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RALEIGH, NC (CBS Local) – Think your bedroom is pretty clean? A new study says humans aren’t even close to being as tidy as the average chimpanzee.

The Details:

  • A study finds that a chimpanzee’s nest is much cleaner than a human’s bed
  • A person’s bed sheet is typically covered in bacteria, which falls off the skin each day
  • Chimpanzees create a new nest to sleep in each night

According to a study by North Carolina State University, human beds are covered in bacteria and even feces particles, most of which fall off our bodies while we sleep and attract bugs like dust mites. “About 35 percent of bacteria in human beds stem from our own bodies, including fecal, oral, and skin bacteria,” NC State’s Megan Thoemmes said, via The Telegraph.

Chimpanzees, on the other hand, actually change their “sheets” every night before bed. The tree-dwelling apes weave branches and sticks into new baskets that hang up to 30 feet above the ground each day. “We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising,” Thoemmes added.

Scientists examined 41 recently abandoned nests in a Tanzanian forest to see what the chimps had left behind. A mere four parasites were found hiding in the leafy nests.

“Our data would suggest that they’re really quite good at grooming each other and cleaning off ectoparasites,” the lead researcher added, via The Washington Post.

NC State biologist Rob Dunn added that the team expected to find chimp nests to be as smelly as zoo exhibits tend to be; however, scientists found only a “faint hint o’ chimp” in the nests. Researchers, who published the findings in Royal Society Open Science, believe apes in a zoo develop a smell because they are forced to live in the same place where all of their body microbes fall off each day; just like humans.

The chimp study may have many Americans rethinking their bedroom cleaning habits. A recent survey found that the average person washed their bed sheets once every 24 days.

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