Vampire bats have an unpleasant stigma of being callous, uncontrollable, blood-thirsty creatures. Fortunately, this is just a generous embellishment of the specie’s true nature; they are actually nothing of the sort. If you would like to know the true facts about these highly misunderstood bats, start with this article.
Continue reading to learn the basics about the vampire bat “sanguinivorous” lifestyle, and then expand your newfound wildlife knowledge to those around you!
3 Species of Blood-Consuming Mammals
Although there are several creatures on this planet that exhibit traits of a sanguinivorous lifestyle (consuming vertebrate blood), there are only 3 mammals that do so, all of which make up the Vampire bat species. These include the Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the White-Winged Vampire Bat (Diaemus youngi), and the Hairy-legged Vampire Bat (Diphylla ecaudata). All three species are suite similar, but also have separate distinct characteristics that make them unique.
Now Let Us Clear Up the Confusion
The rumors that suggests these species “attack” and “kill” their prey, and then “suck” their blood is wrong. The truth is, vampire bats choose a host, make a small incision with their tiny teeth (much like a prick of a finger), and then lap up the pooling blood with their tongues.
They use heat-sensitive cells in their nose to locate a suitable blood vessel, while their saliva contains an anti-coagulant proteins (one such protein is called Draculin) that prevents the incision from clotting until they are done feeding. Once they are through, which usually takes up to an hour, the incision quickly seals, and the host is none-the-wiser.
Vampire bats actually help take care of their hosts. You see, blood is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. This means they have to eat a lot more than regular microbats, so it is necessary to preserve their food source, which usually comprise of livestock like cows, pigs, horses, and goats.
They are known to help others in their roost too. If a vampire bat goes a few days without eating, they can lose a significant amount of body fat, which puts them at a higher fatality risks. To combat this issues, the well-fed bats regurgitate packages of congealed blood for hungry companions in their roost.
Want to learn more false rumors about bats? Read our blog, “Unfair Misconceptions About Bats” to get an idea of the truth behind bats.
Dealing With Nuisance Bats?
Although bats are an important part of our Eco-system, and even our economy, they can sometimes pose certain threats if their colonies get too close. If you suspect you have issues with bats, or a bat infestation in the attic or other area of your home, contact our DNR licensed and insured professionals at 553-502-7622 for safe and humane bat control service in Louisville, Kentucky and its surrounding counties. We have more than two decades of experience working with bats, and offer both residential and commercial bat removal and control services, including minor attic restorations for bat damages. Request a free estimate, today.