Environment

The Number of Bugs in Your House Might Gross You Out

Every now and then you might see a spider on your wall or a few ants running across your kitchen counter, but it's no big deal because these things happen all the time. Bugs have found a way to creep into our homes despite our best efforts and the best Raid spray. So how many bugs are we sharing our homes with exactly? The number is a lot more than you think.

A new study from North Carolina State University revealed that the number of different bugs in a U.S. home is more than 500. Researchers went to 50 homes just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and took inventory of all the arthropods — insects, spiders, crustaceans and myriapods — they could find. In total, researchers collected 10,000 specimen and 579 different types of arthropods.

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Each house, on average, contained 100 arthropods. The most commonly collected groups of arthropods in the homes were flies, spiders, beetles, ants and book lice, according to a North Carolina State University news release.

arthopods diversity chart

In addition, over 98 percent of homes contained book lice, 96 percent housed dark-winged fungus gnats, and every home contained cobweb spiders, carpet beetles, gall midge flies and ant, the Washington Post reports.

Out of more than 550 rooms that researchers examined, only five were completely bug-free, National Geographic reports.

“They’re just milling around at the edges of room, eating little bits of hair and dead insects. This isn’t something that should change people’s behavior," entomologist and lead researcher Matt Bertone told the Washington Post.

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Although the results may seem troubling, researchers believe that it is not something that should keep homeowners up at night.

“My take-home message to the homeowners was that these things are living among you but they’re not dangerous and you won’t see them unless you really look for them,” Bertone told National Geographic. “They are peacefully co-habitating with us.”