Bats are fascinating creatures that play a crucial role in our ecosystem by controlling insect populations. However, when they invade homes and buildings, they can become a nuisance and a potential health hazard. At Critter Control Kansas City, we specialize in the safe and humane removal of bats. Featured below are common bat behaviors and several myths about them.

Bat Behavior

Nocturnal Lifestyle:

Bats are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They emerge from their roosts at dusk to hunt for food, using their keen sense of echolocation to navigate and find prey in the dark. This behavior helps them avoid predators and reduces competition with other insect-eating animals.

Roosting Habits:

Bats roost in a variety of places, including caves, trees, and man-made structures such as attics, barns, and bridges. During the day, they rest in these roosts, often in large colonies, which can sometimes number in the thousands. This communal living helps them stay warm and protected.

Diet and Feeding:

Most bats in Texas and other regions are insectivorous, meaning they primarily feed on insects such as mosquitoes, moths, beetles, and flies. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 insects in an hour, making them valuable for natural pest control. Some bat species also consume fruit or nectar, contributing to pollination.

Reproduction and Lifespan:

Bats typically give birth to one or two pups per year, usually in the spring or early summer. They have a relatively long lifespan for small mammals, with some species living up to 20 years or more. Female bats often form maternity colonies to raise their young, providing a safe environment for the pups to grow and develop.

Common Myths About Bats

Myth 1: Bats Are Blind

One of the most pervasive myths about bats is that they are blind. In reality, bats have excellent vision, especially in low-light conditions. Their eyesight complements their echolocation abilities, allowing them to navigate and hunt effectively at night.

Myth 2: Bats Will Attack Humans

Contrary to popular belief, bats are not aggressive toward humans and do not attack them. Bats may fly close to people while chasing insects, but they are not interested in human interaction. If a bat feels threatened, it will usually try to escape rather than confront the perceived threat.

Myth 3: All Bats Carry Rabies

While it is true that bats can carry rabies, the incidence is relatively low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 1% of bats tested for rabies are found to be infected. Nonetheless, it is essential to avoid handling bats and to seek professional help if you encounter a bat in your home. Be sure to observe bats for abnormal behaviors, as this is a common indicator of rabies infection.

Myth 4: Bats Are Just Flying Mice

Bats are often mistakenly thought of as flying mice, but they belong to a different order of mammals called Chiroptera. Bats are more closely related to primates and have unique adaptations that distinguish them from rodents, including their ability to echolocate and their specialized wing structure.

Myth 5: Bats Are Dirty and Disease-Ridden

While bats can carry diseases, they are not inherently dirty animals. In fact, bats groom themselves regularly to keep their fur clean. The primary health concern with bats is their droppings, or guano, which can harbor the fungus that causes histoplasmosis. Proper cleanup and sanitation are crucial to prevent potential health risks.