Indoor Arthropod Communities And Distributions In U.S. Homes
  Key Words  
  Landscape ecology, biodiversity, urban ecology
  Matthew A. Bertone, Misha Leong, Keith M. Bayless,Robert R. Dunn, and Michelle D. Trautwein
  By furthering our understanding of biodiversity in urban landscapes, we can advance our understanding of urban pests. We investigated the complete arthropod community of the indoor biome in 50 houses (located in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, USA). We discovered high diversity, with a conservative estimate range of 32 to 211 morphospecies, and 24 to 128 distinct arthropod families per house. However, the majority of these arthropods are not considered urban pests. We found arthropods within homes are both diverse and prevalent, and are a mix of closely synanthropic species and a great diversity of species that enter homes accidentally. Despite being found in the majority of homes, several arthropod groups such as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae) and book lice (Liposcelididae) remain unfamiliar to the general public. The diversity of arthropods was non-random with respect to location within the house; for instance, certain families, such as camel crickets (Rhaphidophoridae) and isopods (Armadillidiidae) were particularly abundant in basements. On a landscape scale, the indoor arthropod community conformed to the “luxury effect,” with houses located in higher income neighborhoods having higher arthropod richness, even when accounting for house size and local vegetation. These findings present a new understanding of the diversity, prevalence, and distribution of the arthropods in our daily lives.