One man says he has a solution, bats!
"Batman" is here to save Suwannee County residents from mosquitoes. Jere Colbert is pushing to have bat houses installed in the area, giving the endangered species a habitat while eliminating an insect problem.
Jere says, "Just the sound, the echo location sound from the bats deter the mosquitoes. Where they hear this, they're not going because they know bats are around. That's a natural predator to them."
One small myotis bat can consume 1,200 mosquitoes an hour. These are four-foot, square cubes that can house more than 80,000 bats.
Colbert is proposing smaller versions that will fit in the crevices along the bottom of the old Suwannee River bridge.
Jere says, "Rural abandoned bridges are ideal. Another ideal factor is over the water. [As] soon as the bats fall out of the home, they go take a drink, then start having dinner.”
Billy Maxwell, the chairman of the Suwannee County Commission, says, "I want clearance first from DEP, Department of Environment Protection, and the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Suwannee River Water Management. All three are very sensitive about anything we do [on] the river, as far as what goes in it."
Colbert says that having the bat houses here can bring the old, abandoned bridge back to life. Get rid of the graffiti, with fewer mosquitoes and an unusual view of bats, this area can become a tourist attraction.