NORWALK - Environmental experts say residents should expect fewer bats in southwestern Connecticut this summer.

Margaret Ardwin, a naturalist at Earthplace, says bats in the area are dying at an alarming rate due to a fungus commonly known as white nose syndrome.

In 2007, 3,300 bats were counted at one of the state?s largest hibernation caves in Litchfield. However, this past winter, less than 12 were counted there and all but one showed signs of the deadly fungus.

Adrwin also says bats are key to enjoying summer evenings because they eat insects, and without them, residents will be swatting a lot more mosquitoes.