Learn more about your arthropods!
Arthropods – insects, spiders, and their relatives – are all around us. Many spend their entire lives in the wilds of nature, rarely seen by humans. Others, however, accidentally or intentionally inhabit our homes, taking up residence in our basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and even bedrooms. Their lives are rarely observed, but play out daily in the shadows, corners, and crevices of our homes. Interested in learning more about your home’s arthropods? Check out our photo gallery of the most common arthropods you may encounter in your home and learn more about your tiny house guests. (Photos by Matt Bertone)
According to urban legend, earwigs (Dermaptera) are horrifying parasites that can tunnel through your ear to lay eggs in your brain. FALSE! In truth, they are harmless, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. And female earwigs are known to provide attentive care to their offspring.
Tiny parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera) look for suitable hosts, mostly other arthropods, in which to lay their eggs; offspring develop by eating those unlucky hosts from the inside out. Sometimes the hosts live in our homes, drawing these wasps inside the home, too. (The wasp in the picture belongs to the Pteromalidae, one of several families of small parasitic wasps).
Common House Spiders
Common house spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae) can be found in homes all over the world, but most likely originated in the Americas. They are so tightly-linked to human settlements that they are rarely found out in nature. Like other cobweb spiders, they build an irregular web made of many entangled threads.