Environmental connections to public health >>
Got Bats - or Mosquitoes and Encephalitis?
About bats, mosquitoes and encephalitis, "Carnac the Magnificent" (the Johnny Carson character) might say: "What are three things that are affecting my property value?"
Last summer, my wife, son and I liked to sit on my deck at sunset to watch the bright orange sun filter through the lush green canopy of the protected forest. It was SPECTACULAR.
We'd have dinner out there and then sit back for the show. It was great. And no one had to wear any bug repellent because there weren't very many mosquitoes. Instead of mosquitoes, we'd stare up at the bats swooping around the yard. It was fun to see them narrowly miss the house, a tree, or even one another. Those bats looked like they were having a great time.
BTW, did I mention that it was spectacular?
But those days have ended.
The bats are gone.
After inspecting some important hibernation locations, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection revealed that 80 to 90 percent of the bats have died this past winter from White Nose Syndrome. [CT DEP]
Now we have mosquitoes. LOTS of mosquitoes.
And all those mosquitoes make me worry about encephalitis. I have a four year old son and now a 3 month old baby that could be especially susceptible to "triple E" or West Nile Virus.
So we'll be eating dinner inside this year.
Learn more about white nose syndrome from the US Forest Service.
[Thanks to baskyes on Flickr for the terrific pic]