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Golf courses look to bat houses to help control mosquito population

Staff writers

May 12, 2012 — The last distraction any golfer needs on the course is those pesty mosquitoes. Now, several golf courses across Vancouver are hoping bats can help control those little blood-suckers.

The Park Board is hoping they will attract bats to control the mosquito population.
The Park Board is hoping they will attract bats to control the mosquito population.

Last month, crews installed six specially built bat houses - two in each of the city's three main golf courses - in hopes of attracting over nearly 2000 bats to roost in them. 

"Bats was the number one thing I could find that eats a lot of mosquitoes," said Howard Normann, Supervisor of Golf Operations in Vancouver.

Last year, a wet spring caused golfers at the Fraserview, Langara and McCleery to be plagued by mosquitoes. Normann says he hopes this new system will help eliminate that problem for good.

"They're kind of out of everybody's way, they're doing their work," says Normann about about the bats. "I'm hopeful that in a year or two, if we can fill these bat houses, maybe, if it's successful, put out more. "

But why go with bat houses and not with traditional anti-mosquito repellents? 

Normann says the idea behind bat houses came mainly from his environmentally aware crew.

"We don't like to spray, if we can help it," said Normann. "We've kind of made a conscious decision in the Park Board just to avoid herbicides if we can."

Each house can hold up to 300 bats. Several thousand mosquitoes can be consumed by one bat per night. 

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