The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Over 100 creepy crawlers species share your home reveals a new study from the North Carolina State University. Matt Bertone, entomologist with the North Carolina State University Plant Disease and Insect Clinic led the gargantuan study to find out how many arthropod species on average share a home with us.
Published in the PeerJ journal, the study provides a clear picture of how many arthropod species coexist with humans. Over 100 creepy crawlers species share your home. How did the entomologists’ team come up with this figure? By heading out for a thorough inspection of 50 homes in the area of Raleigh, North Carolina. The samples collected by Matt Bertone’s team revealed that 10,000 arthropods live in any given room of your house. Collecting every creepy crawler found during the inspection was the first part of the research.
The second part of the research was conducted publicly in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Behind a glass pane, the entomologists’ team invited the public to delve in the results and become more familiar with the creepy crawlers in their homes. The microscopes used by the research team were connected to a monitor so the identification work could be followed closely. Each specimen was studied, identified and classified accordingly. One must admit that 10,000 arthropods specimens is a relatively frightening number.
However, overall the figure was restricted to 579 species. More precisely, the Matt Bertone and his team found 579 morphospecies in the sampled homes. Morphospecies are those species which are easily identifiable simply according to their structure. On average, over 100 creepy crawlers species share your home.
If you’re wondering why you’ve never set eyes on them, Matt Bertone has an explanation. Most of these dwellers measure only some millimeters in length. Almost invisible to the naked eye, they also tend to hide in undisturbed places. If you haven’t noticed them it’s also because the vast majority of the arthropod species are benign.
As per the findings of the study, 98 percent of the sampled homes had book lice. In addition, 96 percent of the homes harbored dark-winged fungus gnats. All the homes provided a cosy shelter for cobweb spiders in addition to ants, gall midge flies and carpet beetles. Spiderwebs are more visible, yet their architects are rarely to be seen, mostly because they’re under one inch long.
Remember, although over 100 creepy crawlers species share your home, most are benign and pests are relatively rare. 78 percent of the sampled homes hosted cockroaches. They might be disgusting, yet the ones which are true pests were only found in three homes. None of the homes harbored bed bugs.
Another interesting finding of the study was that the larger the home, the larger the number of arthropod species in there. Thus, coating your home in bug spray won’t really help in getting rid of the creepy crawlers. A smaller space might be more helpful.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia