Do Bats Eat Mosquitoes? | Terminix
Do bats eat mosquitoes? While bats will eat mosquitoes, they may not eat enough to reduce a mosquito population. Luckily, Terminix can help. Find out how.
Do Bats Eat Mosquitoes?
Bats like to feed on mosquitoes and are known for doing so in large quantities, but mosquitoes may not be their favorite insect to snack on. Using bats for mosquito infestations has long been considered by scientists. However, studies have revealed over the years that bats might not eat enough to help reduce mosquito populations in an area. Several researchers have studied how many mosquitoes a bat can eat during each feeding and what that means for the environment. Find out what these studies have revealed below.
Bats and Mosquitoes
Many people believe that bats can binge on mosquitoes, eating as many as 1,000 per hour. That would lead you to believe that a single bat could eat 12,000 mosquitoes in one night, right? Unfortunately, those rumors are likely stretching the truth. While bats have the capability to eat over 10 mosquitoes in 60 seconds, it has not been observed before.
Many of the rumors flying around stemmed from a 1960's study where researchers released bats into a confined space with a large number of mosquitoes. The study revealed that the little brown bats ate 10 mosquitoes per minute, but only for a few minutes, meaning they did not maintain this eating pattern for an extended amount of time. Additionally, a bat in a confined space without any other meal options can’t represent what a bat in the wild might do.
Another study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed that bats in the wild eat mosquitoes more frequently than what previous studies had observed by examining the guano of 12 little brown and big brown bats. They found at least one mosquito in all the little brown bat sites and in 60% of the big brown bat sites, meaning little brown bats eat more mosquitoes than big brown bats. They also found that bats eat a variety of mosquito species, including those known to carry the West Nile Virus. This could indicate that using bats for mosquito control could help reduce health concerns, but only if they would eat more of them.
However, mosquitoes aren’t the only food source. Mosquitoes make up only a small portion of their diet, which also includes larger insects, such as beetles, moths and other larger insects that make for a more filling meal
Tips for Mosquito Control
Bats may not be able to solve your mosquito problem, but there are a few things you can do to help reduce populations in your yard, including:
• Remove any containers with standing water, such as pet bowls, ornamental ponds or old tires, where mosquitoes can breed.
• Make sure water in plant or flower pots properly drains.
• Mow tall grass where mosquitoes could be hiding.
• Change the water in birdbaths and children’s pools once or twice a week. Turn wading pools upside down when not in use.
• Keep rain gutters unclogged and dry.
• Drain any puddles, ditches or swampy places around the home.
• Don’t leave any porch or outdoor lights on that may attract mosquitoes to your home.
• Consult with your pest control specialist for mosquito control recommendations and treatments.
Bats may not be able to reduce mosquito populations in an area, but Terminix® can. Find out how our mosquito solution begins working immediately and can protect your yard for weeks. Contact Terminix today to schedule an appointment.