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alex
alex SuperDork
5/8/11 2:42 p.m.

The flying mammal kind, not the swingin' at cowhide kind.

We have an ongoing mosquito problem stemming from a derelict property next door, and something I've been thinking about is more flying critter predators. We had some bats last year, so they're around (which initially surprised me since we live in an urban area).

I know bat houses are basic and easy to build, but that seems a bit like a passive solution.

Can I...buy bats? Or do something else to encourage their presence?

Maroon92
Maroon92 SuperDork
5/8/11 2:47 p.m.
alex
alex SuperDork
5/8/11 3:02 p.m.

Well, how do you like that - FAQ for bats. Is there anything this internet thing can't do?

Grizz
Grizz New Reader
5/8/11 3:07 p.m.
alex wrote: We had some bats last year, so they're around (which initially surprised me since we live in an urban area).

Fun Fact: Cities generally have more small critters than rural towns. Lots of dark places for bats to hide, and tons of food for rats, raccoons and the like. Plus, you don't have people shooting them as much.

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
5/8/11 4:51 p.m.

I get them frequently in my 100-year old house. Little brown buggers, they generally make themselves known at about 2 a.m., flying around my bedroom and playing chicken with the cats.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Reader
5/8/11 5:44 p.m.

Dunno if this works where you live, but I have been told that hummingbirds LOVE mosquitoes. Putting up a couple of hummingbird feeders should get you a spectacular air show and reduced buzzing from next door.

Also, I personally think hummingbirds are cooler than bats.

Hocrest
Hocrest Reader
5/8/11 6:10 p.m.

I know that if you spray them with hornet spray they make an awful noise and a satanic face.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
5/8/11 6:11 p.m.

There are 3 critters you need for mosquito control: Bats, Hummingbirds, and Dragonflies. Now, if your neighbors property has a pond, dragonflies are usually attracted to them. You need a triple threat. Bat houses, hummingbird feeders, and a dragonfly pond.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
5/8/11 8:31 p.m.

Never knew hummingbirds ate mosquitoes. I do know that Purple Martins do.

joey48442
joey48442 SuperDork
5/8/11 11:10 p.m.

Sounds like everything cool, that flies, likes to eat Mosquitoes.

I'm down with that.

Joey

Woody
Woody SuperDork
5/9/11 7:52 a.m.

At the fire department, we get called to remove them from inside homes all the time. Sometimes, we just grab them with a gloved hand and release them outside. If they're actively flying around the room, we give them a quick blast with a CO2 extinguisher. It stuns them briefly and then we can grab them and get them out.

Of course, that doesn't mean they won't find their way back in...

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
5/9/11 8:46 a.m.

Seriously? People call the fire department to handle bats? What the hell's wrong with them?

On the other hand... firemen. Hmmm....

jrw1621
jrw1621 SuperDork
5/9/11 8:48 a.m.
Lesley wrote: Seriously? People call the fire department to handle bats? What the hell's wrong with them? On the other hand... firemen. Hmmm....
Lesley wrote: I get them frequently in my 100-year old house. Little brown buggers, they generally make themselves known at about 2 a.m., flying around my bedroom and playing chicken with the cats.

Firemen at 2 a.m. in your bedroom!

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/9/11 8:50 a.m.
Lesley wrote: Seriously? People call the fire department to handle bats? What the hell's wrong with them? On the other hand I call the bat department to get fireman to come out here...
Woody
Woody SuperDork
5/9/11 9:04 a.m.
Lesley wrote: Seriously? People call the fire department to handle bats? What the hell's wrong with them? On the other hand... firemen. Hmmm....

People call the fire department for everything. Usually, at 2 in the morning...

Human incompetence keeps me in business.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
5/9/11 10:28 a.m.
jrw1621 wrote:
Lesley wrote: Seriously? People call the fire department to handle bats? What the hell's wrong with them? On the other hand... firemen. Hmmm....
Lesley wrote: I get them frequently in my 100-year old house. Little brown buggers, they generally make themselves known at about 2 a.m., flying around my bedroom and playing chicken with the cats.
Firemen at 2 a.m. in your bedroom!

I bet Lesley would like that

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA HalfDork
5/9/11 10:43 a.m.

Rather than go the bat route, is it possible to do something about the standing water on the derelict property?

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
5/9/11 11:43 a.m.
Stealthtercel wrote: Also, I personally think hummingbirds are cooler than bats.

I love hummingbirds, but flying Mammals that use echo-location to catch bugs in the dark mid-flight? There's a reason no super-heros are driving around in the Hummingbirdmobile.

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
5/9/11 11:53 a.m.

I think bats are beyond cool and back again, in a creepy but fascinating sort of way. Muscovy ducks are also an excellent but natural way of controlling insect population, lots of horse barns have their ugly little selves hanging around munching on flies.

benzbaron
benzbaron Dork
5/9/11 12:08 p.m.

Sparrows also eat tons of mosquito.

You should set up a sump on the derelict property with an extension cord and pump it out. Or find some mosquito fish.

alex
alex SuperDork
5/9/11 12:14 p.m.
Jerry From LA wrote: Rather than go the bat route, is it possible to do something about the standing water on the derelict property?

Working on that. It's condemned and abandoned as of late last fall when the back wall collapsed and took the first floor with it down into the basement. So the basement has a few feet of standing water, not to mention the rest of the general junk in the yard that collects water. I'm on the city about it but they're moving about as fast as you'd expect. I'm going to take it upon myself to put some anti-skeeter medicine in the standing water in the basement, and I'm trying to get the property owners' permission to just clean up the yard and get rid of the junk for them, since I don't see it happening on their watch.

As for hummingbirds, they were already in the plans anyway. Just got a new feeder yesterday in fact. And dragonflies seem to be attracted to our yard already with the various vegetation we put in last season. Both they and hummingbirds seem to especially like our butterfly bush.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA HalfDork
5/9/11 12:23 p.m.

You can try plying the city with the mosquito-as-carriers-of-icky-diseases-so-something-must-be-done-route. All they need to do is pump out the water. That'll give you some relief until the city forces the owner to tear down the structure and backfill the hole.

alex
alex SuperDork
5/9/11 1:23 p.m.

BTDT. Now I'm in the process of filing several anonymous complaints with the Citizen's Service Bureau to try to make them think the whole neighborhood's on their case. Oh, and I'm trying to get the whole neighborhood on their case, too.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
5/9/11 2:38 p.m.

If you put up hummingbird feeders, keep them stocked, every year. Hummingbird feeders are a bit of a commitment. It only takes them 2 or 3 migrations to learn your feeders are there, and then they rely on your feeders being there. Hummingbirds have minimal reserves - like measured in hours minimal. So if your feeders are part of their flight plan and they arrive on dry tanks, they're going to die if the feeders are not full.

I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but they are smart birds and they learn fast and remember a long time.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette Dork
5/9/11 4:01 p.m.
alex wrote: BTDT. Now I'm in the process of filing several anonymous complaints with the Citizen's Service Bureau to try to make them think the whole neighborhood's on their case. Oh, and I'm trying to get the whole neighborhood on their case, too.

b Dont forget to run every public officials name into the ground on Craigslist rants raves

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