Can Bats Save Us From Zika?

Jul 19, 2016

Credit MZMO / Flickr Creative Commons

As the threat of Zika increases, scientists are searching for creative ways to stem the tide of mosquitos in the United States. One answer may come in an animal that has traditionally been the stuff of classic horror movies: bats.

“In the United States, the vast majority of bats are insectivorous bats,” Dianne Odegard recently told Texas Standard. Odegard is a “bat rehabilitator” in Austin.

Some statistics claim bats could eat as many as a thousand mosquitoes per hour. But there are problems with the idea of releasing a bat horde on zika-borne mosquitos. For one thing, mosquitoes are very small. “They’d have to work really hard in other words to catch enough mosquitoes to get the protein that they need where a moth – that’s easier for them and more nutritious for them,” says Odegard.

Another issue: The mosquito that carries Zika feeds mostly during the daytime.

So, in the meantime, probably best to dump standing water and wear long sleeves and pants.