Don’t Freak Out, But Your Home Is Crawling With Centipedes, Lice, And Earwigs

Sorry to bug you.

by Jillian Rose Lim
Originally Published: 
home improvement

It doesn’t matter if you have the Orkin man on speed dial. In a new study published in PeerJ, the average American home (which is 5000 square feet — because researchers are rolling in that grant money) has hundreds of insect species living in it. But, read on before you cleanse your house with fire.

Entomologists surveyed 50 “clean and normal” U.S. homes. After scanning the rooms top to bottom, they found all were inhabited by a collective 579 different species of “arthropods”, the spineless buggers so miniscule you don’t even notice them. Each home housed at least 100 different species. At least 73-percent of them were your run-of-the-mill ants, spiders, flies, beetles, and “booklice” (Don’t Google booklice).

There were also extra creepy things you don’t find outdoors, like the telephone-pole beetle, whose babies can have babies, and the house centipede, which has nothing to do with Atari. Researchers say the critters most probably migrated from the surrounding outdoors to make finding food (ie. each other) easier. Lucky you!

Fortunately for the whole family, these arthropod species are completely harmless and “peacefully co-habit” with people. So, better than most roommates you’ve had. Plus, having a few tiny predators, like spiders, will take care of cockroaches and mosquitos — who are the real assholes of the insect kingdom.

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