Florida considers a batty idea to combat Zika

As the threat of the Zika virus continues in Florida, wildlife officials are suggesting residents to erect bat boxes to help limit mosquito populations, the insects responsible for passing on the virus.

Multiple news sources in the Sunshine State have reported that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee have made the recommendation to install the boxes that attract and house bats, who are capable of eating thousands of insects in a single night.

It isn’t clear how many of the specific species of mosquitoes that carry Zika bats do eat in a night, or if they eat them at all – research into that is currently underway at the Lubee Bat Conservatory. A spinoff benefit to this idea would also be a reduction in bats seeking refuge in attics or homes, according to a specialist at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

It is a positive sign that governments and policymakers are looking to the natural movement of ecosystems for solutions to a problem, instead of solely looking at chemical or interference-based resolutions. And it’s a sign that the true ecological value of all species are being considered – not just the ones valued as game or for their fur.

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