Friend or foe: how do you feel about the insects and spiders living in your home?

24 October 2018

Do you love or loathe your creepy-crawly house guests? Are you an insecticide at the ready kind of person? Or do you take a more live and let live approach?

Researchers from Macquarie University and the University of Sydney want to know about the insects and spiders living in and around your home, how you feel about them, and what you do to control them.

By taking part in their survey, you will help them develop guidelines for people to effectively and safely manage insects and spiders around their homes.

“With summer just around the corner, it’s the time of year you may start noticing more insects and spiders around your house and garden,” says urban ecologist and research leader Dr Lizzy Lowe from Macquarie University. “There are many different ways people deal with these critters. They may not bother you or you might hate the sight of them!”

“We want to know what spiders you’re spotting, and what insects have invited themselves to your place,” says entomologist Dr Tanya Latty from the University of Sydney. “By taking part in our survey, you will be providing us with valuable data we can use in our research, and helping us build a picture of how people around Australia are keeping the bugs at bay.” For example, what insects do you notice around your home and in your garden? And how do you choose which methods you use to deal with them?

“We will use the results of the survey to publish guidelines about which insects and spiders are a risk around the home, and how to control them in a safe way,” says ecotoxicologist Dr Scott Wilson from Macquarie University.

Take part in the survey by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Insectsinhouses.

It will only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and everyone who finishes it will also have the option of going into a draw to win a $100 Bunnings gift voucher. The survey will be open until the end of summer.

“And if you’re curious about the insects and spiders living around your house, you also have the opportunity to volunteer your household for a biodiversity survey conducted by researchers from Macquarie University,” says Lizzy. “Your help is vital in helping us better understand our urban environments and how we live alongside the insects and spiders in our cities.”

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