HORN LAKE, MS (abc24.com) - They're going batty in DeSoto County. Horn Lake, Mississippi is doing all it can to attract bats. Locals believe the animals will protect them from disease.
"Anything that will take care of the mosquito population we're for it," says Kevin Rust. Anything? In Horn Lake they're turning to bats.
"Bats are already here in the park, in the trees," says librarian Carson Culver. The city just got the animals a home: a bat house.
100 bats fit in each house. The city wants to eventually have five or six. The first one is being installed in Latimer Lakes Park.
"Participation at our summer programs had diminished because we had such bad mosquitoes this year," Culver tells abc24.com. Horn Lake's had to cancel outdoor events and its summer baseball league suffered. "The games were miserable because we had too many mosquitoes."
The bats are the city's perfect solution. One can eat thousands of mosquitoes every night. "A lot a lot a lot," says Culver. "Just one little bat."
The idea is they'll stay in the house during the day and come out to work their magic at dusk.
"There are enough mosquitoes to go around and it's not like they just stay in the park," she says. "They are spreading out all over. It's going to be fabulous for nighttime events."
Culver says there are misconceptions about bats. Only one percent of bats have rabies. She's putting together an educational program to go along with the houses.
"Once the colony is established we are going forward with a monthly bat watch. It will be at dusk on a Friday," so the city can watch their new residents in action.