Mosquito Control & Why Bats Aren’t The Answer
Everyone loves summer, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t gripe about mosquitos, wishing we had some form of effective mosquito control, while sitting outside enjoying a beautiful summer evening. Whether it’s the sound of them buzzing in your ears that you can’t stand or their itchy bites keeping you up all night, one thing is for sure, no one is a fan of these pesky little buggers.
Additionally, mosquitos can do a lot more damage than just an annoying itch, with some species carrying illnesses like West Nile, Zika and Malaria in various countries. But how do we eradicate a pest that has evolved to over 3,500 known species all over the world?
Humans haven’t been able to find the solution, so is it time we look to our nocturnal flying friend, the bat, to solve the problem for us?
Well, not so fast. Let’s take a deeper dive into bats’ eating habits and their relationship with the well-despised mosquito.
Do Bats Eat Mosquitoes?
Bats like to feed on mosquitoes and are known for doing so in large quantities, but mosquitoes may not be their favorite insect to snack on. Using bats for mosquito infestations has long been considered by scientists.
However, studies have revealed over the years that bats might not eat enough to help reduce mosquito populations in an area. Several researchers have studied how many mosquitoes a bat can eat during each feeding and what that means for the environment.
Find out what these studies have revealed below.
Bats and Mosquitoes Control
Many people believe that bats can binge on mosquitoes, eating as many as 1,000 per hour. That would lead you to believe that a single bat could eat 12,000 mosquitoes in one night, right? Unfortunately, those rumors are likely stretching the truth. While bats have the capability to eat over 10 mosquitoes in 60 seconds, it has not been observed before.
Many of the rumors flying around stemmed from a 1960’s study where researchers released bats into a confined space with a large number of mosquitoes. The study revealed that the little brown bats ate 10 mosquitoes per minute, but only for a few minutes, meaning they did not maintain this eating pattern for an extended amount of time. Additionally, a bat in a confined space without any other meal options can’t represent what a bat in the wild might do.
Additional Studies On The Link Between Bats & Mosquito Control
Another study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed that bats in the wild eat mosquitoes more frequently than what previous studies had observed by examining the guano of 12 little brown and big brown bats. They found at least one mosquito in all the little brown bat sites and in 60% of the big brown bat sites, meaning little brown bats eat more mosquitoes than big brown bats.
They also found that bats eat a variety of mosquito species, including those known to carry the West Nile Virus. This could indicate that using bats for mosquito control could help reduce health concerns, but only if they would eat more of them.
However, mosquitoes aren’t the only food source. Mosquitoes make up only a small portion of their diet, which also includes larger insects, such as beetles, moths and other larger insects that make for a more filling meal
Tips for Mosquito Control
Bats may not be able to solve your mosquito problem, but there are a few things you can do to help reduce populations in your yard, including:
- Remove any containers with standing water, such as pet bowls, ornamental ponds or old tires, where mosquitoes can breed.
- Make sure water in plant or flower pots properly drains.
- Mow tall grass where mosquitoes could be hiding.
- Change the water in birdbaths and children’s pools once or twice a week. Turn wading pools upside down when not in use.
- Keep rain gutters unclogged and dry.
- Drain any puddles, ditches or swampy places around the home.
- Don’t leave any porch or outdoor lights on that may attract mosquitoes to your home.
- Consult with your pest control specialist for mosquito control recommendations and treatments.
There are lots of chemical pesticide solutions on the market, but unfortunately these pesticides cause more harm than good. These chemicals are actually more likely to kill mosquito predators than they are to kill mosquitos. This helps mosquitos thrive even more. These predators, such as fish, bats and other insects which have much smaller populations and take longer to reproduce die out due to these harmful chemicals, while mosquitos are gaining resistance, leading to higher quantities and increased toxicity to help eradicate your mosquito problem.
Have A Bat Problem?
While bats may help lower the mosquito population in your immediate area, they can also cause a lot of problems. Don’t let bats make your house their home. If bats have evaded your attic, walls or sheds, trust Terminix Canada to help with bat control. Our humane bat removal can quickly respond to bat infestations and provide bat proofing services.
Our humane bat removal service utilizes industry-leading techniques to successfully remove bats from your property. Backed by over 90 years of wildlife removal experience, we only provide solutions that work.