Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Traveling...!

If your area is like ours here on the Texas coast, the 'skeeters are a big problem.

Short of spraying the entire area with poisons, we can only count on natural solutions for some relief. Bats and different kinds of birds are the most effective predators of mosquitoes that I know of. The problem is that a lot of areas, Houston being one of them, don't have a very large bat population.

The idea of getting more bats into an area with a lot of mosquitoes is not a new one and has been tried several times before in different locations, sometimes successful and sometimes not! That's why today we are going to go to a "Bat Tower!"

Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower

A historic site in Monroe County, Florida, the Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower (also known as Perky's Bat Tower) has been on the U.S. Register of Historic Places since 1982. Built in 1929 by Richter Clyde Perky, a fish lodge owner, the tower was designed to control the Lower Keys' mosquito problem. The problem: When the bats were put into the tower, they all flew away and never came back.

Built using plans purchased from Dr. Charles Campbell of Texas, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, the tower was a complete failure. It was supposed to be a deluxe bat house that the animals would continue to come back to so they could feast on the mosquitoes in the area. This tower is only one of fourteen Campbell towers that were built around the world (only three remain standing); the other two are in Texas.

Even though the tower is on the register of historic places, maintenance is rarely, if ever, undertaken. While still in sturdy condition, local teens and vandals often make their tower their own with carvings and litter. But ultimately the tower appears much the same as it did when it was first erected.

Maybe I should build one of these towers in my backyard, ya reckon?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. They say it might rain, but I'm not holding my breath!


Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Even with all the rain we've had, the critters are not too bad around here this year. We have a lot of bats for a change. The flies are horrible, though. I can put up a roll of flypaper up by the deck and by the end of the day it's covered. I have never seen so many flies!
And don't get me started on the damn deer...
Coffee around the kitchen table sounds great. I'll bring an old fashioned treat - cream puffs!

Anonymous said...

A lot of folks around these parts install purple martin specific bird houses, those birds eat a lot of skeeters. You might give that a go, that is if purple martin's are native to your region.

Going to be a hot one, I'm thinking a ice cold glass of ice tea with lemon slice would go well with that.

Have a great weekend HermitJim.

linda m said...

We sure could use more bats around here to keep the skeeter population down. And don't get me started on the hornet and wasp problem we are experiencing this year. WOW! Coffee around the kitchen table sounds like a real treat this morning.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I think there should be a lot of those towers in a lot of back yards. I could use one.

JOJO said...

The problem with bringing bats around is if they like your attic better. Boy will you have a problem then. But the skeeters here are hell this year from so much rain. You can hear them laughing at you as you spray yourself wit repellant.

Coffee in the kitchen is good.

Stephen said...

I could use about six of them around my place.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Flies do seem to be another problem and, to me, more aggravation than the 'skeeters.

Being in the big city, I don't have deer problems. If one showed up, someone would pop him with a handgun, I'm afraid!

Cream puffs sound good today! Thanks for dropping by!

Hey Anon 5:52...
We do have several bird species here that are great with the 'skeeters. Hoping they can keep up!

We need all the help we can get!

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Linda...
Someone else told me they were having a big wasp problem. Wonder what it is that draws them to a certain area?

Looks like I need to do a little more research!

You have a great day and thanks for coming over!

Hey Dizzy...
Maybe you and I should order a couple of "bat houses" like they use in the Austin area! They work pretty well.

Folks are going to start to hunt for whatever works, I think.

Thanks, buddy, for coming by this morning!

Hey JoJo...
I sure don't need any more bats in my belfry!

When I lived in East Texas, I had plenty of bats. I could sit on the porch in the evenings and watch them at work!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Stephen...
I hear ya, brother! I hear ya!

Something we all could use help on this year, I think.

Many thanks for coming over today!

Anonymous said...

Smart idea! We do have bats here but not enough so perhaps I should build one of these :-)

Have a great day!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
I think you can get the plans online for a smaller version called "bat houses", kinda like a bird house.

That might be worth a try!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!

Bob Mc said...

Some people don't like bats around, but they are my friends. I've heard that a bat can eat its own weight in mosquitoes every night. That's a lot of mosquitoes!

I've been hearing on the news that Texas is spraying for mosquitoes due to an outbreak of West Nile Virus. Hope there is nothing inthat spray that will harm the bats.

Billy Bob said...

Somehows, bat towers makes me think of belfry bats.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
I don't mind the bats at all!

Lucky for us, most all the spraying done by plane is being carried out around the Dallas area, where they have the most cases of West Nile.

Bad stuff, that spray!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Billy Bob...
They do seem to bring an image of belfrys, don't they?

Georgetown (my hometown) has had a major bat problem in their belfry for many years and can never seem to get it fixed.

Thanks for coming over today!

Sixbears said...

Wish I knew it was down there, I'd have taken a look. My lovely wife and I camped on that key about 9 years ago.