Stripes – The Mosquito and the Bat Hotel

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I hate mosquitoes! They go bzzzz around your ears when you’re trying to sleep and you can hardly ever catch them. My Shirley human told me that some mosquitoes can carry nasty little things called ‘parasites’ that can make you sick with malaria. When the mosquito stings a human the parasites can get into our blood. Really? These parasites must be pretty small if they can live inside a mosquito.

Shirley explained that the mommy mosquito has to drink blood before she can lay eggs, so she has a mouthpart like a long injection needle that she sticks into you and then, just to make things worse, she spits into you as well and the little parasites come in with the spit. Shirley said her spit stops the blood from clotting in her needle-mouth when she sucks up the blood. It’s the spit that makes the mosquito bite itch so much. Oh, gross!!

“Can’t we spray the mosquitoes with poison?” I asked.

“Oh no”, Shirley said, “I have a better plan. Spraying insecticide is not very eco-friendly.  We will put up a bat hotel. It’s a box where bats can make a home.”

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“Will this mean we will get bats to come and live with us? Don’t they fly into your fur and make a nest there?” I was getting really worried.

“No, no, you silly cat”, she said. “Bats never fly into anything because they have echo-location”.

“What’s that”, I asked. I’m still learning about the eco-thing, but now we have an echo-thing as well. It’s enough to confuse any cat.

“Yes”, she said, “bats are really amazing mammals”.

Hey, they are mammals? I thought they were birds. Now I’ve heard something cool – mammals that fly!

Shirley continued. “Bats send out sounds we can’t hear that bounce off things around them and when the sound comes back to them, it tells them where everything is. This echo-location is really useful because they fly around at night to catch insects, especially mosquitoes.”

“They eat mosquitoes”? I asked.

“Yes, a tiny bat can eat up to 2,000 mosquitoes every night, so bats are really our friends”.

That made me feel a lot better. Maybe I could have a bat friend. How cool is that – Eco Cat and Echo Bat.

Activity suggestions:

Why do only female mosquitoes sting us?
What is an eco-friendly way to get rid of mosquitoes?
Are bats our friends?

This story can be printed as a an A5 pamphlet by downloading the pdf file below, printing it back to back on A4 paper (landscape orientation) and then folding in half. -> THE MOSQUITO AND THE BAT HOTEL A5

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