Monday, August 6, 2018

Common Myths About Wild Bats



Common Myths About Wild Bats


* Written By: Sarahbeth Kluzinski


Bats have had a bad reputation for a long time. Old tales, books, movies, television, and publicity have caused people to develop misconstrued notions about bats. The truth is, bats are incredibly important to our surrounding eco-system. 

Do you like mosquitos? Bats do! And they eat all of them so that mosquitos aren't eating you at your backyard cookout party. Aside from insect control, bats play a major role in our environment. It is important to always respect bats, and understand that they are innocent mammals that only want to survive.

For this reason, it is important that you never harm, trap, or kill wild bats. In fact, it is illegal in most states without the proper licenses and permits. If you are scared of bats, or have a misguided perception of them, continue reading to learn some common myths and perhaps change your mind about bats once and for all!

COMMON BAT MYTHS:

  • Bats Consume Blood


All bat species but one are either insectivores or fruit eaters. There is only one bat species that consume the blood of other animals, and to no surprise, this bat species is called the Vampire Bat, or Desmodus rotundus. But do not be mistaken; Vampire bats do not kill their host, they simply consume enough blood for a meal. It does not harm or hurt the host at all (although sometimes their bites can get infected and cause problems with the host), which normally include livestock animals like cows, horses, and goats.

  • Bats Will Attack You


Bats are more scared of you than you are of them. They are not likely to attack humans and animals, despite what some movies have shown you. The only time a bat will attack is if it is rabid with the Rabies virus, or if is it provoked. 

Provocation will especially cause mother bats to defend their young. This is why pets are common victims of such attacks. They are curious and just want to take a whiff of a mother bat, but she is in no mood. This is one reason why pet vaccinations are so important. If you find one, do not touch it or try to move it with something. Keep your distance and call a wildlife removal company!

  • Bats Are Blind


They are not blind at all. In fact, Megachiroptera (tropical fruit bats) have pretty good eye sight because they have a pronounced visual cortex. Although Microchiroptera have smaller eyes, they can still see just fine. They do not use echolocation solely to navigate. They mostly use it to hunt for insects.


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