According to the latest research, our houses or rooms are home to a wide number of bugs and insects, and these are more than our expectations. A team of entomologists from North Carolina State University and the California Academy of Sciences have found out that our houses are comfortable enough to provide shelter to the bugs that creep in through our basements, scuttle across our kitchen floors and crawl across our carpets.
The research team noted that many wide varieties of bugs live in different parts of our homes that have access to the outdoors, no matter how tidy they are. The study explains what draws insects into our homes and also which rooms of house host more bug species. That means bugs choose the houses and also the rooms according to their preference. The researchers wanted to know which type of bugs live with us and why and also where they live in our house. Michelle Trautwein, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences, carried out the research along with his teammates.
For the study that started in 2012, the researchers picked up more than 10,000 bugs, both living and dead, from 50 houses in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Roughly around 47 families of harmless bugs showed up in most of the houses, including silverfish, book lice, fruit flies, and ladybugs. But harmful pests like bedbugs, fleas, and termites were found to present in very small numbers. It was also revealed that carpeted, ground-floor living rooms were the best place for the bugs to dwell because of their ease of accessibility. Living rooms are more spacious than other shared rooms and bugs prefer a spacious environment with access to outdoors through windows and doors. T
Trautwein said that they have been sampling houses all over the world and their results are truly global. He informed that bugs do not respect the limitations or the borders that we have created rather they just view our houses as the extension. Through the research, Trautwein and her colleagues wanted to know what features of a building attracts bugs to build their camps. So they tried to give scores to each home on a number of factors: the degree of cleanliness; the amount of clutter; the presence of pesticides, pets, dust bunnies; the number of doors and windows. The results were surprising. The researchers found out that nothing seemed to make a difference when it came to bug diversity. Each home had an average of hundred species living in it regardless of how clean the rooms were or how many pets the room had. Further in-depth research revealed that most arthropods preferred the ground floors.
The cold, damp basements were mostly preferred by darkness-loving cave-dwellers like camel crickets, millipedes, tiny crustaceans. In his conclusion, Trautwein said, “While the idea of uninvited insect roommates sounds unappealing, bugs in houses may contribute to health in a roundabout way. A growing body of evidence suggests some modern ailments are connected with our lack of exposure to wider biological diversity, particularly microorganisms — and insects may play a role in hosting and spreading that microbial diversity indoor”. The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.