Quirks & Quarks

Our homes are crawling with insects and other arthropods

A thorough search of more than 50 homes shows that we share our indoors with a wide diversity of insects, spiders, and other arthropods

A survey of ordinary homes finds more than 500 species of creepy-crawlies

A search party of little black ants (Monomorium minimum) finds food on a couch (Matt Bertone)
Our homes may host many more insects and other arthropods - spiders, mites, ticks and other creepy-crawlies - than we'd ever suspected.

Dr. Matt Bertone, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, and his colleagues, scoured fifty ordinary homes to collect all the arthropods they contained and get a picture of what critters live with us.

They found an astounding 10,000 creatures, representing more than 500 species. Some of the animals were clearly lost - and belonged outside. There were relatively few pest species, and many unobtrusive and benign critters with whom we peacefully co-habit.

Related Links

- Paper in PeerJ
- North Carolina State University release
The Atlantic story
- Smithsonian Magazine story