Scientists Estimates Up to 100 Bugs Call Their Home, Your HomeCristina Cantor (Author) Published Date : Jan 20, 2016 16:48 ET
Arthropods are surrounding you if you are reading this at home. They are the invertebrates with jointed legs and exoskeletons. However, how many of the crustaceans, spiders and other crawly critters are inside the average home in the U.S.
A group of researchers did not want to go on pure speculation so they decided to find out how many of the critters co-existed in homes with humans.
A study just published this week visited 50 homes within a 30-mile radius of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Armed with headlamps, kneepads, vials of alcohol and pairs of tweezers, entomologists scoured superficial surfaces of the 50 homes, putting one of each type of bug found inside a vial to be analyzed later.
The researchers ended up with more than 10,000 arthropods of differing sizes.
The first part of their research took place inside private homes, but analysis that took place later put researchers and the bugs under scrutiny, as each of the bugs were identifying by the researchers inside a lab at the research center of the Museum of Natural Science.
A monitor was connected to microscopes so visitors were able to see each of the specimens being identified.
The team focused mainly on bugs, with the results indicating a total of 579 arthropods species or morph species were distinguished through structure alone.
The researchers were able to determine that on average 100 of the arthropods live in home in North Carolina.
Researchers said no one should worry about that amount, as most are only a couple of millimeters in length.
The most common of the arthropods found were very tiny, with more than 98% of the homes containing book lice, 96% had fungus gnats and every one of the 50 homes contained carpet beetles, cobweb spiders, ants and gall midge flies. Of all those, just a couple ever grow over an inch long.
Scientists Estimates Up to 100 Bugs Call Their Home, Your Home