Sevilla town counts on bats to control deadly mosquito plague

Sevilla town counts on bats to control deadly mosquito plague

The bats will be protected so the population remains

THE Sevilla town of Coria del Rio will use bats to control the town’s plague of mosquitoes.

Last year, the town saw an outbreak of Nile fever, a virus carried by mosquitoes, which they don’t want to see repeated.

The local town hall has carried out a survey, thanks to a company named Brutal, to identify all the bats in the area, and intends to put in place measures to protect and increase the bat population.

The first of those steps has been to install 40 protection boxes for the Pipistrelle bats which can eat around 3,000 mosquitoes per night, making them much more effective than insecticides as well as being environmentally safe.

The mayor, Modesto Gonzalez, has said that the council wants to be proactive in preventing the possible cases of meningoencephalitis which the mosquitoes could cause. Last summer, seven people died in the town and surrounding area from this disease, and more than 30 had to be admitted to hospital.

The company in charge of installing the boxes is Living Doñana, while biologists from Brutal will continue to monitor the bat population all year round.

It is also thought that giving the bats proper places to seek refuge will prevent them from having to enter local houses and avoid problems with local residents.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.