An alarming new study reveals that households across the United States are being invaded by over 9,000 different species of microbes.
A quick pass of the duster and some antibacterial spray should be all you need to properly disinfect your home. According to a report from the BBC, however, a new study has identified over 9,000 different species of microbes in samples of dust taken from over 1,200 American homes. Apparently, it takes a little bit more than some Lysol to get the job done. =
Ecologists from the University of Colorado at Boulder found that the species of bacteria and fungi found in household dust varied depending on factors like location, resident activity, and whether or not there were pets in the house.
According to Dr. Noah Fierer, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and the study’s lead author, germs in peoples’ homes are old news. The study aimed to catalogue and classify the common varieties of household bacteria and fungi.
1,200 homes throughout the U.S. volunteered to participate in the study by sending in dust samples to UC Boulder’s lab. They collected dust from the ledges above doorways, which the scientists knew people rarely cleaned.
After examining the dust samples under a microscope, scientists discovered that the average dust sample contained over 2,000 species of fungi. The varieties of fungus found in peoples’ homes depended largely on their location, as the majority of them came from outside.
The team also discovered an average of 7,000 different species of bacteria in the dust samples. They found bacteria associated with human skin and feces, and that the varieties of bacteria in the samples varied across factors like gender and pets.
While it may seem like your home has already been invaded by microbes, the scientists stress that there is no reason to be concerned. The vast majority of microbes will cause homeowners no harm.