IF you’ve picked your husband’s dirty socks off the floor that one time too many, your worst suspicions are about to be confirmed.
Men really are the grubbier sex, scientists say.
A study has found that offices full of men had far more bacteria than those with more women.
It claimed the results could be explained by the fact that men wash their hands and brush their teeth less frequently, and have a ‘more slovenly nature’.
Scientists analysed 450 DNA swabs from 90 offices occupied by men and women in US cities.
They identified more than 500 types of bacteria, most of which originated from human skin, noses, ears, and intestines. Others were brought in from the environment by shoes or clothes.
Chairs and telephones had some of the highest concentrations of bugs, with lower numbers on desktops and keyboards.
Lead researcher Dr Scott Kelly, from San Diego State University in California, said of the study, published in the journal PLoS ONE: ‘Surfaces in offices inhabited by men were more contaminated.
‘While the differences among cities do not seem interpretable, the differences between contamination in offices may be explained by differences in hygiene.
Men are known to wash their hands and brush their teeth less frequently, and are commonly perceived to have a more slovenly nature.
‘Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play.’
Dr Val Curtis, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said previous research has suggested men’s hands were dirtier than women’s.
‘Men don’t take hygiene as seriously, but they also sweat more which attracts bacteria,’ she added.
And Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, said: ‘It’s just part of life’s rich tapestry, and bacteria do help protect us from disease.’