Arachnophobes, beware – because the UK spider invasion is well under way.
Over the next few weeks, sightings of eight-legged creepy crawlies in British homes will become much more common.
That's because every autumn, usually in late September and early October, millions of spiders head indoors as the weather changes, with temperatures dropping and rainfall increasing.
READ MORE: Easy £2 hack to spider-proof home as critters prepare to invade homes this autumn
What's more, they're likely to be hornier than usual too, and most will be on the hunt for partners to mate with, so the females can lay their eggs before winter.
Experts say people should let spiders in, but for those who really can't stand the little critters there are a few simple things they can do to keep them out.
Here, we tell you everything you need to know about the UK spider invasion, from which types you could see and those that could bite to simple ways to spider-proof your home.
Which spiders are found in the UK?
It's not what those with a phobia of spiders will want to hear, but there are more than 650 different species in the UK.
The good news, though, is that only 12 of those species are venomous enough to cause any harm.
And even those with the nastiest bite will only attack when provoked, leaving their victim with a brief and mild burning sensation at worst, in most cases.
Spiders you could see in your home include:
- Missing sector or orb web spider
- Giant house spider
- Daddy long legs spider
- Lace web spider
- Zebra jumping spider
- False widow spider
- Cardinal spider
- Money spider
- Tube web spider
- Mouse spider
Which spiders in the UK are venomous?
Of the spiders that are commonly seen in UK homes, the giant house spider, daddy long legs spider, lace web spider, zebra jumping spider, false widow spider, tube web spider and mouse spider possess venom.
Thankfully giant house spiders, the most common of all species, aren't at all aggressive so they almost certainly won't bite, and daddy long legs spiders' venom will only deliver mild pain, if anything at all.
Bites from lace web spiders, can be painful, with swelling lasting for 12 hours. While zebra jumping spiders can bite, you probably wouldn't even realise they'd injected any venom.
False widows, while not aggressive, have been known to bite people with symptoms ranging from a numb sensation to severe swelling and pain.
In extreme and rare cases, their venom can cause burning and chest pains.
Tube web spiders' bites have been compared to a deep injection with the sensation lasting several hours. Mouse spiders can also inflict pain with their bite.
Why do spiders invade UK homes in autumn?
Spiders are cold-blooded creatures and their eggs can't survive being frozen.
To survive the colder months, they head into people's homes to keep warm and lay eggs.
Pest control specialist Kameliya Ilieva, of Fantastic Services, said: “There are spiders all year round in your home. However, the chances of one roaming around your home significantly increase in the fall.
"The autumn months are when the leaves fall, and temperatures drop, but it's also when spiders begin to breed.
"Most spiders will emerge in search of partners so that they can lay eggs before the winter starts for hatchlings the following spring.
“As the egg-laying season approaches, spiders start looking for the best living and breeding conditions.
"The males can sense a pheromone, which is a kind of perfume given off by females. In essence, wandering males are searching for mature females.
“Additionally, spiders overwinter indoors. They will crawl into our homes when the weather turns cold, searching for warmth, food, and shelter.”
Why should you let spiders into your home?
Spiders are actually handy to have around the house, according to experts.
For one, they eat peskier insects including flies, moths, and earwigs.
And by doing so they not only keep the population of these species down, but also stop the spread of germs and disease.
They're also good for your garden and house plants as they gobble up leaf-eating pests organically, meaning you don't need to resort to chemicals or inhumane methods.
They hardly ever bite and many consider them a sign of good luck.
How can you keep spiders out of your home?
If you really can't accept sharing your home with spiders, there are things you can do.
Kameliya Ilieva suggests blocking entry points by sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows.
She also says it's important to clean your waste bins, garden, corners, forgotten shelves and pets' food bowls regularly.
However, if you’re looking for other solutions to spider-proof your home, you can make an apple cider vinegar-based repellent spray. If you spray it along windows and doors, spiders won't fancy coming in.
Lastly, essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender or peppermint can keep them away. While some people might like the smell, spiders don't.
Simply put 15 to 20 drops of your chosen essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water, and spray it around your house, windows and doors.
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