Mosquitoes and Bats

YankeePerm YankeePerm at
Sat Jan 10 09:56:02 EST 1998

Yes, Jack, but bats are only good for two kinds of mosquitoes--the little ones
about the size of a baseball and of course the ones that get into the
insulation.  In fact the insulation has come to be known as bats.

Mosquitoes also have enriched the English language.  Here in Florida, we shoot
the medium size one with shotguns for sport.  (Just makes the big ones mad--a
bad policy.)  Someone will kick one off a cow and as it zings into the air,
bam.  This has the side benefit of dispersing cow blood all over the place,
consuming the avid little predators.  Well visitors from Maine saw us shooting
skeeters and liked the sport, but they only have the little ones that cover
you over three deep in 10 seconds.  But they have quite a crafts industry in
main, and have an mercantile bent, so someone came up with clay skeeters,
subsequently shortened to skeets, which someone can throw up into the air to
be shot.  Since then, skeet shooting has acquired a following worldwide.  

As a control, however, shotguns are too expensive here in Florida.  However
the larger guars and gators get quite a few when they land on the water to
breed.  There are parts of the everglades where skeeters are so thick that
they haven't seen direct sunlight in about half a million years, when the
everglades were under the ocean. 

The main controls are, and will always be, mosquito fish and dragon flies.
Everything else is secondary.  Bats are nice company and welcome what they get
when the dragon flies have gone to bed.  If nothing else, they turn enough
mosquitos into guano to be useful in that way.  Of course if you have dryland
mosquitoes, which breed not in permanent water but pools in the crotches of
trees, etc., you don't have either fish or dragon flies and you have to rely
on bats, swallows, blue birds (lovely creatures, sigh), etc.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email.  One is now underway.  Next Live program:  Paraguay,
8/10-22/98. Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway,
P.O. Box 52, Sparr FL 32192 USA  YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

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