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Bats & Mosquitoes

Bat Box ImageAttract bats to your backyard with a bat-roost box and your mosquito problems are over. Right? Wrong! Studies have shown that while bats devour a huge number of insects, mosquitoes are only a small part of their diet. A study of fecal pellets of bats in Indiana conducted throughout an entire summer revealed that the primary food items were beetles, moths, and leafhoppers. A very small number of mosquitoes (0.7%) were found in the stomachs of bats in another study. Bats are "selective opportunists" when it comes to their feeding habits, and they will take a variety of prey. Why take a scrawny little mosquito when you can have a fat juicy moth? Unfortunately, mosquitoes are just not a significant part of their diet. The evidence from stomach analysis and feces examination does not justify the hypothesis that insectivorous bats specialize on particular types of insects.

Mosquito Magnets and Other Traps

Do Mosquito Magnets work? The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has addressed this issue quite well at the following link http://www.mosquito.org/traps.

Misting Systems

Installed residential misting systems have also been a hot topic lately. There are numerous problems with these systems which include but are not limited too; un-needed pesticide application, over application, development of pesticide resistance, etc. Again the AMCA has addressed this issue http://www.mosquito.org/position-on-misting-systems. APM concurs with the AMCA statement.

Bug Zappers

Almost 2 million homeowners have turned to the use of ultraviolet or black light electrocutors to zap their mosquito problems, but do they work? No! Researchers have found that while these traps do attract and kill thousands of insects every night, mosquitoes comprised only 6.4% of a five-day insect catch. Not only was the mosquito population a small percentage of all insects killed during this particular study, but only half of the mosquitoes killed were the biting, blood-feeding females.

Citrosa Plants

Citrosa Plant ImageMany plants are commonly thought to repel mosquitoes. Over the past few years the citrosa plant was created by crossing tissue cultures of an African Germanium with the Grass of China. The Grass of China contains citronella oil, and has been used for years as an active ingredient in mosquito repellent candles. No studies are available to support the idea that the citrosa plant or any other plant actually repels mosquitoes strongly enough to improve human comfort. In fact, some researchers believe that the only way the citrosa plant can release the citronella oil is if the plant is crushed.

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