Mosquito control with bats

by googler@evpl on Tuesday, June 16 2009, 7:55pm. Viewed 1,215 times.

bat house plans bookAre there more mosquitoes around this year, or is it just me? One of the best natural ways to combat these pesky bugs is encouraging a local population of bats. Contrary to popular belief, bats do not swoop down into your hair. And you're way more likely to contract rabies from a dog or other ground-dwelling mammal. In short, they're good citizens and excellent neighbors. But their habitats are dwindling (and the mosquito population seems to be rising). You can help by building a bat house in a sunny spot, not too close to trees and other obstacles, about 12 to 18 feet off the ground.

The Bat House Builder's Handbook is in the Library's collection, and you can also visit a variety of websites on bats and their housing needs.

Bat Conservation International has a list of tips for attracting bats, criteria for successful bat houses, and lots of information on building and installing your bat house.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park has instructions on building a bat house.

This is an informative article and an entertaining read: Why I Built a Bat House.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has an excellent PDF file on building a bat house.

This would be a great weekend project for parents and kids -- maybe even Father's Day!

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gawell@evpl wrote
on Sunday, June 21 2009, 4:09pm

Prevention misconception

"One of the largest misconceptions about mosquito prevention is that birds, bats and amphibians will control mosquito populations, said Cantwell. Though they will consume mosquitoes on occasion, mosquitoes are not significant portions of their diets and those animals will not control populations.

Dorothy also said bug zappers kill many beneficial insects and not very many mosquitoes. Cantwell said people also think plants and citronella products will keep mosquitoes away, but that is not true.

Cantwell said to use repellants containing DEET and wear long, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Dorothy said DEET spray is the most effective way of keeping away mosquitoes."

I am all for Bat Houses, and maybe more so for Mosquito Houses, or maybe just an alternative food choice other than my ankle. It may be no surprise that Mosquitoes serve an ecological place, protective clothing and certain scents might camouflage and lessen someone's role in their food chain.

I went walking last week on a walkpath next to the Ohio River, then went off the path to walk closer to the shore, I got lots of bites, but I don't think they were Mosquitoes, I wonder if some sort of immunity can be built up. Next time I'll try more cover clothing, and I'm putting on Off before going off path.

Tips to Rid Your Community of Mosquito Breeding Sites

Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.

Store plastic wading pools inside or turn them upside down when not in use.

Turn over or remove clay pots and plastic containers.

Dispose of all empty beverage containers, plastic wrappers, discarded toys, etc.

Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc.

Arrange the tarp to drain the water.

Pump out bilges in boats.

Turn canoes and small boats upside down for storage.

Replace water in bird baths at least twice a week.

Remove pet food and water dishes that are not being used.

Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.

Don’t leave garbage can lids lying upside down.

Be sure water does not collect in the bottom of garbage cans.

Flush water in the bottom of plant holders twice a week.

Fix dripping outside water faucets.Turn wheelbarrows upside-down when stored outside.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems.

Check ornamental ponds, tree holes and water-holding low areas for mosquito larvae.

Call the nearest Mosquito Control Office if you find, or suspect, mosquito larvae are present.

If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes.

Report such conditions to a Mosquito Control Office.

Do not attempt to clear these ditches because they may be protected by wetland regulations.

Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites

Avoid areas of high mosquito infestation.

Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear long pants, long-sleeve shirt and hat when outdoors.

Use mosquito repellents containing DEET.

Consult a physician before applying DEET to young children.

Restrict the outdoor play of your children if mosquitoes are present.

Drain all water-holding outdoor containers around the home.

Inspect basements and crawl spaces.

If they are flooded, drain as quickly as possible.

The very young, the elderly and people with depressed immune systems are at most risk for acquiring disease from mosquito bites.

Contact the Mosquito Control Section of the Maryland Department of Agriculture nearest you for additional assistance and advice.

Some serious DUH answers and experts can disagree as much as non-experts about everything including what or who is for lunch.

Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture

gawell@evpl wrote
on Sunday, June 21 2009, 4:25pm

The Original Superfly

A few little known mosquito facts

In no order of importance

Only female mosquitoes bite; using proteins from a blood meal to produce eggs.  Most species can produce several batches of eggs during their lifetime.  

The mosquito's visual picture, produced by various parts of its body, is an infrared view produced by its prey's body temperature.  

The average life span of the female mosquito is 3 to 100 days; the male's is 10 to 20 days.  

Depending on species, female mosquitoes may lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time and may average 1,000 to 3,000 during their lifespan.  

Adults can live for several weeks, feeding on carbohydrate sources such as nectar and fruit juices.

Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases kill more people than any other single factor.  In the United States, mosquitoes vector (spread) several types of encephalitis, dog heartworm, and malaria.

The larval and pupil stages can be found in a variety of aquatic habitats including: discarded containers, tires, temporary woodland pools, tree and crab holes, salt marshes, and irrigation ditches.

Most mosquitoes remain within 1 mile of their breeding site. A few species may range up to 20 miles or more.  

There are over 170 described species of mosquitoes from North America.  Several species have been accidentally introduced from other parts of the world.

Depending on temperature, mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in as little as 4-7 days.

Presently, the cues used by mosquitoes to find their hosts are poorly understood.  Carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, octenol and light have been shown to be attractants.  Other compounds tested such as lactic acid  also have proved to attract certain species of biting insects.

The larvae are filter feeders of organic particulates.

..and they call the shark a killing machine, predator control has a funny way of working itself out. Oh and where is an the edit function?