Got mosquitoes? Bats will help get rid of them

HOUSTON - Do you have a mosquito problem in your yard? You want to invite bats to come over for a meal.

Yes, bats.

A single bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour. They also help control beetles, moths and leafhoppers.

Many insects can hear bats that are up to 100 feet away, so they won't go near if they know a bat is there.

"People sometimes think of bats as pests, but they're actually part of a landscape of critically necessary and helpful urban wildlife," Houston Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Cannon said.

Zoo interns taking part in the ExxonMobil Collegiate Conservation Program said Friday that it takes less than 30 minutes to build a bat house. The materials cost $15 to $50, depending on what the builder chooses.

"We're just trying to spread the word about urban wildlife coexisting instead of hating it," intern Joann Johnston said.

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