloves, hat and a mask so not to breath the
guano dust. I've seen a small five pound bag of guano sell for 8 dollars. I
get tons of the stuff for free.
Many municipalities are now building bridges with similar design as those in
Texas which have given the bats habitat. They are doing this all over the
country. Bats are extremely beneficial and I hope it works the way you'd like
I've heard guano makes wonderful compost. An anthro prof I once had did a
lot of excavation in Baja - found burials in caves. First they had to send
in the guano cleaners!! He went on and on about archeologists who had gotten
very sick from excavating cave burials in the past. This always sticks in my
I'm not really putting up bat houses this year thinking they're going to
irradicate the mosq pop. This just ain;t going to happen. I would just like
to see us right some of the wrongs we have done by cutting down so many of
their breeding/summer areas.
I can understand that. I'm on the side you're on, believe me. I have
sacrificed my entire property to the habitat of anything which resides here.
Rats eat in our garden, so do squirrels, bats, mice, birds, snakes, skinks,
lizards and gecko. We kill nothing. It all works out.
What a great idea! Exchange the chance of getting west nile with the chance of
catching rabies! Boy aren't politicians clever!
Just breed dragonflies...they are the ones eating all the mosquitoes!
I think that there is a SLIGHTLY larger chance of being bit by a mosquito
than a bat. From where I sit I get hundreds of mosquito bites a year -
thousands over a life time. I've never been bitten by a bat - and have seen
many. My animals have not been bitten by them either.
Of course we could instead spray all the swampland with larvacide and spray
the bush with DEET.
Personally if between bats and martens and swallows and dragonflies, not to
mention other mosquito predators, we even decrease the mosquito population
around myself by 5% - I will be happier than spraying or destroying wetlands
as a control!!!
BTW all of the research that I have so far seen on bats or martens not being
a good control are minimal and not enought to draw a final conclusion on!
The studies will certainly be flying now so we shall see results in the next
Man, I didn't think posting this article would engender such debate -- it
was meant to show that for once local government was actually considering
something other than just spraying chemicals that kill other things and wear
off too quick to make a big enough impact.
From what I've read, no formal studies have really been conducted to
determine just how effective bats, purple martins, swallows, and other such
predators are in controlling local mosquito populations. It's certainly
worth the try and the benefits are substantial.
I'll be attempting a combination of efforts on my own property to control
the buggers next year, including a bathouse, bird houses (purple martin
among them), mantids, small ponds (to bring larvae and fishes together in
union <Grin>), and dragonflies. We also have a Mosquito Deleto running.
I'm hoping that by encouraging all of these factors we can put a dent in the
For those interested, this article/story is from the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Yes, and that has been honored as being a good thing to do. However, it is also
good to point out they possibly won't get the results they are seeking. None of
what I said was meant with mean spirit. Just factual.
The benefits are not substantial. That's the point. Bats do not eat as many
mosquitoes as they are rumored to eat. You can't say it's substantial if it's
I was not trying to be mean spirited either. I love a good debate and always
try to see things in shades of grey. There is no black and white - this has
been useful for me - I have learnt something of Austin and how it was
overpopulated with bats!!!
Austin markets itself with those bats! It's truly an amazing sight all summer
to see those bats fly out from under the bridge by the millions. They swarm out
for about an hour or more. Many of them swoop right next to your ears and it is
so exciting. Austin is a very hip city. The motto of the city is "Keep Austin
Weird." We have more hippies here from the 60s than anywhere outside of
possibly California and Woodstock, NY.
If you like bats, this is the place!
You missed the point -- there have been no formal studies showing evidence
either way. Trying a biological control is worth the try and the benefits
of biological controls over chemical controls are substantial. If the
experiment is unsuccessful that will not alter the fact that the benefits of
biological controls over chemical controls are substantial -- it just means
that in this case, the biological control attempted was unsuccessful.
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