Bats make a lot of people uncomfortable. They are an often misunderstood species. Many people take what they see about bats in movies or on TV as truths. This article will discuss common misconceptions about bats, and what
Bats Can See
We have all heard the phrase “blind as a bat.” However, while they have weak eyesight, they can see pretty well at night. Overall, a bat’s eyes are tailored to seeing at night, and they can see enough to further enhance their spatial awareness. Bats rely more on echolocation than their vision, so the animal’s hearing is incredible. Actually, the phrase “blind as a bat” came from the way bats land after flying. Most bat species have little to no landing prowess, leading to clumsy grabbing motions and crash landings.
Bats and Diseases
Bats are commonly thought to carry rabies, but they are often rabies-free. There is rabies in about 1 in every thousand bats. However, the CDC reports that bats make up roughly 33% of all rabies cases in the US. This is likely due to large colony sizes and massive decreases in raccoon rabies cases.
When it comes to pathogens and diseases, bats are known to have very dangerous feces. Otherwise known as guano, creates dust-like particles in the affected area. These particles can carry a wide array of diseases, as well as being a powerful carcinogen itself.
No Vampires Here
Unlike in vampire movies, not all bats drink blood. Only 3 species of bats drink blood, and they live in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Additionally, these bats will generally feed on livestock rather than humans.
All Tangled Up
Another misconception used in movies and TV is that bats commonly get tangled in people’s hair. In fact, bats are masters of evasion and navigation. Because of this, it is very rare that one will get caught on your head unless it is sick and/or injured.
Sick Bats in the Winter
If a bat is flying around in cold-climate areas in winter, it is not looking for insect nests, as some people may believe. In reality, the bat probably has White-Nose syndrome. This is where a fungus grows on a bat’s nose while it is hibernating, and confuses it. It causes the bat to think that it is springtime. The infected bat will become more active and burn up its stored fat. Most bats that get the fungus will die, both from the cold and lack of food.
Bat Houses and Your Attic
If there are bats in your attic, putting up a bat house won’t help. Bat colonies will not usually move their home unless they absolutely need to. Do not try and remove bats on your own. Hire a professional, humane wildlife removal service to deal with your bat infestation.