What else is living in your house besides you?

Scientists selected 50 random houses from a list of volunteers who had filled out a survey about their residence and residents. All the homes in the experiment ranged in age, from 7 to 94 years old. Entomologists investigated every room, except attics and crawl spaces for safety reasons.

The team of entomologists then investigated each room, collecting insects from behind furniture, around skirting boards, ceilings and shelves. However, they did not look under heavy furniture, drawers or cabinets. All insects that were found were preserved in 95% ethanol.

After sourcing all the insects in the resident’s homes, the entomologists went on to research the insects they had discovered., and then inputting the data into tables. Many home owners like to think their home is sterile and bug-free living environment, however the information gathered told a very different story.

The study proved that nearly every single room contained at least one insect of various kinds. In total, the scientists found a minimum of 579 different species of insect. As not all areas of the house were investigated, the actual number of species in the house will more than likely be higher. As expected, bigger houses contained more insects.

Termites were found in 28% of homes and clothes moths 60%. In 10% of homes fleas were found, and mosquitoes in 82%. Unsurprisingly, 100% of ants and cobweb spiders were discovered in these homes. One house contained a very rare larval beaded lacewing, a parasite of termite nests. This insect gives off a chemical that paralyses termites, allowing them to eat them.

All these insects have been residents in our homes for a long while, and they have no intentions of leaving. As the proof shows, most of these insects cause us no harm, stress or aggravation.

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