vampires

Myths and Truths About Bats

This week I wanted to cover some myths and misconceptions about bats. As I was researching information to post here, I actually saw this question in a forum. “Will I turn into a vampire if a bat bites me?” Yes, this is a question someone actually asked.

Myths

  1. Bats are blind — Bat are not blind. I repeat bats are not blind! I think that people assume that because they use echolocation to navigate and find food.
  2. Bats want to drink your blood — This myth stems from an actual bat named a Vampire Bat. Vampire Bats generally feed on cattle not humans. And… if a Vampire Bat bites you, you will turn into a vampire. Just kidding… you will not turned into a vampire!
  3. Bats will fly into and get caught into your head — Unless you have bugs in your hair… this likely won’t happen.

Truths

  1. Ecosystem — Bats are incredibly important to our ecosystem. Not only do they keep down mosquito population they also pollinate flower. To find out more, click on the following link http://www.batswithoutborders.org/role-of-bats-in-our-ecosystems.html.
  2. Rabies — Some bats carry the rabies virus so it is very important not to handle bats unless you have been vaccinated. If you do get bitten (which is rare) or scratched by one, please go to emergency. It’s better to be safe.


Thursday, August 1st, 9:30ish pm.

Another busy week. Tonight was the first time we were able to get out. Also… how is it August already?

Tonight we walked down my favourite street. Once you hear the name, it will make sense. That street name? Gothic Avenue. Thinking about it now, that should have been our first bat walk. Gothic Avenue was busy with feeding bats. We hadn’t even walked 1/2 a block and heard 7 to 8 bats. Unfortunately, it was too dark to see them, which is too bad because most of them were flying really low.

We plan on going back over to Gothic Avenue, however, we will go much earlier.

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: 0


Friday, August 2nd, 8:30ish pm.

Tonight was a much cooler night and due to that a lot less bugs, however, we hear a lot of bat action on the bat detector! It seems that bugs are attracted to lights and due to that most of tonights bat action was closer street lights. Tonight we heard quite a lot bat sounds along Clendenan just north of Annette and south of Annette. We also heard quite a few bats in the athletic field for Humberside High School and on High Park halfway between Glenlake and Humberside.

My husband came up with a genius idea for me to create a map for our bat sightings. Here it is. 

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: 1

Saturday, August 3rd, 10:30ish pm.

We only faintly heard two bats tonight. We were likely out when they weren’t busily feeding. Dusk and 4 am ish seem to be their busy feeding time.

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: 0

Sunday (4th), 10:30-11ish pm

Again I think we were likely out when they weren’t busily feeding. Last night we wanted to show our friends how the bat detector worked, but unfortunately, only got a faint bat signal. Of course, after we went our separate ways, we heard a very low flying bat at the corner of High Park/Glenlake.

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: 2 but those happened at the pub patio we were on.

Important: Do not handle bats. They can carry the rabies virus. Only those who have been properly vaccinated and have knowledge of bats should be handling them. If you find a bat in your home call a bat rescue. Do not call an exterminator, call a rescue. Bats are important for our environment. I have links below for rescues.

Types of bats in Ontario: https://onnaturemagazine.com/bat-guide.html
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=Mammals.Bats
Bat rescues: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/?care=bat

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