Boy Scout installs bat houses to help control mosquito population at Bisamrck golf course

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BISAMRCK, N.D. - One of the few downsides to summer in North Dakota is an influx of mosquitoes.

Bats play a role in keeping the mosquito population down, but they're not always welcome.

While bats are a natural way to reduce the mosquito population, they need a place to rest during the day.

One Bismarck teen helped out a few local organizations to set up bat houses around the Riverwood Golf Course in Bismarck in hopes to make a golfers experience more enjoyable.

Next time you take a swing at Riverwood Golf Course pay close attention to the trees.

"The bats will go into the spaces, up towards the top and it can conserve all their body heat," said Daniel Johnson, Eagle Scout candidate.

Johnson, a member of Troop 2 in Bismarck, spearheaded the building of six bat houses for his service project to be an eagle scout with the assistance of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Club and Bismarck Parks and Rec.

"Building the houses and putting them up and just that sense of your kind of helping someone, bringing bats to the golf course, that was a really good feeling," said Johnson.

Hundreds of little brown bats can fit into one house through these 3 quarters of an inch slats...during night feeding one bat can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes in an hour.

The houses only took two to three hours to install.

"Teamwork, we had a system going so it was a speedy operation," said Johnson.

But, the preparations took about a year.

"We met with him a couple times as he got started on the project and he kept us informed on how he was going along, and our involvement was minimal, he did the work. It was great," said Dave Dewald, Lewis and Clark Wildlife Club.

Although Johnson is only a sophomore at Century High School...his plans on pursing a job in engineering and science in the future, but for now.

"I want to become an Eagle Scout. That should be a long term goal for the next couple of years of my life." said Johnson.

His love for service doesn't fall far from the tree, with his dad Clark having a military background.

"It's patriotism, citizenship, being a good citizen in your community, things like that, that's probably what I'm more proud of those intangible things," said Clark Johnson, Daniel's dad

These bat houses will go far beyond a service project.

"It is beneficial to golfers and it is beneficial to mother natural as well," said golfer Randy Kreil.

If you're out on the course this summer and notice fewer mosquitoes, you now know why.

This project was made possible through the help of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Club and Bismarck Parks and Rec. Bats are expected to use the houses this summer.