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How many bugs per night do bats eat?

Bats are very beneficial creatures. Almost 70 percent of all the bat species in the world feed only on insects. Each bat can eat between about 600 and 1,000 mosquitos and other kinds of insects in only one hour.



In some parts of the world, bats feed on various items other than just insects. There are many species that feed mainly on fruit. Other species feed on nectar or on pollen. The bats that eat fruits have a very important function as seed dispersers, while bats that eat nectar are important pollinators. It is interesting to mention that there are many plant species that depend almost entirely on bats for their pollination.

However, still the most significant part of bat species will feed mainly on insects. For example, an ordinary brown bat can eat up to 100 percent of its body weight every night; that would be about half an ounce. It can consume about 1,200 insects per hour approximately. Choices of insects are widely varied for bats. They frequently eat insects such as moths, crickets, locusts, fruit flies, gnats, beetles, mosquitoes, and other bugs. But how do they find their prey and eat it?

Bats have a relatively good eyesight, but they depend highly on their developed echolocation, or sonar, system to navigate and to capture their preys, the insects, in the dark. Bats are a bale to emit pulses of a very high frequency sound at a rate of just a few and up to 200 per second. The pulses emitted are high frequency and inaudible to the human ear. As they listen to the echoes reflect back to them, bats are able to discern objects in their paths. Their ability of echolocation system is so acute and accurate that they are able to avoid obstacles as thin as a piece of thread and capture tiny flying insects even in the complete darkness. Bats mostly forage for food at night as they try to avoid the daylight.

As it was mentioned above, not all bats eat insects. The 1,200 varied bat species have various eating preferences. Some bats will eat fruits, others will consume nectar they find in flowers. For example, vampire bats, the most popular bat species, is found in Mexico mainly and in other countries besides the United States as well; they consume blood that they extract from local wildlife. Go back to the How to get rid of bats home page.

If you need bats help, click my Nationwide list of bats removal experts for a pro near you.

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