While bat removal is necessary to ensure the safety of a bat colony and your home’s integrity, many people make the call out of fear, not practicality. Unfortunately, many bat myths are held as fact, when in reality, they’re actually a product of pop culture or urban legend.
How can you tell what’s real and what’s fiction when it comes to bats? The key is doing your research when you hear a “fact” that sounds too fantastic to be true. To get started, we’re debunking three of the most common bat myths.
1. All Bats Drink Blood
The connection between bats and vampires is strong. This myth goes back to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and the media it inspired. In that story, the titular vampire can take the form of a bat at will. Pair that with a few real bat species subsisting on blood, and you’ve got a full-blown myth.
While three bat species drink blood, they’re in the minority. The remaining 1,397 species eat lots of other things:
- Flying insects
- Small rodents
While vampire bats feed solely on blood, they rarely get it from humans. Instead, they primarily prey on livestock, wild mammals and large birds. Even in these instances, the bats don’t attack their prey in the traditional way. Instead, they approach sleeping animals and make a small bite. Once the blood starts flowing, they lick it up rather than suck. Vampire bats require a relatively small amount of blood to be sated, so the animals they drink from are perfectly fine after the experience. Most don’t even wake up during the process. The three vampire bat species are located in South and Central America With so many other kinds of bats out there, you’re incredibly unlikely to come across a genuine vampire bat.
2. Bats Can’t See
“Blind as a bat” is a common saying, but it turns out the opposite is true. Since bats are nocturnal, they need to navigate in darkness. As a result, they have incredible eyesight and can see much better than humans in low light. They don’t see colour the way we do, but like many animals, they don’t need to.
In addition to excellent eyesight, bats also have phenomenal hearing. In fact, their hearing is so precise that they can use it to echolocate. To do so, they emit high-pitched cries and listen for the echo as the sound waves bounce off their environment. Between these two senses, bats are well-adapted to hunting at night.
3. Bats Attack Humans
Any wild animal may attack if cornered, as self-defence is an instinct. It is important to always keep your distance from bats in order to make them feel safe and to avoid any conflicts. What about stories you may have heard about bats swarming or attacking humans? For the most part, these are urban myths. Bats can carry rabies, so there’s a chance of a rabid bat attacking, but in most cases, bats are happy to stay away from people. If you visit a place where bats are known to gather, you may notice them swooping and diving. This behaviour isn’t aggressive — it’s not even a warning. Bats swoop to snap up tasty insects, so if you see a bat diving toward you, it’s probably found a delicious flying snack.
Even though bats don’t mean any harm, they can cause problems if they settle in your attic. Fortunately, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control offers bat removal services. We take care to remove the entire bat colony and seal your home to prevent re-entry. To learn more, visit our website or feel free to call. Remember to never try removal yourself — always contact a professional.