Letter to the editor: Bat boxes are unnecessary in the Pacific Northwest


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Mosquitoes can be a serious nuisance when they bite, especially considering they can be vectors for various disease-causing pathogens. The Local Briefs article in the Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 edition of The Daily Evergreen has suggested that encouraging insectivorous bat populations in Pullman could serve as biological control for mosquito populations, specifically with the aim to reduce exposure to Zika virus.

According to the CDC, the species of mosquitoes known to carry Zika (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) have a potential range within the southern and eastern United States, indicating that the Pacific Northwest is free from mosquitoes that harbor Zika virus.

Furthermore, the peer-reviewed research on broad-scale mosquito control using bats demonstrates little success in reducing mosquito populations. The epidemiology of infectious disease in bats is not well understood; however, the primary zoonotic diseases associated with North American bats are rabies, histoplasmosis, salmonellosis, yersiniosis and external parasites.