If you don’t make it a habit to remove your shoes upon entering your home, you might after hearing this. New York City board-certified pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner says, “So many germs and bacteria can be brought in from your shoes, including toxins and E. coli.” According to a recent University of Houston study, more than 26 percent of shoes worn inside the home are contaminated with Colistidium difficile (C.diff), a bacterium that can cause stomach pain and explosive diarrhea. Mitzner says these types of statistics are particularly concerning if you have a young child or elderly relative living with you, as their immune systems are weaker. Still, infectious disease physician Dr. Amesh Adalja adds even if you do remove your shoes, the inside of your home is still covered with germs, and there are just as many bacteria on sock or bare feet as there are on your shoes. So what’s your best bet? Vacuum and clean the carpet at least once per week, and air out your home, as the air quality is usually worse inside your home than it is outside.