By Brian New

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Homeowner Larry McCoy tried sprays, candles, even an expensive propane-powered mosquito trap to keep mosquitoes away. But nothing seemed to keep the pesky insects away from his Dallas home.

That is until he hung a bat house on the side of his house.

“Works like a champ,” he said. “We can tell the difference walking down the street. The further we get away from this thing, the more we get bit.”

At Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop on Mockingbird Lane, owner Ron Mills said he points his customers, who come in concerned about the West Nile Virus, to the bat houses.

While mosquitoes make up less than 5 percent of a typical Mexican free-tailed bat’s diet, Mills said each bat doesn’t need to eat many if you have a lot of bats.

His three chamber bat house can hold as many as 250 bats.

McCoy said the colony that lives at his bat house is made up of 70 – 80 bats.

He admits the sight of them coming out at dusk can be “creepy” and often causes his neighbor to “squeal”.

However, he said his neighbors don’t complain because it works.

“It’s not mosquito proof, but it’s the best mosquito deterrent I’ve found.”

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