The Lafayette 4-H Junior Leaders are working with Lafayette Mosquito Control to identify areas of highest mosquito populations in the parish and work with local municipalities to install bat boxes in those areas. Members are also learning techniques to prevent mosquito infestations as well as the benefit of bats and other natural predators as the preferred method of mosquito control.
At the October 4-H Junior Leader meeting members learned about the benefits of bats and basic bat facts. Members took part in an activity where 10 youth were selected to be “Adult” or “Mom or Dad” bats and were blindfolded. They were each given a bracelet which had drops of different scented oils/extracts on them. The rest of the of members played the role of young bat “pups” and were also given bracelets. The adult bats had to find their “pups” by scent only.
At the November meeting, members have been asked to bring a photograph of the yard in front of or behind their house and a representative from Mosquito Control will identify which factors in their yards attract and lead to higher mosquito populations and recommend changes to reduce mosquito populations at each individual’s home.
Members initiated the construction of five two-chamber bat boxes on Make A Difference Day (October 25, 2008) and will continue their work on Election Day. They hope to have the five boxes complete for their regularly scheduled meeting on November 20, when a representative from Mosquito Control will be the guest presenter. Installation is tentatively planned to take place sometime in December, and members will monitor the houses for bat inhabitation.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture