One in eight people sleep in bedding that has not been washed for over a month, according to a new study.
Time and cash-strapped Brits are cutting back on washing their bedding – putting them at a high risk of a bed bug infestation, reveals the annual survey.
And men came out worst with 1.7 million waiting more than a month before washing their bed sheets.
Setting a bad example: Tracey Emin’s dirty unmade bed helped her win the Turner Prize, but it might not look that different to many of our bedrooms.
The annual Bed Bug Audit, conducted by Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, found that 29 per cent of Brits have cut back on washing their bedding due to lack of time while 17 per cent delay washing their dirty laundry to cut costs.
More than one in eight Brits (13 per cent) sleep in bedding that has not been washed for over a month, while a quarter (27 per cent) sleep on mattresses that are more than 10-years-old.
Too busy sleeping: More than a third of men confessed they put off washing due to sheer laziness
With forecasters predicting erratic temperatures this winter which could reach -15C by Christmas, bedrooms could become the perfect breeding ground for bed bugs, which take refuge in the warmth of mattresses, pillows and sheets to feed.
To add to the cosy conditions, over half of more than 1,000 Brits polled (56 per cent) said they will use extra blankets to keep warm this winter, while 31 per cent will opt for a hot water bottle.
Almost one-in-five people polled said they were more likely now than last year to buy second-hand furniture, which is a leading source of infestation as a pre-owned mattress alone can contain millions of bed bugs.
One-in-six men put in an average of 30 days sheet use before washing their bedding while four per cent admitted to not washing their bedding in over two months.
Nine per cent of men confessed that they did not think washing the bed was important with more than a third confessing they put off washing due to sheer laziness.
This is all the more worrying as bed bugs are not the only ones enjoying a bedroom bite – 46 per cent of Brits said that they had eaten a meal in bed. Nine per cent admit they regularly eat breakfast in bed, while 10 per cent even said that they eat their evening meal in the sack.
JUST HOW BAD ARE WE AT CLEANING OUR SHEETS?
- 13 per cent sleep in bedding that has not been washed for over a month
- 27 per cent sleep on mattresses that are more than 10-years-old
- Four per cent of men admitted to not washing their bedding in over two months
- Nine per cent of men confessed that they did not think washing the bed was important
- 35 per cent or men confessing they put off washing due to sheer laziness
- 46 per cent of Brits said that they had eaten a meal in bed
- 51 per cent of Londoners admitted to putting off washing bedding when they are feeling lazy
- 18 per cent of Scots put off washing to cut costs
The Bed Bug Audit also revealed that 26 per cent of Brits polled had no idea how bed bugs spread and a quarter (25 per cent) said they were unaware of any measures to counter them, such as leaving sheets exposed during the day or regularly vacuuming all areas of the room – including the seams of the mattress.
It seems those in Yorkshire have the cleanest bed sheets with the average person washing their bedding more than three times every month.
Londoners seems to be the worst when it comes to keeping their linen clean with more than half of those living in the capital surveyed admitting putting off washing bedding when they are feeling lazy, while 18 per cent of Scots put off washing to cut costs.
Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance spokeswoman Jacky Brown said: ‘We spend so much time in our beds that it is astounding so many Brits and particularly bug busting men – do not keep them clean.
‘Simple measures like avoiding eating in bed, leaving the sheets exposed during the day and washing them regularly can help avoid an infestation
‘Bed bugs in the home can be an extremely unpleasant experience so it is important that homeowners have a way to deal quickly with an infestation such as our pest cover otherwise the upcoming cold spell could provide a nasty wake-up call.’
Credit : Thedailynews.com