There are many different reasons why people assume that bats are dangerous. Unfortunately, many of those reasons are mainly due to the myths they’ve heard about them in the past. So, what is it exactly that gives bats their scary reputation? Let’s look at some of the misconceptions – and then we’ll explain how bats really benefit our well-being, and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them.
Some of the most common misunderstandings about bats is that they:
- Build nests in your hair – Bats don’t actually build nests. Instead, they hang upside down at their roost, where they rest or sleep.
- Attack people for no reason – When bats are flying above us, they are not planning their attack. They are merely hunting the insects close to our heads that have been attracted to us because of our body heat.
- Are vampires – Unlike how the movies portray them, not all bats feed on blood. There are three species of “vampire bats” living in Mexico, Central, and South America, that feed solely on blood for survival. And, while bats have bitten humans for blood, it is uncommon, as vampire bats mainly drink the blood of other animals.
- All carry rabies – Disease transmission from bats to humans is extremely rare and wasn’t even thought of as a possibility until the first rabid bat was found in 1953.
- Are blind – Bats are not blind and can actually see just as well as humans. However, their large ears help them echolocate (use the sound waves that bounce of objects, resembling a natural sonar).
Now that we’ve covered some of the myths regarding bats, let’s see why they are considered to be such helpful creatures.
- Natural pest control – Bats eat a ton of bugs, so much so, that they can eat up to their full body weight in insects every night, that’s nearly 3,000 insects! Not only do bats eat the insects in our backyards, but they also eat crop pests that damage farmer’s crops, reducing the needs for pesticides, which are unhealthy and costly.
- Key seed dispensers – When fruit bats eat, the seeds are spread through their guano. By being able to disperse seeds for hundreds of kilometers, the bats are helping to regenerate a healthy rainforest.
- Pollination – if you enjoy eating foods such as bananas, avocados, guavas, and agave, you can thank a bat. Like bees, bats are also pollinators and what many people don’t realize is that there are over 500 plant species that rely on bats to pollinate their
While bats play a vital role in our ecosystem, they can be seen as a nuisance pest when building their roost site in an attic, shed, or barn.
If bats have taken over your home, it’s essential to seek expert advice. There are many laws and regulations regarding the removal of bats which need to be followed. At Critter Control® of Tampa, we offer a wide range of wildlife removal services to ensure your critter problem is taken care of effectively and humanely from start to finish.
Our team has the necessary knowledge needed to safely exclude the bats from your home, locate and repair any entry points, and clean up the mess they left behind. For a free estimate, call us today at 813.948.0870.