Spring brings mosquitoes and questions about compost

The Stettler town council discussed whether to build bat houses within town to attract bats to lower the mosquito population.

The Stettler town council discussed whether to build bat houses within town to attract bats to lower the mosquito population. GIS Coordinator and technician Graham Scott did research on the possibility for the town.

In his report, Scott said that most government institutions discourage the use of bats as a form of mosquito control, as studies have found that they don’t eat enough mosquitoes to be effective in this capacity.

Scott said that he can ask students to build the bat house, so the cost won’t be much more than the materials.

His recommendation is to approach the possibility of bat houses with caution, since the public may be wary of the presence of bats.

Coun. Darcy Bachman wondered about the possibility of attracting purple martins, which will eat mosquitoes.

“They eat mosquitoes, but they also (defecate) a lot. It’s a catch-22,” he said.

Coun. Sean Nolls said if the town went ahead with building bat houses, it could educate the public on the usefulness of bats at the same time.

Council decided to implement a pilot study into the effectiveness of bat houses.

Council also revisited the question of whether to offer curbside compost service to Stettler residents. Initially, Grace Fix of the Heartland Beautification Committee made a presentation to council and they held off on making a decision until more research could be done.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready for this,” said Coun. Al Campbell. Coun. Karen Sernecky added that since Stettler already has a composting program that is not curbside, anyone who wants to compost is doing it already.

Coun. Will Brown pointed out that curbside composting has not been well-received in Airdrie. Mayor Dick Richards said he didn’t think the town was at the point where residents were ready for the work and cost of composting.