NY TIMES — NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — As mosquito season heats up, bringing with it the threat of the West Nile and Zika viruses, one Long Island town is taking an unorthodox approach: bats.
The town, North Hempstead, has approved the construction of boxes that function as bat houses in several parks to attract more bats to the area.
“Bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour,” Judi Bosworth, the town supervisor, said. “That’s extraordinary. A pesticide couldn’t do that.”
The town started encouraging the building and hanging of bat houses in its parks in 2007 to curb the use of pesticides, and it has added a few more each year since.
“We have an increased sense of urgency in terms of wanting to make sure that we’re controlling the mosquito population to the very best of our ability,” Ms. Bosworth said, alluding to the viruses. “Just having bat houses isn’t going to be the answer, but at least it’s looking toward a solution that is environmentally friendly.”
• NIH PLANS TO ENLIST U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM FOR ZIKA STUDY — WASHINGTON TIMES
• MAN PARALYZED AFTER CONTRACTING WEST NILE VIRUS FROM MOSQUITO BITE — CBS LOS ANGELES