Mindful of the need to work constructively with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District (did you see that the Conservancy won the District’s “Ecological Mosquito Management Award” for 2007 for “innovative mosquito reduction management practices”?), the Conservancy recently installed “bat boxes” on its Betts and Silva tract preserves.
Bat boxes differ from bird boxes in that they have smaller openings, usually on the bottom of the box. Bats are a source of natural mosquito control. A single bat is said to be able to eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes a night. Bat houses are becoming more known as an ecologically friendly way of controlling mosquitoes. The Conservancy is attempting to use innovative practices in mosquito control in order to reduce chances the District will need to apply insecticides on Conservancy land. This way, there can be greater opportunities that some of the NBHCP-listed species (such as the Tri-colored blackbird) will have more foraging opportunities due to less insect prey base loss.
It will be interesting to see how this experiment unfolds. We’ll keep an eye on it.