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Bat house builder says bats are answer to mosquito troubles

Bats eat up to 1,200 insects a night

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SAN ANTONIO - A man who builds custom bat homes thinks his constructions may help combat the mosquito and West Nile problem.

Reggie Regan has been building the bat homes for the last 15 years. His company, Lonestar Woodcraft, builds cedar houses that can house up to 600 bats. With West Nile Virus outbreaks at an all time high this summer, Regan believes they are a safe solution to pesticides.

"Bats eat flying insects," he says.

Those insects include mosquitoes, carriers of the West Nile Virus. Bats can eat more than a thousand bugs a night.

"So if I've got 600 bats in here, and each of these bats is eating 1,000 to 1,200 insects a night, mosquitoes a night, you can see how it's going to have a dramatic decrease in the mosquito population," Reagan said.

Regan says bats will fly up to 50 miles to eat. They look for new places to roost or hide all the time. He says there is no guarantee bats will roost in your bat house, but it is a strong possibility.

"When bats fly out at night, they're constantly looking, they're darting in and out of little areas and they're looking for alternate roosts," he said.

Filling up a bat house can take a few days or as long as a couple of seasons. But Regan says they are a safer way to control the mosquito population than spraying pesticides.

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