SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The bigger the house and pricier the neighborhood, the more bugs and kinds of bugs are likely to live there.

A group of urban ecologists have dubbed it the “luxury effect.” They say when it comes to our living spaces, there is a direct link between socioeconomics and arthropods — critters like moths, spiders and centipedes — who find their way inside.

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So far, there have been several studies linking the ‘luxury effect’ to outdoor biodiversity. This was the first to examine its impact on indoor biodiversity, specifically bugs.

Armed with flashlights, the researchers got down on their hands and knees and collected bug samples from 50 homes in and around Raleigh, North Carolina. They found that the homes in the high income areas had more arthropod diversity, because of the greater diversity of plants surrounding them.

Close up of house spider eating a bug (Thinkstock)

Close up of house spider eating a bug (Thinkstock)

“There is a general perception that homes in poorer neighborhoods harbor more indoor arthropods,” wrote the researchers in their study published in the journal Biology Letters.

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But in fact, the research revealed just the opposite. The wealthier neighborhoods were teeming with all kinds of indoor insects.

“The sheer amount of life thriving within your home—under carpet, in closets—is astonishing,” says Dr. Misha Leong, lead author of the study. “Now we’re learning that neighborhood affluence was one of the primary predictors for the number of different bug types—mostly non-pests—living inside, which really surprised me.”

Researchers hope their findings will contribute to a greater understanding of indoor ecology, as the planet becomes more and more urbanized.

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“Our work suggests that the management of neighborhoods and cities can have effects on biodiversity that can extend from trees and birds all the way to the arthropod life in bedrooms and basements.”