Challenging weather like heavy rain and cool temperatures lead many of us to spend more time indoors than in the sunny, warm months. A new book by ecologist Rob Dunn takes on the topic of the unseen crowd in there with us.

You can reserve a copy of Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live in the Cobb library catalog.

From Publishers Weekly:

Those who read this delightfully entertaining and scientifically enlightening book about the thousands of creatures who live alongside humans will never think about their homes in the same way again. As Dunn (Never Out of Season), an ecologist at North Carolina State University, demonstrates via his own fascinating research, houses abound with nonhuman life.

When people shower, they’re covering themselves with multiple species of bacteria. Drywall is impregnated with fungi just waiting for moisture to grow and, as Dunn says, “Their patience is great.”

And, of course, pets bring in additional multitudes. But, Dunn explains, the vast majority of these organisms pose no threat, and many help enormously.

“Fewer than a hundred species of bacteria, viruses, and [microscopic] protists cause nearly all of the infectious illnesses in the world,” though millions of such species exist. Indeed, Dunn plausibly argues that humans are healthier when surrounded by many other species, and are “as likely to be sick from the bacteria we don’t have as from the bacteria or parasites we do.”

Throughout, he makes a compelling case for the value of biodiversity, while also conveying the excitement of scientific investigation, demonstrating that important discoveries can be made very close to home.


Fresh Air: NPR,  Author Interview by Terry Gross: Counting The Bugs And Bacteria, You’re ‘Never Home Alone’ (And That’s OK)

Science News: If you want to believe your home’s bug free, don’t read this book

You Might Not Want to Know, But They’re Inside the House, Right Now
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