But did you know that bats are actually beneficial and eat insects? Here are a few myths about bats that you likely have heard:
Myth #1: Bats are blind
You've heard the term “blind as a bat.” Bats actually have excellent vision, but also use echolocation to help them pinpoint the exact location of an insect so they can more easily find it while flying at night.
Myth #2: Bats are vampires that suck blood
Most of the bats that live in California eat night-flying insects, and none of the bats are vampires.
Like all mammals, bats too can contract rabies, but even rabid bats rarely bite except in self-defense. Worldwide, more than 30,000 humans die from rabies each year, and 99% of these cases are due to contact with rabid dogs. However, if you do come across a bat, they can carry disease so it is a good idea, for adults and children alike, to avoid handling it.
Bats Around the Home
In most cases, bats don't cause problems for homeowners or gardeners and because of their nocturnal habits, people rarely see them. Because they eat insects, bats may provide control of insect pests in the landscape and can be considered beneficial.
Sometimes migrating bats will roost in buildings, which may make people feel uneasy. Since bats can transmit disease, it may be necessary to manage them.