How do you feel about bugs in your house? How many do you think there might be? A group of entomologists recently conducted a research study to find out. They started by combing through 50 homes in the Raleigh, NC area with tweezers and headlamps. They collected samples of all the different types of bugs they could find and then took them back to their lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Center for examination under the microscope. They didn’t set out to count how many individual bugs there were, but rather to identify how many different types were present.
They found a total of 579 different species, with each house having an average of 100 different species as residents. If you’re starting to get the heebie-jeebies, it may help to know that most of bugs were less than a few millimeters long. The most prevalent were book lice which were found in over 98 percent of the homes, dark-winged fungus gnats in 96 percent, and cobweb spiders, carpet beetles, gall midge flies, and ants found in every single home.
If you’re not completely freaked out at this point and want to find out more, you can read the full report from the journal PeerJ Arthropods of the Great Indoors: Characterizing Diversity Inside Urban and Suburban Homes. Then you can learn more about the different species of bugs they found with these books and DVDs from the library.