Different Houses and Rooms House More Bugs Than Others
With winter right around the corner, don’t be surprised if you’ll find more bugs in your home than usual. Now, even though bugs have been humanity’s roommates for a very long time, we know surprisingly little about them, to begin with. A new study, however, has looked into the matter and explains why these bugs invade our homes and which rooms around the house are more comfortable for them.
There are many factors at play when it comes to which insects cohabitate with us. Among these are the house layout, having pets, or whether the homeowner is tidy or messy. Depending on the variation of these factors, we can now better predict what type of insects are in our house.
For this study, 50 house were thoroughly analyzed all from Raleigh, North Carolina. And as it turns out, bugs mostly prefer the ground floor, and as you go further up, fewer and fewer bugs reside. Carpeted floors also favour the existence of insects, since they offer a more irregular terrain rather than a flat surface. Open doors and windows also allow for more insects to get inside the house.
The top five most common bugs withing any given house are ants, cobwebs spiders, carpet beetles, dark-winged fungus gnats, and gall midges. And all of them are benign creatures with no ill effects on humans. Some insects, like silverfish and book lice, live their whole lives indoors. Others, on the other hand, are only temporary residents, like fruit flies and ladybugs, which actually prefer the outdoors. Fleas, termites, bed bugs, centipedes, and other such pests were extremely rare in this study.
Overall, these bugs were similar throughout most of the house, with only one exception. The basement, which hosts a very different environment than the rest of the house. Basements have little to no natural light, are underground and are more humid than the rest of the house. The also don’t have as may human-based food sources. These conditions favour spiders, millipedes, isopods, camel crickets, and ground beetles since the basement resembles more of a cave-like environment.
“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 indoors,” said Dr. Michelle Trautwein, senior author and the Academy’s Schlinger Chair of Diptera.
As it turns out, cluttered homes aren’t necessarily more bug-infested than tidy or open space ones. What’s more, houseplants, dust bunnies, pesticide use, and even pets didn’t have a significant effect.