vacation-1332301_1920A recent study by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University took entomologists on a room-by-room discovery tour of 50 North Carolina homes over a six-month period. Researchers were looking for unique specimens within each home and categorizing them to determine the amount of species within each home. While some of the findings were predictable – ants and cellar spiders predominated with representatives in 90% of the homes studied – other discoveries surprised the team. Their results, shared by the Tampa pest control team at Apex Pest Control, are below.

  • The sheer number of arthropods (insects, spiders, and land-based crustaceans) exceeded 10,000 specimens for the 50 homes in the six-month period.
  • Individual homes had up to 100 different species at one time, and the total of species within all 50 homes was approximately 750.
  • Many of the species piggybacked inside on garden plants or cut flowers or were blown in when the door opened. These species were generally dead since they do not survive inside homes.
  • The most abundant arthropods were beetles and flies, each with around 40 distinct species within their families. The next most likely finds were ants, wasps, spiders, stink bugs, and book lice.
  • Many of the insects discovered have a symbiotic relationship with homeowners, who do not realize their homes harbor these bugs. For instance, carpet beetle larvae are generally not recognized as a guest in homes, but these little beetles feed on dead insects, fingernail clippings, and animal feed that drops out of pet food bowls. Dust mites are another example of beneficial insects: they eat dead skin cells on mattresses and in carpets.
  • The harmonia ladybug seems inviting, but inside the home, it has the tendency to bite when handled and cause skin rashes.
  • Some insects acted as prey for other insects; homes with an ant infestation also had a species of cricket that feasted upon ants.

Many of these arthropods have been in our homes through dozens of their generations, feasting on the waste we humans provide. Others hitch rides inside on the vegetables we bring home from a farmers market, fresh flowers from the garden, our pets, or the cuffs of our pants. Their transience is only noted as a tiny dot we wipe off the kitchen counter with a damp rag. If, however, you find large numbers of these insects or arachnids lurking under cabinets, marching across counters, or nesting in the corners of your home, call Apex Pest Control at 866-675-4070. The Tampa pest control experts at Apex can find the cause of your infestation and bring your home back to its previous harmony. Browse through our other blogs on the home and lawn pests you might find on your property, and learn the difference between harmless bugs and those that are cause for concern.