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How many bugs per night do bats eat?

Bats are the kind of creature that gives most people the willies. With their sharp fangs, beady eyes, and very ominous appearance, they startle most who would come in contact with them. Because they are nocturnal animals, you are likely only going to see one of these animals during the middle of the night, which only adds to the ominous feeling that many have about them. They truly are a creature that the vast majority of people wants nothing to do with.

Human beings are not the only thing that could do without bats. Most of these animals consume insects as their primary form of nourishment. While these insects are flying around at night, bats will swoop around them, devouring as many as they possibly can. It is a truly amazing way in which they are able to retrieve food, but must be a very terrifying one for the insects.

What makes this dance even more startling is that it seems that the bat’s appetite is never satisfied. They could swoop around a group of bugs continuously eating as many moths, crickets, gnats, mosquitoes, and as many other kinds of flying insects as they can find. This may make you wonder how many bugs per night do bats actually eat?

The average bat will eat up to 100% of its body weight each and every night. Since the average bat ways about an ounce or less, this means that that is the amount of insects that are needed to be eaten and digested by the bat for it to be able to maintain normal bodily operations.

To figure out how many insects that would be, we turn to our bug calculator to assess weights in terms of what a bat would need. Consider that not only does the bat need the amount of weight in bugs eaten to match what it spent for that night, but needs to go further to ensure that it is covering its normal processes during the day once it is back with the colony and sleeping. This will likely mean that it will eat twice its body weight, if not more.

A bat can actually eat 1200 insects in one hour’s period of time. That is an absolutely unbelievable number if you consider it for a moment. This can mean an eight hour period, that a bat can consume most 10,000 insects as it is swooping around the area before heading back to its cave.

Of course, the type of insect directly affects how many would eat. It may likely eat 1200 gnats, fruit flies, or mosquitoes in an hour, because these are rather small insects that can be found in large numbers. However, a moth or cricket is a lot larger of an insect, and so a bat would maybe eat a few of these in an hour to be able to care for its nutritional needs.

No matter which of those numbers you are talking about, that is still a large number of insects. It explains why these creatures are important for helping to control insect populations. Read more: Bat Control

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