Everything you need to know about the bugs living at your house | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Everything you need to know about the bugs living at your house

Did you know that insects and bugs thrive at home despite your best cleaning efforts? And that your living room has more insects than any other room? A study reveals some interesting facts about the multi-legged creatures living at home.

more lifestyle Updated: Nov 12, 2017 09:01 IST
Larger rooms, especially on the ground floor (or even below ground), harbour more insect diversity.
Larger rooms, especially on the ground floor (or even below ground), harbour more insect diversity. (Shutterstock)

In a study of 50 urban homes in the Raleigh, North Carolina, USA scientists found out how physical factors of our homes — from the floor plan to the number of windows — may play a role in the diversity of the multi-legged communities populating our homes.

Researcher at the California Academy of Sciences, Dr Misha Leong said, “We are just beginning to realise and study how the home we create for ourselves also builds a complex, indoor habitat for bugs and other life. We’re hoping to better understand this age-old coexistence and how it may impact our physical and mental well-being.”

From the attic to the basement: Next time you climb down the stairs, remember that insects, too, prefer lower levels. Larger rooms, especially on the ground floor (or even below ground), harbour more insect diversity. More varied types of insects were also observed in carpeted rooms versus those with bare floors.

Room to room: Bugs can also vary from room to room. An analysis of species — like booklice, fruit flies, and ladybugs — revealed how common areas like living rooms hosted more bugs when compared to bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. Basements also proved unique: these dark, damp, and cavernous spaces lent to diverse communities of cave-dwelling insects like spiders, mites, millipedes, camel crickets, and ground beetles. The more number of entry points of windows and doors, the more diverse the community that thrives inside.

No need to de-clutter: In a twist of events, it has been found that tidiness does not play a significant role in insect diversity. In fact, on the whole, human behaviour played a minimal role in determining the composition of bug communities in the survey. The presence of cats or dogs, house plants, pesticides, and dust bunnies revealed no significant impact either, suggesting that our indoor communities are more strongly influenced by the environment outside the window than how tidily we live inside.

“Even though we like to think of our homes as shielded from the outdoors, wild ecological dramas may be unfolding right beside us as we go about our daily lives”, Leong added. This research was conducted by California Academy of Sciences, North Carolina State University, and the Natural History Museum of Denmark published the findings in Scientific Reports.

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