Think You’re Home Alone? Nope! Your Home Isn’t Bug-Free

Almost every homeowner dreams of a home that is completely bug-free, and the truth is, that’s extremely unlikely if not impossible. Even those who only see the occasional bug should know that their home ultimately isn’t bug-free. If you think the odd house spider or a few small ants is all that lies beneath your house slippers, don’t read Rob Dunn’s Never Home Alone.

The ecologist’s novel, with a title that sounds like it came from the mind of Stephen King, carves an intriguing niche that studies the myriad fauna that are apparently all over our homes. These are small critters like microbes and insects that largely go unnoticed, but as Dunn points out, are in abundance.

Which Bugs Were Found?

Cataloguing life in unnatural spaces like your basement, Dunn’s team found surprises around the homes at every turn:

  • Examining house dust, they identified 8,000 bacterial species, many of which are new to scientists
  • Homes averaged about 100 species of arthropods
  • In some North American homes, giant Japanese camel crickets invaded homes to which the owners were none the wiser
  • Over their searches spanning several years, Dunn and Co. have found about 200,000 unique bacteria and bugs in homes
  • Maybe the most harrowing of these uninvited houseguests is what he found lurking in showerheads: dozens of species of Mycobacteria which can cause disease like tuberculosis, though some types can impart health benefits.

What’s more, there was an entire ecosystem living in there; predatory bacteria swimming around, with multicell protists eating those swimmers, and tiny worms eating those protists.

This is the food web that falls upon you as you bathe, Dunn writes. The circle of life is beautiful (and unhygienic).

Do Any Other Bugs Live In Our Homes?

The short answer is yes. No one’s home is ever bug-free. Most people’s homes house over 100 species of insects.

Here are some of the most common household bugs:

Many people know about some of these creepy crawlies like spiders, centipedes, silverfish, pillbugs and carpet beetles. However, if you’re wondering what in tarnation those other bugs are, don’t panic. Keep reading.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are often found in the garden, however come winter, they go inside in search of a warm place to wait out the colder weather. Once they’ve found a cozy place indoors, they’ll go into hibernation mode until spring has sprung.

Have you guessed their super power yet? Well, if the name didn’t give it away, stink bugs are the tiny equivalent to skunks. They shoot out a noxious, stinky gas to dissuade their prey. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of stepping on one, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

These pests are completely harmless to humans; however, they can do serious damage in your garden.


Springtails aren’t technically insects, but they are closely related. They’re subterranean, like termites, meaning they live in the dirt or behind damn walls (think kitchen or bathroom).

These pests are quite tiny, and fortunately don’t do any damage to humans or their property. They don’t bite, sting or transmit disease. They don’t destroy gardens, food, clothing or furniture.

Wondering how they got their name? These puny pests can jump nearly 100 times their height in one single leap!


A weevil is a small beetle with a big snout. In your home, you’ll often find them hiding in the insultation behind your walls. However, you may also catch them in your pantry, snacking on nuts, seeds and other grain products.

Similarly to stink bugs, weevils prefer hanging out in the garden, but will come inside to wait out any bad weather.

They are not harmful to humans, even when ingested! Which may sound nasty, but it’s not uncommon to accidentally eat a weevil or two that has snuck into your pantry items. They may actually provide you with additional protein!

Did you know that beetles are actually the largest order in the animal kingdom? There are over 45,000 kinds of beetles!

Effective Pest Control Across Canada

Though Dunn concedes many of these organisms can benefit health and home, do you really want to learn whether silverfish or stink bugs have such talents? If you’re looking for a bug-free home, we can help!

Your home is more than a set of rooms, but a row of ecosystems in which various bugs and other crawlers can thrive. And while you may want to empathize and open your home to nature and life, like we always say, if you give a German cockroach an inch, its family will take over your home.

Don’t share you home with pest imposters. Trust Terminix Canada to provide you with effective and affordable pest control solutions. Give us a call today or fill out our online form for a free consultation with our Canada pest control team.