Vampire Bats: Myths and Reality

Vampire bats are some of the most hyped up creatures in the animal kingdom. Many assumptions associated with the creature are derived from vampire movies and fictional literature. Somehow, many of us have been led to believe in world domination plan of vampire bats. They are scary creatures indeed, but not in the ways you might think. Want to distinguish fiction from reality? We, at, are going to debunk some myths and uncover some realities about vampire bats.

Myth: They are Everywhere

They are not everywhere. The preferred habitats are tropical and subtropical regions. From more than 1300 species of bats, only 3 species of vampire bats exist and they are mostly found in South America. Only 1 species out of 3 is dependent on mammals’ blood. If you are not a resident of those regions, then you may never encounter them.

Myth: They Feed on Jugular Vein

Vampire stories lead to believe this ridiculous myth. In fact, vampire bats are not so obvious with their bloodsucking endeavors and prefer stealth mode. They go for the toe while you are asleep because toe has a good blood supply. Contrary to popular belief, vampire bats are small in size with razor sharp teeth so you won’t even notice when one of them makes a tiny incision on your toe, feed on fresh blood, run off into a dark corner to digest, and then fly away.

Myth: They Must Suck a lot of Blood

As mentioned in Vampire Bats | Pestwiki, they are pretty small in size. So naturally, they do not need much food to survive. An average vampire bat needs an ounce of blood every day to survive. An ounce is almost negligible if drawn only once or twice. Vampire bats love to feed on form animals like cows, goats, and hens. They can also cause infections in livestock.

Do they Attack Humans?

This fact might not be for the faint of heart, but they attack humans under rare conditions. As mentioned earlier, they mostly munch on farm animals, but sometimes a dwindling supply of animals can make them attack humans. This is a very rare case because farm animals are an important part of the food chain.

A recent incident of vampire bats attacking humans emerged in northeast Brazil where these creatures started terrorizing villagers at night. One man died of rabies and forty got bitten within three months. Reason for this strange behaviour of bats was deforestation and destruction of their natural habitats like caves, and old abandoned buildings.

They are not Immortal, Right?

Yes. You are right about this one. Unlike vampire fiction, where they feed on blood and live for centuries, vampire bats have a lifespan of 9 years max. With a gestation period of almost 7 months to produce one offspring, short lifespan, and deaths under various circumstances, you don’t have to worry about their overpopulation.


Now you know many facts about vampire bats and can justify your next Halloween costume with confidence. Want to know more? We have some valuable information at Vampire Bats | Pestwiki.