MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s Bat Conservation Program will propose to authorities the deployment of bats to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus, the group’s president, Enrique Gonzalez, told EFE Thursday.
He said the plan fits with the concept of “biological control,” by inducing bats – “the main predators of nocturnal insects” – to concentrate in mosquito-infested areas.
The first step would be to install wooden boxes on trees to provide nesting places for the bats, the expert said.
“There are two factors that limit the proliferation of bats: availability of food and availability of nesting places. In this case, we think they have plenty of food with the existing clouds of mosquitoes, and that the real constraint would be shelter,” Gonzalez said.
Encouraging the proliferation of bats in urban areas would pose no additional risks, he said, because “they are already there, they live in cities and houses all around the world.”
The idea will be formally submitted next week to the assembly of provincial governors.
Uruguayan authorities have recorded 17 cases of dengue this year.