Today while listening to "You Bet Your Garden" with Mike McGrath, I learned a few things about controlling backyard mosquito populations. First off, I learned that attracting dragonflies may be one of the most effective ways to keep mosquito populations in check. Go to the link below to get the full scoop on how to attract these beneficial insects to your yard.
I was also enlightened to the fact that the notion that bats have a voracious appetite for mosquitoes may be overstated. Apparently, the origin of this misconception is based on the fact that the researcher released mosquitoes into a room with captive bats, and therefore, the mosquitoes were the only available food source. This is not to say that we don't want to encourage the recovery of bat populations, but I think that it is important to be well informed as to the truth about their effectiveness in controlling mosquito populations. Thanks again Mike!
From the AMCA (American Mosquito Control Association):
"M.D. Tuttle, a world authority on bats, is often quoted for his anecdotal report that bats effectively controlled mosquito populations at a popular resort in New York State. While there is no doubt that bats have probably played a visible, if not prominent, role in reducing the mosquito problems in many areas, the natural abatement of mosquito populations is an extremely complex process to study, comprising poorly known ecological relationships. Tuttle attempts to underscore the bats role by citing an experiment in which bats released into a laboratory room filled with mosquitoes caught up to 10 mosquitoes per minute. He extrapolated this value to 600 mosquitoes per hour. Thus, a colony of 500 bats could consume over a quarter of a million mosquitoes per hour. Impressive numbers indeed, but singularly unrealistic when based upon a study where bats were confined in a room with mosquitoes as their only food source. There is no question that bats eat mosquitoes, but to utilize them as the sole measure of control would be folly indeed, particularly considering the capacity of both mosquitoes and bats to transmit diseases." ( http://www.mosquito.org/faq#bats )