Friday, July 9, 2010

DUST BUNNIES!

We have lots of dust bunnies at our house, but sadly, they cannot be eaten, like real bunnies can.  Well, I guess you could eat them, but they're not very tasty.  Mostly, dust bunnies hide out in corners and under furniture and places like that.  Then sometimes if there's a little breeze or something, they will come out and hop around a few times before they hide under the furniture again.

Dust bunnies are made of stuff that's all clumped together, like hair, lint, fibers, cobwebs, and dead skin.  And sometimes there are some trashy little things like paper and feathers in them, too.  The reason all this stuff sticks together is because of static electricity and also because of something called felting, which mashes a bunch of fibers together and makes a kind of fabric.

The bad thing about dust bunnies -- besides the fact that you can't eat them -- is that these teeny little spider cousins called "dust mites" like to live inside the bunnies.  They are so very teeny that you can't even see them without a microscope.  And what they do is they hatch out and then they eat little bits of dead skin, and they poop and they mate and they lay eggs.  And that's how they spend their whole lives.  They never go out for walks or to the movies or anything like that.  Which might be okay unless you are allergic to dust mite poop, because if you are, you can have all kinds of trouble breathing and you might get itchy skin.  This can happen to dogs and cats, too, and not just to humans.

And the other bad thing that dust bunnies do is they can clog up the vents of your electronic equipment and make it get too hot because it can't breathe.

When Mom was growing up, she never heard of a "dust bunny."  At her house, they were just called "dust balls."  But when she got to college, then she heard about "dust bunnies," and she thought maybe it was just people in certain parts of the country who called them that.  So I did some in-depth research on where the term "dust bunny" came from, but I could not find out who used it first or where they used it.

What I did find out was that it started about 1966, and that was only a few years before Mom went to college and learned that there were dust bunnies under her bed.  I also found out that the British do not call a clump of dust a "bunny," and neither do the people who speak Polish, German, Spanish, or Danish.  African-Americans call them "dust balls," just like Mom used to do.  But the French people call them sheep!

Here are some other things you can call a dust bunny:  dust kitty, dust kitten, turkey's nest, beggar's velvet, or slut's wool.

Okay, now I'm going to tell you another interesting thing that I found out.  There's this artist, and her name is Suzanne Proulx, and she makes Art out of dust and lint.  And the Art that she makes is shaped like bunnies!  In fact, the name of it is Dust Bunnies.  And this just goes to show that you can make Art out of almost anything!

13 comments:

  1. Well...golly...gee...whiz!! The artist who makes the "dust bunnies" is certainly clever and creative!! I never heard the word dust bunnies either until...can't recall exactly when, but, my mom also called them dust balls! She also did NOT like seeing them! Thanks for the info!
    Love, AP

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  2. I'm English and I have always called them Dust Bunnies...but then again, I'm always an exception to the rule XD

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  3. Thank you for letting me know that you are the exception to the dust bunny rule! It's possible that I got some information from the internet that wasn't totally true and correct, but it's hard to imagine how that could happen. Hahahaha! Anyway, I like to think of those dust clumps as bunnies, and I'm glad you do, too!
    Piper

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  4. Lovely post! I thought you might like to know that in northern Italy we call them gatti, "cats" ;-)

    I spent a few years in England and Ireland and I never heard anyone mention "dust bunnies" there, maybe because they have carpets and dust bunnies don't form so easily on carpets, despite all the additional static electricity.

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    1. Dear Licia,
      Thank you for writing a comment on my blog. I totally meant to reply sooner, but then I forgot! I think it is very interesting that dust bunnies are called "cats" in northern Italy because that is a good way to describe them. When our foster kitty Latifa goes in our dusty basement, she comes out with cobwebs all over her, and she looks exactly like a dust bunny (or dust kitty)!
      Ciao!
      Piper

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  5. Hello! i dont find a lot of dust bunnies in my house, but the info was certainly interesting! thanks!

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  6. i also dont approve of getting rid of dust mites because they're insects and im CRAZY about insects,arachnids,and certain mollusks and segmented worms. So,basically,the majority of arthropods. if you have allergies, take medicine.

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  7. Although majestic art can be made out of them, dust bunnies are a huge threat to one's health, especially to those who have allergies. Dust bunnies harbor various materials that may trigger allergic reactions and dust mites thrive in them as well. Getting experts to rid one's place of such nuisance is advisable.

    Jessica Finley

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  8. I don't know if you're still blogging, but I found your page on a search for Dust Bunnies and just had to drop you a line to say that Dust Bunnies were one of the questions I got asked on the British The Chase quiz show.... they helped me win £20,000 so I'm very found of them!

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    1. Wow, it's really great that you won all that money because you knew about dust bunnies! Maybe I'll get to be on a quiz show too someday, if they start allowing dogs to compete!

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  9. i'm french but i don't realy call hem 'sheep' i prefer call hem 'dust bunny'

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    1. Well, I think they look like bunnies or like sheep either one, so I guess you can call them whatever you want to!

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