Diversity of indoor insects, spiders adds to life’s luxuries in high-income neighborhoods | Science News

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Diversity of indoor insects, spiders adds to life’s luxuries in high-income neighborhoods

More than 100 kinds of arthropods live inside an average home

By
7:05pm, August 2, 2016
insects

CREEPY-CRAWLY ROOMIES  Mostly unnoticed by people, about a hundred kinds of insects and spiders live in an average house, with more in posh places. These arthropods (clockwise from top left: false bombardier beetle, cellar spider, dark-winged fungus gnat, spitting spider, little black ants, house centipede) were found in a survey of Raleigh, N.C., homes.

Here’s something new for real estate agents to boast about in posh neighborhoods: houses with a bigger variety of insects and spiders. 

Maybe that’s not the best selling point. But what’s called a “luxury effect” appeared among more than 10,000 arthropod samples collected from the insides of 50 houses in urban and suburban Raleigh, N.C. Depending on the house, arthropods from 24 to 128 distinct scientific families showed up, says entomologist Misha Leong of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Houses on city blocks with higher average incomes tended toward greater diversity and houses on low-income blocks often had less, she and her colleagues report August 3 in Biology Letters. An average home had more than 100 arthropod species.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News