JOURNALING: At the Nov. 5 meeting of the Clintonville Area Commission, a proposal was introduced to erect 12 bat houses in the northeast Columbus neighborhood to help control the insect problem, which this past summer was particularly bad. The 35 pound "deluxe" bat houses were made by 16 year old Chandler Frenken as part of an Eagle Scout project. Each box can hold 100-150 bats. Bats have been proven to be both economically and ecologically superior to insecticides. While bats are the most common source of animal to human transmission of rabies, there have been only 13 cases in the last 25 years, and most of those have occurred when someone picked up a sick or dying bat.
Although not mentioned in the report, the "targeted bats" are probably the little brown bats, which are the most common in the area and are voracious bug eaters. They are 3-5 inches in length and weigh around 1/2 ounce.
One of the local television stations, however, in the coverage of this story, featured bats from the Columbus Zoo. These bats are flying foxes, one of the largest of the bat species weighing up to 3 lbs. Some have wingspans up to 6 feet and are over 1 foot in length. And, they eat fruit, not insects.
I'm sure local residents are anticipating the little brown furry creatures and not the large "halloween-type" bats!
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