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Dispelling Myths about Bats

  1. Bats in NJ do NOT drink blood. In fact, there are only 3 (out of 1200+) species of so-called vampire bats, which are found in South America. While vampire bats do feed on blood, their preferred food sources are livestock, not humans. The 9 bat species found in NJ eat only insects, and lots of them!
  2. Bats will NOT fly into your hair. Insectivorous bats use 'echolocation,' which is a sophisticated sonar system used to find insects at night. It might seem like they are swooping toward your head, but they are actually just hunting for insects! They know exactly where they are going!
  3. Getting rabies from a bat is EXTREMELY rare. Bats can be infected with rabies just like any other mammal; however, <1% of all bats actually carry rabies. Most bat bites occur from picking up a bat without gloves or startling a bat that has crawled into a woodpile or other dark place.
  4. Bats are NOT rodents. Bats are not related to rodents. In fact, they are most closely related to dogs!
  5. Bats are NOT scary!! Despite the negative stereotypes surrounding bats, they are extremely intelligent and beneficial animals upon which we depend.