Summer is almost here, and we all know what that means; mosquitoes are coming! While you might be stocking up on your tiki torches, insect repellent oil, end even electric zapping lamps; BatBnB wants to bring your attention to a nature-friendly way of dealing with mosquitoes; bats. Fun fact; bats can eat about 1,000 mosquito-sized insects on an hourly basis!
The company was formed back in 2016 using some sketches and brainstorming by an architectural engineer and a Google employee. Their idea is to transform bats into a weapon that can be used for pest control by homeowners by crafting good homes for bats that will look incredible in people’s yards. Both founders have had some kind of experience of bats during their childhood. Christopher Rannefors grew up while building bat houses with his dad in Massachusetts whereas Harrison Broadhurst’s mom was a grade-school biology teacher and incorporated bats into her classes.
The problem that BatBnB is facing that despite telling people about the benefits of having bats as pest control; people are afraid of bats and especially them living on their property. According to Rannefors of BatBnB, half of the challenge is convincing people to opt for this in the first place. He says, ‘Bats are radically misunderstood, threatened, and undervalued for their insect-eating skills, so we are trying to rebrand bats so more people will respect them.’
Bats are also facing a threat thanks to the destruction of their natural refuges by humans. According to Rannefors, he is hopeful that if a single consumer gets one of these houses; it might help a neighbor to join the fight thus not only keeping their families safe but also providing bats with a way of thriving. Bats also have an impact on the economy; US farmers are able to save $24 billion per year in crop damage because of the presence of bats in the agricultural areas.
Rannefors believes that there are two fronts for the rebranding of bats; the first being the consumer education. For this purpose, BatBnB has partnered up with a leading bat expert, and conservationist, Merlin Tuttle, for promoting the virtues of bats among potential consumers. The second front is the design since both Rannefors and Broadhurst are of the point of view that designing the right bat house will create a halo effect around bats. Rannefors says, ‘The current bat houses on the market are poorly designed for the animal and looked awful.’
The designs that have been put forth by BatBnB are not only pleasing to look at but are also quite functional. They have been designed while keeping the biological needs of the bats in mind and feature milled grooves and cooler and warmer places inside the house.
What do you think of BatBnB and would you be willing to look past your crippling fear of bats to use them for fighting mosquitoes?