View Full Version : Control Mosquitos?

05-11-2001, 12:43 PM
I volunteer at a bunny sanctuary in Michigan.
There are total 10 acres, a pond, a creek and trees....and a lot of mosquitos. Besides a purple martin house, does anyone know of any safe natural way to reduce the the mosquitos so the buns don't suffer? Last year the devils even feasted on the rims of delicate bunny eyes.

05-11-2001, 12:54 PM
There are actually some plants that can repel mosquitos - here's a link to one: http://www.michiganbulb.com/mbc/product.asp?prod=03160

I haven't tried it, so I can't testify that it works or anything, but it'd be worth a try!

05-11-2001, 01:23 PM
See if you can get some bat houses installed. Bats are the best mosquito reducers around, and they have little natural habitat left so you would be doing something wonderful for the environment. Many people fear bats but they are truly interesting animals.

05-11-2001, 03:22 PM
Oh, yeah - I forgot about bats! We always had bats in the neighbor's barn growing up, just a few. Imagine my surprise when visiting a friend in Cambridge, Massachuasetts, which is a city, and at night they'd sit and watch their neighborhood bat dine on the bugs that were attracted to the streetlight! They really are nothing to be afraid of, and are helpful pest control. Another way to reduce the mosquito population is to make sure there are no extra spots of stangnant water aroung - no old tires or buckets out that have collected rainwater - these are perfect mosquito breeding grounds, so just dump 'em out!

05-11-2001, 04:16 PM
I don't know anything about bats...do they only eat bugs? Would they go after the bunnies? Do you know where we might get a bad house and where it would need to be installed? I can't even imagine where to start finding this info. Thanks!

05-11-2001, 05:35 PM
   The bats that would live in your area will not harm the bunnies.

   Bat Conservation International (http://www.batcon.org/) has an interesting website that includes plans for an economy bathouse. (http://www.batcon.org/bhra/economyhouse.html) Although, I know I have seen simpler designers for bat houses. Also see their bat faq (http://www.batcon.org/discover/foffaq.html) for basic information about bats. They say some bats will eat 2,000 mosquitos a night.

05-11-2001, 05:42 PM
Hi there!
there is also a tiny fish that eats mosquitos - the nice thing about them is the mosquitos lay their eggs in and around water and soooo gobble gobble!! ("top feeding predacious minnows. Known as mosquito fish, these minnows are about 1 - 1-1/2 inches in length and can be purchased or seined from streams and creeks.") www.mosquito.org (http://www.mosquito.org) is the American Mosquito Control Association. (Maybe one day a mosquito will be pet of the day....)

Good luck!! hope all the info helps.

05-11-2001, 06:11 PM
We had our very own little brown bat this spring for an afternoon! Here he is, you can see in one picture just how "little' he is! He was just sleeping, clinging to the cement part of the foundation.


4 feline house
05-11-2001, 07:36 PM
We lived in San Antonio when I was a girl. We lived near some limestone caves that were always full of sleeping bats during the day. At dusk we would see them catching bugs. Our dad often took us to the funny car races (why I am losing my hearing!) and as the sun set, the big lights would come on. First the bugs would come, attracted to the lights, then the bats would come, attracted to the bugs!

05-12-2001, 05:58 PM
   Mosquito.org is a great link. Thanks BugMom. I did not know about top-feeding predacious minnows.

   Today I just happened to notice that Home Depot has bat homes in the bird feeder section.

05-14-2001, 12:40 PM
Thank you one and all for the great info about mosquito control. I've printed off your responses and they will be delivered to the director of the sanctuary this evening.
I really appreciate your willingness to give us ideas!

05-14-2001, 01:47 PM
Think that Bats are big carriers of rabies. Someone in Northeren Minnesota died last fall from a bat bite or scratch because he never thought anything about it and never had it checked out. So be careful!

4 feline house
05-14-2001, 02:12 PM
Bats and skunks. However, mice are rarely carriers, and mice and bats are closely related. The risk is still rare, though, and possible less than the risk of mosquito-borne disease in bunnies. I'm sure the sanctuary will check all that out.

05-14-2001, 02:15 PM
Bats occationally get rabies. That much is true. One myth is that they attack humans when this happens...when an animal is sick generally it goes off into the wilderness to die alone and in a quiet place away from humans and other bats. As long as you don't go picking up bats from the ground or in unusual places you should have nothing to worry about. They will not attack the bunnies (or humans) if they happen to become sick. They are somewhat creepy looking, but they do a great job of keeping mosquito populations down and that's worth some merrit.

05-14-2001, 03:29 PM
Rabies had not occured to me..... This is something we'll have to consider carefully.
Buns tend to be very sociable and ours (about 65)live in various size groups and are divided between 6 pens on about 1.5 acres. A contagious condition in one of the larger yards would be devastating. We're open to any and all ideas if anyone else has something to add.
Thanks again for your input.

05-14-2001, 05:48 PM
Another thing I was thinking about about having bats around is yeah you'll cut down on Mosquitos but you might then have to deal with ticks because don't bats carry them too?

05-14-2001, 10:55 PM
Far as I know, and in my experience, the bats won't be near enough to the people or the bunnies for a tick to crawl from them onto anyone. They're nocturnal and very shy - the little bat we took the picture of was a very very rare occurance, and Paul was several feet from him when he took the picture. Mosquitos are far more annoying, are known disease carriers, and will attack any warm-blooded creature.

I found the following information several places on the web:
Bats may carry parasites such as mites, fleas, or ticks. Fortunately most bat parasites are host specific, which
means they rarely bite pets or humans. After bats have left their roosts, any parasites that may remain quickly die.

Bats have a much worse reputation than they deserve, but then again, so do whatever breeds of animals Hollywood has decided to cast as "villians."

05-15-2001, 10:07 AM
I've heard from the director of the sanctuary that she has found a website that sells beneficial insects including fly and mosquito predators....didn't know there was any such thing...Fly strike is our second most persistent problem. However the site doesn't mention dragonflies. Aren't dragonflies a natural predator for mosquitos too? Does anyone have any ideas about where we might find more info about them, possibly ordering info too? Also got some advice that rosy head or fathead minnows are better than misquito minnows. Does anyone know where we can purchase either of those?
Big THANKS to you all for your suggestions. You all have given us some great ideas!

4 feline house
05-15-2001, 10:51 AM
I've heard mayflies eat mosquitos, but I don't know how effective they would be since they live roughly 24 hours. I don't know if they live that far north, either. Mockingbirds eat mosquitos, but again, I don't know if they live around there.