Can Bats See?

Likely due to the popular saying, “blind as a bat,” many people mistakenly believe that bats are blind. However, over 900 bat species exist in the world, and not one of them completely lacks the ability to see. Still, some types have better vision than others. For example, the two main species of bats, megabats and microbats, have distinct ways of viewing the world.

The Difference Between Megabats and Microbats

These larger bats can actually see quite well, especially at night. Their eyes appear oversized relative to their heads, are forward-facing, and give the bats binocular vision. They also have mirror-like retinas that reflect and capture the limited available light. Microbats, on the other hand, have underdeveloped vision. The little brown bat, the most common in the U.S., relies on echolocation to hunt prey and avoid obstacles instead of eyesight. Their vision is just sharp enough to allow them to see beyond the scope of their echolocation.

What to Do When You See a Bat

Interestingly enough, bright lights can momentarily render bats blind. While this may seem like a good defense mechanism against infestations in the home, flipping on a light switch in the presence of unsuspecting bats cause the pests to panic. Frightened bats will fly around frantically, clawing and biting anything they sense is a threat. To avoid these kinds of run-ins, contact the professionals at Trutech at the first sign of infestation.