Writing vs. Dust Bunnies


Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash   

I’m finally on a roll with my writing. I’m drafting an average of 2,000 usable words a week, keeping up with my critique group, plotting a three-book series, and taking online classes to improve my craft. The result? My house is in dire need of cleaning.  I keep waiting for the industrious elves, or Hawaiian menehune, to surprise me with a deep clean while I sleep. So far, no go.

At some point, I figure the dust bunnies will claim title to the house. “Just hand it over," they'll say. "We have squatter’s rights.”

And they’ll be right.

It could be worse.   Dust bunnies might be the easiest house pets around. They don’t carry fleas, need fed, watered, or taken to the vet. They’re quiet and don’t demand attention or wake you up at night. They’re quite happy to be left alone under the couches, beds, and corners of closets.

I did not spring clean this year and was perfectly content thinking I could delay spring cleaning for sometime closer to Christmas—you know, after I have the great American novel drafted—when I read that accumulated dust harbors mites. Mites? 

I know about bird mites, but dust mites? In the springtime, I deal with mites in the chicken coop. As soon as I start noticing itchy skin and crawly things on my face, I do the ultimate test to confirm their presence. A wet paper towel run across my cheeks will collect the little buggers and confirm the bird mites are back. 

Photo by Emiel Maters on Unsplash

So down to the coop I go, with long sleeves, rubber boots, and gloves to clean out all the nesting boxes, scrub the concrete floor with Pine Sol, sprinkle the boxes with mite deterrent, and provide fresh, clean, grass for the chickens who choose to lay eggs in the intended place. 

Satisfied our birds will be bug-free, I wander back to the house. Wait. What am I thinking? The chicken coop gets a thorough cleaning and I’m not doing that for we humans? Both places harbor biting mites. 

I start cleaning from the top down—light fixtures, wainscoting rails, and shelves.  I pick up the throw rugs, toss them into the washing machine, and send my robot vacuum to collect small sized debris while I return to my desk to do my writer thing. 

Photo by Kwon Vn on Unsplash

And all the while, the dust bunnies hunker down under the furniture where the robot can’t fit. I’m sure I can hear their guffaws as the vacuum retreats at the edge of the couch. It’s a game of “You can’t get me.”

Totally distracted at this point by the beeps and flashing colors of the vacuum, I leave my writing to move the couch out so the vacuum can reach all the dirt. 

And there they are. The dust bunnies are huddling. They look like a football team making their plan, and then I realize they’re shaking.  I turn off the suction machine, push the couch back, and let the critters live for a while longer under my couch.

 I’ll think about removing them when I do my next deep clean, sometime next spring. Maybe.


  1. Oh, Jacquolyn! What a wonderful post to wake up to. I think we all suffer from those pesky dust bunnies at some point. I'm thankful there are no chicken mites around, though. I don't think I could handle both! You're a better woman than me!

  2. It is difficult to live with mites!


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