A 2014 study saw researchers survey the arthropod population within 50 houses located in both impoverished and affluent neighborhoods. The study not only revealed that people live with far more creepy-crawlies than they would like to suppose, but it also revealed that homes, no matter where they are located, contain roughly the same number and species of arthropods. When taking all 50 houses into account, the study’s authors found a total of 579 arthropod species from 304 families during the study. Of the 554 rooms surveyed, researchers were unable to detect arthropod specimens in only five rooms.
While the thought of living with arachnids, insects, centipedes and millipedes is unsettling to most people, it should be known that the vast majority of arthropod species found in homes are not harmful in any way. However, a small number of homes were found to contain insect species that are known for inflicting structural damage including termites, wood-boring beetles, and carpenter ants. When termites, or other wood-destroying insect pests establish an infestation within a home, a pest control professional should be contacted to carry out an inspection. Homeowners should also be aware that insects like carpenter bees, little black ants, and some social insects may inflict structural damage to wood and other construction materials within homes.
Both honey bees and social wasps like paper wasps and yellow jackets frequently establish nests within attics and wall-voids, and as these nests grow in size, costly structural damage usually occurs. In central Texas, a few paper wasp species, honey bees, bumblebees, bald-faced hornets, and aerial yellow jackets frequently establish above ground nests in trees, shrubs, patios, garage rafters, and within attics and wall voids. In many cases, wasp and bee nests that are well hidden within homes are noticed and professionally removed before structural damage occurs, but when hidden nests are not noticed, they often grow until their expanding size cracks walls and flooring.
In one infestation case that resulted in 3,000 dollars in structural damage, a couple realized that their home was infested with thousands of nesting honey bees only after massive amounts of honey began dripping down their walls. If indoor-nesting honey bees are destroyed with insecticide, fermenting honey and wax will leak from nests, resulting in significant damage. This is just one of many reasons as to why the indoor removal of insect nests is a highly specialized job that should be carried out solely by licensed pest control professionals.
Have you ever heard nesting insects rustling about within your wall voids?