Messy or Tidy, New Study Says You Can Still Have Bugs At Home
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 금요일
수정일 2017년 11월 10일 금요일

Photo by: pinkjellybeans via Shutterstock

So you think that being obsessive-compulsive in terms of cleanliness can keep creepy crawlies from invading your home?Think again.

A new research suggests that bugs do not care how tidy or messy you are at home, and they prefer to inhabit the basement and first floor of your residence.Researchers from the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences studied the diversity of insects in 50 households.

The said urban homes chosen for the study were analyzed for insect diversity in all floors.The researchers found that the insect community and diversity were not affected by human and animal residents and that the richest insect ecosystem was found in the basement.

- The amount of most common insects were the same in most rooms.

- The diversity of insects increases in rooms with carpet furnishings.

- The diversity of insects also increases in rooms with more doors and windows.

- The common rooms like the living room hosted the most types of insects.

- The basement hosted a different insect community compared to those in other rooms.

The findings also noted that the diversity of insect species in houses of high-income families was greater than in low-income families.The insects do not care about the tidiness and messiness of the residents or the extent of pesticide use.Moreover, rooms with more entry points, such doors or windows, were more inhabited by insects due to easy accessibility.

"We're beginning to see how houses can be a passive go-between for insects traveling through the surrounding landscape.The more numerous the entry points of windows and doors, the more diverse the community that thrives inside," said Dr.Michelle Trautwein, an insect specialist and senior author of the study.

Photo by: Ciar via Wikimedia Commons

The researchers found several types of insects in the homes they analyzed, such as spiders, beetles, ladybugs, flies, and more.While the basement featured an insect community composed of cave-dwelling spiders, mites, millipedes, camel crickets, and ground beetles.Among all rooms, the living rooms hosted a more varied insect community than in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

"Even though we like to think of our homes as shielded from the outdoors, wild ecological dramas may be unfolding right beside us as we go about our daily lives.We're learning more and more about these sometimes invisible relationships and how the homes we choose for ourselves also foster indoor ecosystems all their own," said Dr.Misha Leong, the corresponding author of the study.

Even though bugs and insects are unappealing and repulsive, bugs may contribute to promoting the health of human residents.The lack of people exposed to a wider biological diversity has been associated with some modern ailments, especially microorganisms.The existence of insects in homes helps the spread of microbial diversity indoors, according to Dr.Trautwein.

Diseases Transmitted by Insects

While insects may help promote exposure of microbes to prevent certain ailments, these critters are also known vectors of deadly diseases and infections.

- Mosquitoes are one of the most common vectors of infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika.

- Kissing bugs, bigger cousin of the bed bugs, can be vectors of the Chagas disease, an infection caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite.Complications from Chagas disease include an enlarged esophagus, enlarged colon, and heart failure.

- Lice can spread many bacterial infections, such as trench fever, cat scratch disease, relapsing fever, and typhus.

- Ticks have been known as vectors for different disease including Lyme disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and Q fever.

Food and Home Remedies to Prevent Bug Bites

Since you cannot stop the insects from establishing communities at your home, its best to prevent them from biting you and members of your household.

1.Eucalyptus oil has been known as one of the most effective insect repellants.According to a study in 2014, a mixture of 32 percent eucalyptus oil can provide more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours.

2.Cinnamon's natural scent is hated by bugs.Insects won't cross entry points sprinkled with cinnamon.

3.The strong smell of onion can also repel insects.You can slice some onions and place them in a bowl of water to make insects run away.You may also use onion plants to keep bugs from attacking their target plants.

4.Vanilla extract is an alternative for those who do not like the onion's pungent scent.Create a mixture based on vanilla extract and essential oils, such as lavender and lemongrass, as a natural insect repellant.

5.If you are a kitchen lover, you can use herbs to keep insects at bay.Put some parts of lemongrass, mint, citronella, basil or bay leaves in common rooms and in the basement to stop bugs from inhabiting your home.

Additional Information

- About 90 percent of humans spend their lives indoors, according to a survey in 2001.

- Bed bugs have been associated with at least 41 human diseases, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and allergic reactions, according to Clemson University.

- Disinfected maggots have been used in medicine to remove necrotic tissues in wounds.

Liza Tan기자  
릴레이 인터뷰