Cleburne resident Frederico Garza may have found a great natural alternative to battling mosquitos and the spread of the West Nile Virus. His solution: bats.
Downtown Cleburne has been home to bats for 25 years. Garza has become their champion after discovering a colony of over a thousand bats living in the walls of his restaurant. Cute bat houses now hang high on buildings in Cleburne.
According to Garza, the average bat will chow down on about 1,000 mosquitos in an hour. The natural predation of mosquitos is keeping the mosquito population from going crazy in Cleburne. The city has not yet had to spray for mosquitos and has has only one case of someone contracting West Nile.
Officials can’t say if there is a connection between the bats and the low mosquito population. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Johnson County has had 5 human cases total of West Nile. By comparison, neighboring Tarrant County has had 155 human cases and 2 deaths attributed to West Nile. Austin, located in Travis County, is famous for its bat population and the county has reported only 18 human cases and one death from West Nile.