When it comes to controlling the threat of Zika, one Long Island town is stepping up to bat. Residents of North Hempstead have begun installing homemade wooden boxes to attract bats that are able to eat 1,000 mosquitoes an hour as a natural, pesticide-free method of fighting disease in the area. CBS New York recently visited the Clark Botanical Gardens, where several of the "bat boxes" have been installed.
Some of the DIY bat boxes at the gardens were made by boy and girl scouts and required just a few simple materials: scrap wood, stain, nails and screws. North Hempstead Parks Commissioner Jill Weber told CBS that the boxes should be installed at 15-30 feet off of the ground so that the bats to feel comfortable. The boxes should also be hung facing south in order to maintain the optimal temperature for the bats.
“They just need to go up 15 to 30 feet to get them off the ground. Bats are more comfortable when they are high up and can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour once situated in an area,” Weber said.
With that kind of appetite for disease-carrying skeeter destruction, bats are a great boon for those looking to avoid dangerous chemical pesticides, but should we be worried about any harm the winged creatures can inflict upon humans themselves?
According to CBS, North American bat species feast on insects and fruits, not human or animal blood. The report also points out that only one half of one percent of bats may contract rabies, but warns that you should never try to handle a bat yourself.
Via CBS New York
Images via CBS New York video