Just like a lot of you I used to Cringe at the thought of a Bat. Then a few years ago we held a Bat Seminar at our store and I learned the Truth about Bats!! I was Amazed. Now not only do I love bats but I am currently putting up 5 Bat Houses to try to attract them. Wanna know why? Bats are beneficial and once I realized that they hardly pose the threat that we think they do I started to think they were kinda cute. Weird right? Well let me just bust a few Bat Myths and try to open your mind to the possibility of wanting to attract bats to your yard too.
Truth #1. While bats can carry rabies, less than 1/2 of 1 percent of wild bats actually has Rabies! Astounding right? Maybe they aren’t so scary after all
Truth #2. Bats are Not Blind. Although bats eyes are small and sometimes poorly developed, they work just fine. Microbats mainly hunt by echolocation. Sending out sound waves and listening for the echo to bounce off insects.
Truth #3. Bats in your house are NOT bad luck. Bats are probably associated with bad luck because of a Vampire Legend. That stuff is just in books and movies. Bats can’t cause bad luck. That doesn’t mean we want them in our houses as it could spread certain diseases. But in your yard GREAT. A little brown bat can eat up to a thousand mosquito sized insects in just one hour! Holy Bat!! In fact bats are so lucky for humans that many people put up bat houses in their yard to attract bats.
Truth #4. Bats do NOT suck peoples blood. There is only one type of bat known to feed on blood and it’s not blood of people. While vampire bats have been known to bite people they mainly feed on cattle. These bats only weigh two ounces and will take just a small amount of blood when they bite the cattle. The bats saliva has special anti blood clotting properties and is being used to develop a medication called draculin.
Truth #5. Bats do not purposely fly toward you and get tangled in your hair trying to build a nest. As a matter of fact bats don’t make nests at all. Bats hang upside down while roosting and tend to drop down and flap their wings before they start to lift off in flight. So it may appear they are swooping down on you but they likely are after a bug in the area around you!!
I hope this helps to shed some light on why bats are not our enemy. But in fact can be hugely beneficial to us. Like bees bats are pollinators. According to the US Forest Service bats are responsible for dispersing seeds that grow into bananas, avocados and nearly 300 other plant species. By chowing down on thousands of bugs each night, bats also act as a natural pest control for plants and for humans!!
Thanks for sticking with me through this batty article.
Regards from all of us here at For The Wild Birds Crinda, Grant, Marilyn, Pat, Rhea, Pierce (he’s brand new here) and of course Chocolate (Store guard dog) and Rheas pugs Bob, Alice and Terrance. Whew we have a storeful.