August 5, 2002 at 6:32 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:55 AM
RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) - A Ravenna city councilman suggested that the city use a natural way to control mosquitos that can carry the West Nile virus.
Councilman Dick Leonard said that Ravenna should install bat houses at all parks. In turn, he said, the bats would eat the mosquitos.
Leonard is getting some flak for his idea. He said that whenever his phone rings, it's usually someone calling about the bats. Leonard said that he's becoming known as Batman.
But Akron Zoo curator Kim Tropea said that Leonard might be onto something.
She said that communities in other states have encouraged bat colonies, which has led to a dramatic decrease in the mosquito population. She said that a bat can eat up to six times its weight in one night.
No Ohio human has been diagnosed with West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitos. Four people in Louisiana recently died of the disease.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)