The exoskeletons in our closets: a synthesis of research from the 'Arthropods of our Homes' project in Raleigh, NC

The history of people living with insects, spiders and their relatives is long, probably as long as humans have been using fixed domiciles (e.g., caves). Studies of caves inhabited by prehistoric people 26,000 years ago suggest arthropod pests already lived alongside our ancestors in those caves (Ara˙jo et al. 2009). Arthropods are also both abundant and diverse in domestic archaeological sites from agricultural civilizations in Egypt, Israel and Europe (Switzerland and Greenland). Arthropods are especially common in association with stored food products and livestock (Panagiotakopulu 2001; Overgaard Nielsen, Mahler, and Rasmussen 2000; Kislev, Hartmann, and Galili 2004).