Bigger Homes Do Have More Bugs!
In a survey of indoor arthropods, the most common house spider (arthropods) was a common and repeat tenant. Now, the scientists report that wealthier areas have a wider variety of arthropods.
In wealthy neighborhoods, the houses have a varied palate … of spiders and flies. The interiors of these homes are populated by a more diverse array of arthropods than those in less prosperous neighborhoods, a new study indicates.
The explanation for this abundance actually lies in the exterior of the home. Typically, nicer neighborhoods are also richer in species. Scientists have discovered this “luxury effect” before, in plants and outdoor animals such as lizards, bats and birds. For plants, the connection is very direct; affluent tenants have more funds to direct to landscaping, or live in lusher communities. In turn, a diverse collection of plants offers more food and habitats for animals.
Previously, the team explored 50 houses in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, and determined that more than 100 arthropod species dwell within the average home (most of these tiny occupants aren’t pests). Using data from this “arthropods of the great indoors” survey, the scientists have now investigated how landscaping and socioeconomic status can affect indoor bug diversity.
“There is a general perception that homes in poorer neighborhoods are refuge to more indoor arthropods,” the team wrote August 2 in Biology Letters. Their work indicates that this perception is off-base.
The entomologists expected to find more types of arthropods in big houses with more surrounding plant cover and diversity. But in affluent neighborhoods, even houses with sparse vegetation carried a wide variety of arthropod families; simply being near other, more verdant homes gave them a boost.
Though intriguing, the survey doesn’t represent bug diversity everywhere; the scientists only sampled freestanding houses in one city. But it does show how connected the interiors of our homes are to the world outside. “The management of neighborhoods and cities can have effects on biodiversity that can extend from trees and birds all the way to the arthropod life in bedrooms and basements,” the team concluded.
If worries about insects living inside your home have you down, contact Rosie’s Pest Control for a free evaluation of your needs.