1st July, 2003
Why use expensive, damaging pesticides to kill insects? The humble bat will happily eat 1,200 an hour for free
Bat farms to fight mosquitoes
The West Bengal government is looking to bats to check the menace of mosquitoes in Calcutta. After consulting environmentalists for an alternative to conventional solutions, it has decided to establish bat farms around the city.
West Bengal forest minister Jogesh Barman said: ‘Common insecticides and mosquito-repellent oil and smoke did not help much. Rather, they gave rise to pollution. Now we have given a go-ahead to the proposals for setting up bat houses.’
Environmental campaigners had been complaining against the increasing use of chemicals as mosquito repellents in the city.
Experts agree that bat farming could be a very effective way of killing the mosquitoes. ‘In a medium-sized bat house there will be at least 2,000 bats, and they can finish off at least 6 million mosquitoes every day,’ said the environmentalist and former High Court judge Bhagabati Prasad Banerjee. ‘It would be the fastest way to finish off the mosquitoes in a non-hazardous way.’
Bats love insects
Depending on the species, a single bat can consume between 500 and 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour. And a bat...
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