Myths, rumours and legends often give bats a lot of bad press. Here is the truth behind some of the most common myths about bats!

Myth: Bats are flying rodents/mice/rats
This is simply not the case. Bats are very unique and scientists have put them in a group named Chiroptera, meaning hand winged. The bones of the wing actually resemble that of the human hand, making them closer to humans than rodents.

Myth: Bats  get stuck in your hair/fly at you
Bats will not get stuck in your hair. Insect-eating bats have a built in sonar system called echolocation that allows them to navigate in complete darkness. Echolocation is thousands of times more efficient than any system that we have. If a bat swoops nearby to you, it's just after an insect, not your hair! There is not a single bat in the world that makes a nest, never mind one that makes a nest in your ponytail.

Myth: Bats will bite you/ suck your blood
This is not true, whilst species of vampire bat do exist outside of the UK, yes they do feed on blood but not that of humans, its usually  animals. They do not latch on and suck blood, they make a small painless incision with their sharp teeth and lap up a spoonful or two. 

Vampire bats are actually helping people, the saliva of a vampire bat contains anticoagulants that prevent the blood from clotting which has been named Draculin. Draculin is currently being explored by scientists for its usefulness to treat strokes and heart disease. 

Myth: All bats are dirty and carry rabies
Bats actually groom and clean themselves quite often. Studies have been carried out on over 12,000 bats, with only 9 of these testing positive for the live rabies virus. For more information please see BCT's bats and rabies page.

Myth: Bats are pests
In fact it is quite the opposite. Many bats feed on insects that can cause considerable damage to crops, so they actually help to control pests!