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Debunking Bat Myths

Debunking Bat Myths

Bats often get a bad wrap. These flying mammals are misunderstood, but they are essential to the habitats in which they live. Many bat myths and misconceptions about these beneficial creatures lead to discrimination and fear.

We don’t need to be afraid of bats. The mystery surrounding these nocturnal animals may stem from their nocturnal nature. They live most of their lives in the dark, and that is foreign for us. 

At Central Plains Bat Removal, we understand the vital role bats play in the balance of the ecosystem. Our mission is to rid you of your bat problem while protecting our furry flying friends. Contact us today if you live in the Central Plains area, and you are suffering from bat woes. 

Whether or not you are dealing with a bat problem, you can always learn a bit more about these fascinating creatures. We are going to go over some common bat myths and debunk them. Now, let’s learn more about bats! 

Bats Are Blind

You have probably heard the old saying, ‘blind as a bat.’ Although some bats have poor eyesight during daylight hours, most bats have good vision. 

In fact, they see just as well as most other mammals. Some species of bats can even see up to three times better than the human eye. 

Bats are also able to use a unique biological sonar system known as echolocation. They use this ability to navigate at night and to hunt fast-flying insects in total darkness. 

To use echolocation, the bat will emit a series of beep-like sounds into its path. The echoes produced by the sounds bounce back to the bat, who then uses the data to map a safe course. 

Through echolocation, bats can detect and see everything apart from color. They can even detect obstacles as small and delicate as a single human hair. 

Blood thirsty vampire bat swooping in from the darkness.

Bats Are Flying Mice

Bats are mammals, not rodents. They belong to the order Chiroptera while mice and rats belong to the Rodentia order. In actuality, they are more closely related to humans than they are to mice or rats. 

While most mice and rats are seen as pests and nuisances, bats actually eat pests. They don’t chew on wood, plastic, or metal as rodents will. 

Additionally, bats only give birth to one pup at a time, and usually no more than once a year. Rodents, on the other hand, reproduce rather quickly and generally have large litters. 

Because of this fact, bat populations are more vulnerable. If something happens to slow or stop reproduction, the bat population will not be able to recover quickly. 

Bats Have Rabies

The percentage of the wild bat population that carries rabies is less than half a percent. Because bats are mammals, though, they are capable of contracting and carrying rabies. Statistically, though, bats contract rabies at a much lower rate than most other mammals. 

You should never attempt to handle a bat without protective gear. In fact, it is better to leave the bat handling to a professional. 

If a bat appears sick or injured, there is a chance it has contracted rabies. You should keep will away from the infected bat and call for help. 

If a bat does contract rabies, the most common outcome is death. Before the end, though, bats infected with rabies become paralyzed and can no longer fly or roost. For your safety, never try to touch or grab a bat off the ground with your bare hands. 

Bats Attack Your Hair

As previously mentioned, not only do bats have good eyesight, but they have echolocation. They can detect a head of human hair from far away and easily avoid it. 

Not only can they easily detect your presence, but bats are very agile. They are smart enough and adept enough to avoid your head.

If a bat is flying around your head, the chances are that it is hunting the insects attracted to your hair. 

That being said, if you startle a cornered bat, they may panic and fly around erratically. If you find a bat in your house, don’t try to capture it yourself. You may frighten it enough so that it panics and loses its sense of direction. 

Bats Are Pests

Wrong!

Bats are what is known as a keystone species. They are an essential part of any ecosystem in which they live. 

Bats can eat over a thousand insects in a single night. Farmers should be happy to have them around as they provide pest control services that are nontoxic and entirely free. 

On top of their pest control services, bats pollinate plants and even help to distribute seeds. You can also use their droppings, often referred to as guano, as a highly effective fertilizer. 

Flying Grey long eared bat

Bats Will Suck Your Blood

Out of more than 1300 known bat species, only three are considered vampire bats. Not one of those three species can be found in Canada or the US. Only in Latin America will you find a vampire bat. 

Vampire bats do not feed on humans. They typically feed on cows and other large livestock. 

They do not suck blood, as we imagine a typical vampire would. Bats feed similar to a mosquito.

Fun fact- medical researchers are working on a blood-clotting medication derived from properties of the vampire bat saliva. This medication will be useful in treating patients who suffer from strokes. 

Bats Always Hang Upside Down

Most people believe that bats spend most of their time suspended upside down. While they do spend some time dangling pointing downward, bats can frequently be found roosting horizontally instead of vertically. 

Bats Are All The Same

There are somewhere from 1300 to 1400 species of bats around the world. Forty-Eight of those species can be found in the United States. 

In fact, North America’s largest bat population can be found in Texas, under the Congress Avenue Bridge in the capital city of Austin. 

Some species of bats can live up to 40 years. One of the largest bat species can weigh up to 4 pounds and reach a wingspan of around five and a half feet. 

For more information about bats near us in the Central Plains, check this out.

If you live in the Central Plains area and have bat questions, we are your bat experts. We make sure both you and your unexpected bat visitors are safe. Contact Central Plains Bat Removal for your free estimate today!

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