How Well Can Bats See?

Blindness Myth

Many people mistakenly believe that bats are blind because they fly about erratically while hunting, which gives the impression they cannot see where they're going. The popular idiom "blind as a bat" also feeds into this myth. However, there are more than 1,000 species of bats in the world, and none of them are blind. Several bat species have large, well-developed eyes and rely on sight as their primary sense for navigation. Even small insectivorous species with relatively poor eyesight rely on visual cues to navigate long distances and track the cycle of days and nights. In fact, some species of bats are able to detect polarized light, which humans are unable to see. Patterns of polarized light, which are strongest at dusk and dawn, help bats navigate to and from their nests.

Using Echolocation to Fly/Hunt

The insectivorous microbats that have relatively poor vision rely on the auditory sense of echolocation to navigate through their environment and hunt for prey. Echolocation entails bats emitting high-pitched squeaks and using their highly sensitive ears to detect variations in the reflected soundwaves. This helps bats determine the location of insects, trees, or other objects in the darkness without the need for sharp vision. However, echolocation is only effective up to a range of 50 meters, so bats must use eyesight to help navigate over long distances to and from their roosts, as well as to detect sunrise and sunset.

If you are concerned about a bat problem in your home, bats in attics or would like assistance with sealing bat entry points to your basement or attic, call the experts at Critter Control today at 1-800-CRITTER for professional services!

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