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A "batty" idea: Some people turn to bat boxes as a way to combat mosquitoes

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- How are the mosquitoes in your yard this year? If they are making you miserable, there are plenty of suggestions on how to get rid of them, including one you may not have heard of.

It's chemical-free, but it involves luring something to your yard that will take care of the pests.

Bats.

Bats eat tons of mosquitoes, and a way to invite them to your yard is via bat boxes. A bat box currently sits high on the shed in Linn Cobb's backyard. It's smaller than a shoe box, and the idea is that bats are drawn to hang out in the box, and in turn, keep the flying pests, especially mosquitoes, under control.

Cobb said it works.

"After years of being mosquito-free and seeing traces of bats, I figure it must be working," said Cobb.

Cobb keeps several birds and even a koi pond in her backyard, and is reluctant to spray heavily for mosquitoes.

"I try to be pesticide-free. It works for me, and with the flowers around, there are always critters they can feed on. I don't want them to eat on those. I want them to concentrate on the mosquitoes," said Cobb.

Is it a "batty" idea? The Bat Management Coordinator at Arizona Game and Fish says no, and that drawing bats to your yard for mosquito control could be effective.

"When you get into a large bat colony, they are eating tons of insects," said Angie McIntire with Arizona Game and Fish, in a phone interview. "It's just going to depend on how many mosquitoes in the area. Bats are an important component of how we control mosquito populations."

McIntire says for that reason and others, people should be supportive of the bat population. She said newly designed bat houses are in the works that more people could put up in the Valley. The goal is to attract more bats to your yard, and that is something that's already working for some Valley residents.