Feeling a Little Buggy Lately?

Feeling a bit bugged out about life this soon into the New Year? No need to feel bad. Turns out you're surrounded by them—bugs, that is!

Thanks to their new study published in the scientific journal Peer J, entomologist Matt Bertone and his colleagues have announced we aren't alone when we're "home alone” any longer. We've always suspected we lived with a few anthropods, but who knew we had this many house guests!

Bertone and his research team picked 50 homes within thirty miles of Raleigh, North Carolina. "Armed with knee pads, headlamps, tweezers and vials of alcohol, groups of entomologists scoured the superficial surfaces of each home, putting at least one of each different type of bug they could find in a vial to analyze later" (read source). They headed back to their laboratories with over 10,000 anthropods of all sizes.

But no need to freak out just yet. Turns out "the team didn't count each individual arthropod found in a home; a potentially impossible task. Rather, they focused on types of bugs. The results indicate a surprisingly diverse ecosystem within each house. The final count revealed no fewer than 579 arthropod morphospecies, or species that can be distinguished by their structures alone” (ibid). Which being interpreted means that the "average human household” is sharing their living quarters with around 100 "distinct morphospecies." You understand, of course, that the actual "body count” of bugs you live with is tens of thousands. The scientists only identified which types of anthropods are declaring, Su casa es mi casa!

The good news is that pests (insects that cause injury or stress, et al) were relatively uncommon in these domiciles. No bed bugs were found. The bad news is that 78% of the homes were "home, sweet home” to large cockroaches (though not the destructive pest kind of roaches).

What are these thousands of house guests doing in our homes? Bertone remarks, "'They're just milling around at the edges of [the] room, eating little bits of hair and dead insects. This isn't something that should change people's behavior,' he said. Rather than reaching for the bug spray, said Bertone, people should be excited that they live alongside so many other species - more than he imagined were possible inside these relatively inhospitable bug habitats" (ibid). 

Excited? Well, maybe not. But the good news is that if you'd like to be around a more welcome and visible circle of friends, the new GROW Groups (winter-spring semester) catalog is in your worship bulletin today (or download it here). Take a few moments to peruse a truly amazing menu of topics - over 60 choices—for your selection this new season. These ten-week GROW Groups have been winning friends right and left - and you're very welcome to pick out a group study or activity that interests you. So sign-up and join a circle of ten to 20 new or old acquaintances who share your same interest. (And don't worry about the anthropods in your room - everyone in the circle lives with them, too!)

"Don't give up meeting together, but encourage one another—all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25). And in a world where the Day of His return clearly is drawing nearer and nearer, what better time to find strength, courage and hope in a circle of Jesus' fellowship? After all, there's nothing buggy about needing one another for the uncharted adventure of this New Year. 

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