Dust bunny

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Dust bunnies
Laptop heat sink blocked with dust bunnies, restricting airflow
Microscopic view of a dust bunny. Scale numbers are at intervals of 230 μm.

Dust bunnies (or dustbunnies) are small clumps of dust that form under furniture and in corners that are not cleaned regularly.[1] They are made of hair, lint, flakes of dead skin, spider webs, dust, and sometimes light rubbish and debris and are held together by static electricity and felt-like entanglement.[2] They can house dust mites or other parasites and can lower the efficiency of dust filters by clogging them.[3] The movement of a single large particle can start the formation of a dust bunny.[4]

Dust bunnies are harmful to electronics because they can obstruct air flow through heat sinks, raising temperatures significantly and therefore shortening the life of electronic components.[5]

Two dust bunnies were puppet characters on the Canadian television show The Big Comfy Couch. They lived under the eponymous couch and spoke in high-pitched gibberish.

An American trademark for "Dustbunny" was registered in 2006 for the "Dustbunny Cleaner", a robotic ball with an electrostatic sleeve that rolls around under furniture to collect dust bunnies and other material.[6][7]

Dust bunnies have been used as an analogy for the accretion of cosmic matter in planetoids.[8][9]

In other languages[edit]

  • In Bengali they are called Dhulo Khorgosh (ধুলো খরগোশ). Dhulo means "Dust" and Khorgosh means "Rabbit."
  • In Danish they are called nullermænd (nuller- from the verb nulre, meaning to move something between one's fingers, and -mænd meaning "men").
  • In Dutch they are called stofpluizen from the singular stofpluis but the diminutive stofpluisje(s) is used most often. It means "lints of fluff or dust". The generic word for dust in house is huisstof, meaning "home dust".
  • In Finnish they are called villakoira, after the language's name for the dog breed poodle (literal meaning: "wool dog").
  • In French they are called moutons (meaning: "sheep").
  • In German they are called Wollmäuse (meaning: "wool mice").[10]
  • In Hebrew they are called תלתלי אבק, meaning "dust curls".
  • In Hungarian they are called porcica (meaning: "dust kitten").
  • In Italian they are known as "laniccio" (wool), "fuffa" (fluff) or otherwise sometimes called gatti di polvere (meaning: "dust cats").
  • In Norwegian they are called hybelkaniner (meaning: "lodging bunnies"—hybel + kanin).[11]
  • In Polish they are called koty (meaning: "cats").
  • In Portuguese they are called cotão.
  • The Scots word is oose.[12][13]
  • In Spanish they are called pelusa.
  • In Swedish they are called dammråttor (meaning: "dust rats").
  • In Turkish they are called hav.


  1. ^ "What are Dust Bunnies?". Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  2. ^ Fella, Answer (2009-02-05). "Dust Bunny Facts - Physics of Dust Bunnies". Esquire.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  3. ^ Dust Control in Finite Air Volumes at Zero Gravity - Mean-Field Like Analysis. T.R.Krishna Mohan, Surajit Sen. 8 April 2004.
  4. ^ Dust and fibers as a cause of indoor environment problems. T. Schneider. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2008.
  5. ^ Three Easy Ways to Save Your Computer From an Early Retirement Archived 2010-04-21 at the Wayback Machine. Christian Science Monitor. Chris Gaylord. April 15, 2010.
  6. ^ USPTO Dustbunny Trademark Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ A Method and Apparatus for self-propelled cleaning. Bradford Morse et al. United States Patent Application Publication, US2006/0054187 2006 A1
  8. ^ Formation of Cosmic Dust Bunnies. Matthews, L.S. Hayes, R.L. Freed, M.S. Hyde, T.W. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. April 2007.
  9. ^ Comet Dust Bunny Archived 2011-03-19 at the Wayback Machine. George Musser. Scientific American. October 24, 2005.
  10. ^ "Wollmaus". Wörterbuch Englisch–Deutsch. dict.cc. 2010-04-28. Archived from the original on 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  11. ^ "Dust bunny på Norsk bokmål". Engelsk–Norsk bokmål Ordbok (in Norwegian Bokmål). Nb.glosbe.com. Archived from the original on 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  12. ^ Kirkpatrick, Betty. "Useful Scots word: Oose". Caledonian Mercury. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  13. ^ Harris, Andrew S (2004). "O". Scots Dictionary. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2014.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of dust bunny at Wiktionary