Ditch the Bug-B-Gone, More bugs means healthier homes


In North Carolina, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, North Carolina State University and the Natural History Museum of Denmark found that the more bugs you have in your house, the healthier your house thanks to more microbes not harmful to humans. Trained entomologists collected specimens in 50 houses from 554 rooms around Raleigh. They found more than 10,000 specimens that comprised 304 unique arthropod families, regardless of the home’s level of tidiness, presence of pets, dust or pesticides. They found that more diverse bugs in the house meant more diverse bugs outside the house, and more diverse microbes in the house.

“The idea that open rooms on ground floors come with increased uninvited biodiversity may not seem appealing,” the report says, “yet a growing body of evidence suggests that many of our chronic, modern diseases are associated with our failure to be exposed to biological diversity, particularly that of microbes, some that may be vectored by insects. In this light, rooms with more kinds of arthropods may well be healthier rooms.”