Could spring cleaning reveal who lives in your home?
Category: Spring Cleaning
It's possible for a total stranger to walk into your home and take an educated guess at who lives there - whether you're a single male living alone, a couple with a cat or a family with four kids.
But what if all they had at their disposal was a sample of the dust from your property? Could they then determine who called it home? They could if they were scientists with right equipment.
According to a study carried out by researchers North Carolina State University, it is not only possible to determine the gender of the people who live in a particular house and whether or not they have pets simply by analysing the dust found there, but also roughly where that house is located.
By examining dust from 1,200 properties across the United States, they discovered that it contains an average of 9,000 different types of bacteria and fungi. It is these tiny microbes that offer clues as to the occupants of our homes and where we live.
For example, men and women carry different types of bacteria on their skin and inside their bodies, and they shed these at different rates. Similarly, animals like cats and dogs add their own distinct microbes to the dust mix.
As for the fungi, the researchers noted that most of this comes into the home from outside, carried in on clothing or arriving in through open doors and windows. This is why a home in one area will have different species of microbes in its dust than a property in another area.
The dust samples were all taken from the ledges above the doorways in the homes, as this is an area that we often forget about when cleaning on a day-to-day basis.
By the time we get around to spring cleaning or paying the professional cleaners to come in and do a good blitz, it's likely our door ledges are pretty thick with the stuff.
Posted by Toni Tsocheva