Scientists Want Your Help to ID Creatures in Your Home


The next time you hunger to see wildlife without leaving the city limits, save yourself a trip to the zoo, and take a peek inside the refrigerator. Places inside your home, like the fridge, water heater and bedroom pillows, contain more wild and unknown species than any nature reserve.

A project to collect and identify the little-studied flora and fauna of our homes, with our help, was launched Aug. 21 by ecologists at North Carolina State University (the same biology department organizing the School of Ants project). The Wild Life of Your Home project will collect samples from rural and urban homes in all 50 states.

“It’s Lewis and Clark without all the danger,” said Rob Dunn, ecologist and project leader. “It is easy to assume that people living in different environments will have different microbes growing around them, but we haven’t had the geographic data yet.”

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