Bat flying around trees near a home

Bat Myths and Misconceptions: Debunking Common Beliefs

Bats have long been shrouded in myths and misconceptions, largely due to their nocturnal nature and their depiction in folklore and media. However, at Animal Capture Wildlife Control, we believe it’s crucial to dispel these myths about bats and shine a light on the essential role these misunderstood creatures play in our ecosystem.

Myth 1: All Bats Are Bloodsuckers

The infamous image of the vampire bat has led to the common belief that all bats drink blood. In reality, only three out of the more than 1,400 species of bats feed on blood: the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat, and the white-winged vampire bat. These are primarily found in Mexico and Central and South America, with rare instances in extreme southern Texas. Most bats eat insects, making them excellent natural pest controllers. Others feed on fruits, contributing to seed dispersal and plant pollination.

Myth 2: Bats Are Rodents

Bats are not rodents; they belong to the order Chiroptera, which means “hand-wing.” They are the only mammals capable of sustained flight, and they’re more closely related to humans than they are to mice or rats.

Myth 3: Bats Are Blind

“Blind as a bat” is a commonly heard phrase, but it’s far from the truth. While it varies among species, many bats actually have pretty good eyesight. In fact, some fruit bats have excellent vision and even see in color. Echolocation is used by most bat species for navigating and hunting in the dark, but this does not mean they are blind. This system allows them to detect objects in their environment by emitting sound waves and listening for the echoes, but it complements their vision rather than replacing it.

Myth 4: Bats Are Aggressive and Dangerous

Contrary to popular belief, bats are not typically aggressive towards humans. In most cases, bats will try to avoid human contact and are more likely to be scared of humans than aggressive towards them. However, like any wild animal, bats can act defensively if they feel threatened. It’s also true that some bats have rabies, and while that percentage is very low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with numerous animal control experts, advise people to never handle bats with bare hands due to the risk of disease transmission.Myth 5:

Bats Infest Houses in Large Numbers

Group of bats infesting a attic inside a residential home

The Hollywood image of bats swarming in huge numbers has painted a picture of bats colonizing homes en masse. While bats do roost together and some species can form large colonies, it’s not common for vast numbers to infest houses. Usually, a small group or a single bat might find its way into a building. Even if you do find multiple bats, they’re likely more afraid of you than you are of them.

The Humane Treatment of Bats

At Animal Capture Wildlife Control, we emphasize the importance of treating bats humanely. They are an essential part of our ecosystem, controlling pests, pollinating plants, and dispersing seeds.

If you encounter bats in your home or business, it’s important not to attempt to handle or remove them yourself due to the potential health risks involved. Instead, call us at Animal Capture Wildlife Control. We provide humane wild animal removal services that prioritize the well-being of the animals and the safety of our clients. Remember, dispelling common misconceptions about bats not only helps these amazing creatures but also contributes to maintaining the balance of our ecosystem. Let’s do our part in understanding and preserving our wildlife responsibly. Explore our website to learn more about our services or call us at (310) 551-0901.