Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Rat bat colonies can trap mosquitoes

Published:Wednesday | July 27, 2016 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I was encouraged to read in Monday's Gleaner of the health minister's plan for a mosquito task force.

Allow me to offer an ecologically friendly, non-expensive, and non-invasive additional solution to his plans.

It is well known that one of bats' (Jamaican 'rat bats') favourite meals is mosquitoes. They are capable of consuming their own weight in mosquitoes every day or, put another way, roughly 1,000 per hour and only operate after dark, which seems to be mosquitoes' preference as well.

Their natural habitat is in dark caves, which is convenient for rural areas but not so in urban settings. What has been found most effective in other countries, particularly in Central and South America, is the suspension of local carpenter-made bat-houses in strategic locations which encourage small colonies of mosquito-hungry bats to roost. Working plans of such units can be found by googling 'bat house plans'. For additional information, reference can be made to the website of the American Mosquito Control Association.

Perhaps the team might wish to take this idea further.

MAURICE STOPPI

Kingston 8