Will a Bat House Get Rid of Mosquitoes in My Yard?
A bat house, also called a bat box, is a specially constructed box designed to serve as a habitat for bats. Homeowners can mount them on a pole in their yard or against their home to provide a safe place for bats to roost during the day. At night, they rely on bats voracious appetite for insects and hope bats will fly around their yard eating mosquitoes.
More and more homeowners are installing bat boxes in Virginia in an effort to reduce biting mosquitoes. But before you go either buy or build a bat box and take the time to install it, here is how well you can expect a bat box to work for mosquito control and the related risks you need to be aware of.
Pros and Cons of a Bat House for Mosquito Control
Each bat eats an average of 7,000 insects each night, including moths, flies, gnats, and, of course, mosquitoes. As a result, they are one of the best natural pest control methods on the planet. Misconceptions about bats, habitat destruction, and disease have decimated many bat populations, leaving fewer bats around to consume insects.
A bat box can help restore the habitat of these important animals, but how well that translates to mosquito control can vary. Some of the reasons why installing a bat house may be less than effective include:
- Bats May Not Come – A bat box provides an option for bats’ roost, but does not guarantee they will move in. Bats often return to the same roost year after year, so unless they are seeking a new place to live, they may bypass your bat box. Even then, they may find a more suitable location elsewhere.
- Bats Cover a Wide Area – Depending on the species, bats can fly many miles each night. Mosquitoes tend to only travel about a mile or two from where they were born. This means that bats living in your bat house may be hunting elsewhere, but it also means that bats living on other properties may come to you if you have a mosquito problem, all without needing to build a bat box.
- Bats Have Some Health Risks – The risks of bats are extremely low, and usually not a problem if they are not living in your home. Their droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a respiratory illness, so you should be aware when working in the soil below the bat box. Bats may also carry rabies, and transmit it through a bite or scratch.
- Not All Mosquitoes Are Active at Night – Some mosquito species, like members of the Culex family which was the mosquito behind the Zika virus, fly around during the day. When bats are out at night, these mosquitoes are resting in places where bats cannot get them.
Despite the small risks, there is generally no harm in installing a bat house. It can be exceedingly beneficial for local bat populations, many of which are endangered, and keeping bats in the area helps manage pests. But you should not expect a new bat box to solve your mosquito problems.
If you are dealing with an excessive number of mosquitoes in your backyard, professional mosquito control is your most effective option. ExtermPRO provides mosquito control in Virginia with treatments that kill mosquitoes living in your yard and deter other mosquitoes from coming onto your property for several weeks until it is time for a new treatment. Call us today to learn how our mosquito control works and why it is the best way to get rid of mosquitoes.
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