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10 Fascinating Facts About Bats

When you learn about bats, they're not so scary. Read more about these fascinating nocturnal creatures!

Bats get a bad rap. Especially around Halloween, they are associated with vampires and all things spooky and creepy. But these critters are actually beneficial to your garden and are a great natural pest controller, especially with mosquitos. Once you learn more about bats, you might see them in a different light!

Some facts on bats:

  1. Bats are not blind and can also see in the dark.
  2. Bats use a type of sonar to navigate, which means they have an extremely good sense of direction. So, contrary to what many people believe, bats do not fly into your hair.
  3. While bats, like all other mammals, can get rabies, the truth is that not many bats contract the disease.
  4. A single brown bat can catch 1,200 mosquito-sized insects in one hour (and there are no smelly lotions to apply!)
  5. A colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
  6. Bats can live up to 30 years.
  7. Bats are vital to rain forests. Many trees rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.
  8. Bats are also imperative to many foods and derivatives, including dates, bananas, guavas, balsa woods, vanilla, tequila and chewing gum.
  9. Populations of bats are currently being threatened by loss of habitat and deliberate killing.
  10. There is a bat that does suck blood – the vampire bat; however, it does not like human blood but the blood of cattle and birds. And it does not kill these animals. The vampire bat lives in Central and South America.

Today there are many organizations, both privately and government-run, that work toward the preservation of bats. If you’d like more information on how you can help or how you can attract bats to your insect-infested yard, check out the Bat Conservation website here. 

Fun Fact: Baby bats are called “pups”!

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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Karen E Oliver-Paull

When I was a kid, I used to love to be by our pond at twilight to watch the bats skimming the pond to drink water. Sadly, there are no more bats here. As I type this, I can hear the sound of a giant tree shredder destroying the forest near us. My heart weeps for all the wildlife being killed or made homeless. Developing the land is killing us all.

Toni Taylor

Can bats help me with a spider problem on my outdoor patio? Maybe they would eat insects out there but I don’t want bats flying around my head while we enjoy the view of the lake.

Susan Higgins

Hi Toni, they mostly eat flying bugs, rather than spiders. They home in on them with their internal sonar. I have had them pluck insects off my screens. But they really have no interest in humans and will avoid them, so you don’t have to worry about them.

Robert Bernstein

The fungal disease, white nose disease of bats, is killing off large numbers of our bat friends. I don’t know if there is a solution to this problem ?!?

Olivia Wood

Bats are so misunderstood! I’m glad to see this article pointing out the many benefits of bats. One thing, though. Vampire bats don’t suck blood. They lap it up from the skin.

Ali Cole

We live in western ny state, see the bats every summer, love to listen to them talk

Deborah Vogg

I’m just starting to get to know them but, I’m going to put up a bat house on the garage to help them in the city.

Wanda Stevens

I love the bats. I sit outside at night all summer long watching them fly, they are amazing. We don’t have as many as we used to, that bothers me, I believe it’s because there is so much “clear cutting” going on around us. I was thinking to find someone to build me some bat houses.

Deborah

I live in the woods and have my whole life… We have always had a policy of leaving them alone.. Last week I removed some dangerous and dead trees near my house.. at dusk I see dozens of bats flying low and close to the house… Is this just natural for them this time of year or is it that I disturbed their homes??

Denise West

Good facts to know! I am glad to see bats out at my house.

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