Americans share their homes with an average of 93 species

Survey reveals army of insects, arachnids and other arthropods in US homes.

House spider on a living room carpet, UK.
The house spider reduces the number of flies and other insects from houses. © Paul_Cooper/iStock


A survey of 50 houses in North Carolina reveals that Americans share their homes with an average of 93 species of insects, arachnids and other arthropods.

In all, 10,000 specimens comprising nearly 600 species were recovered from a total of 554 rooms.

Many of the species, including bedbugs, house spiders, book lice, carpet beetles, house centipedes, silverfish and cockroaches, have a long evolutionary history of living and breeding in human dwellings.

“Our homes could be seen as extensions of our cave-dwelling past,” said lead researcher Matthew Bertone of North Carolina State University.

Other species, such as ants, only enter homes to forage. Then there is what Bertone calls “aerial plankton” – animals that enter houses accidentally and are unable to escape: “Our houses are very effective insect traps.”

Source PeerJ

9 household spiders and webs for you to spot

Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here